Hov said, “They perform or I quit,” according to Snoop.
This year’s Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show was considered by many one of the best the big game has ever had to offer. Headlined by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and 50 Cent, the show was a special tribute to the hip-hop community on the West Coast, and sparked nostalgia for those that watched.
The controversy that lied within the performance included Kendrick Lamar’s “we hate po-po” being censored and Snoop Dogg rocking a crip-themed outfit and crip-walking on stage. These lyrics and image are part of these artists identity, so fans felt they should have been allowed by the league without pushback.
Among those who felt this way was JAY-Z, who famously made a deal with the NFL for his Roc Nation company to be an “entertainment and social justice partner” with the league, which includes helping put on the halftime show.
Before the performance, it seems the NFL had reservations about letting these hip-hop legends do their thing on the Halftime Show, but JAY-Z, who was in attendance, gave them an ultimatum to assure it would happen. According to Snoop Dogg, who recently spoke with TIDAL about the show, Hov said he would end the partnership between Roc Nation and the NFL if his rapper friends were denied their performance: “We love each other. Like, not secretly, like publicly, we love each other. It is what it is, so it’s like for him to go to bat for us and tell the NFL, ‘F**k that. They perform or I quit,’ that was the most gangster sh*t out of everything. Then with attire and kneeling and all this … you can’t wear your gang bang sh*t? JAY-Z hit me like, ‘Wear what the f**k you want to wear. Peace to the Gods.’”
Snoop is also referring to Eminem kneeling on stage during the performance to honor Colin Kaepernick. So, it seems that even though Jay was scrutinized for aligning himself with the NFL, he would sacrifice it to let his colleagues shine.