Boycotting The Super Bowl Halftime Show: Is Jay-Z Urging Hip-Hop Artists To Stay Away?

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Written by Dana Sanchez

A growing chorus of celebrities is urging Travis Scott to pull out of the Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality and against the NFL’s policy of making athletes stand during the national anthem.

Scott will perform on Feb. 3 during Super Bowl 53 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium with Adam Levine’s band, Maroon 5, sources told Variety. Scott and his management declined to confirm this. Three more guests will be joining the lineup at the biggest sports event of the year, but they are as yet unnamed.


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The Maroon 5/Scott move makes business sense, as both artists are affiliated with the Irving Azoff-helmed Full Stop Management. — Variety

Maroon 5 was having trouble landing a special guest, Vibe reported. Jay Z tried to persuade the “Sicko Mode” artist not to do the show, and others have called for the same, including Michael B. Jordan (“The Creed), Meek Mill, and Al Sharpton.

“Hopefully it’s a rumor,” Jordan told TMZ  when asked what he thought about Scott playing in the halftime show. Other celebrities are boycotting it too. “We’re going to try to stick together on this.”

Jay-Z has been critical of the NFL and the way that it handled player protests against police brutality, publicly supporting Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started the movement by kneeling during the National Anthem. Kaepernick has been blackballed by the league.

Cardi B and Outkast’s Big Boi are among the other hip-hop artists who have been in talks to perform at Super Bowl, according to Variety.

Following Maroon 5’s No. 1 hit collaboration with Cardi B on “Girls Like You,” rumors surfaced that the rapper might join the band on stage, but a source insists that isn’t happening, The Grio reported. Rumors about Cardi B performing have been on-again, off-again.

Travis Scott, left, and Kylie Jenner attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition on Monday, May 7, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Artists usually aren’t compensated for Super Bowl halftime performances, but PageSix.com reports that a source said Cardi wants money — $1 million, no less — and her own showcase during the halftime performance.

Another source — a rep for Cardi B — told Page Six, “The rumor circulating that she wants a million dollars and she wants her own set is false. There was never a firm offer to begin with for a performance. There (were) talks about it, but she was not particularly interested in participating because of how she feels about Colin Kaepernick and the whole movement … there was never a solid offer for her to say yes or no to regarding the Super Bowl. She is already confirmed to do a set with Bruno Mars that weekend.”

Maroon 5 has been struggling to find a Black artist to take the stage with them, according to Variety. Cardi B, Outkast, Usher, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, are said to have been in talks with the group. Mary J. Blige and Rihanna are said to have declined.