Rumors have been swirling for weeks that JAY-Z and Justin Timberlake are being considered as the 2018 Super Bowl halftime performers, a would-be revival of their 2013 run, which included the smash hit “Suit and Tie” and a sold-out stadium tour.
It’s only September, but those dreams may already be dead.
JAY-Z has reportedly declined an invitation to perform at the NFL’s championship game in February, which will take place at US Bank stadium in Minneapolis, which happens to be the hometown of the late legend Prince, a noted friend of Jay’s. The Metro quotes remarks made by an “insider” to The Sun newspaper, claiming that Jay potentially performing at the event is “simply not the case.”
“He really has no plans to do the half-time show,” reads the quote.
Despite the year Jay has had to this point, from his TV successes (The Kalief Browder Story) to his chart-topping 4:44 album, it isn’t surprising that he would pass on an opportunity to play the halftime show, which drew over 117 million viewers during its last installment earlier this year. Less than a week ago, Jay took the stage at The Meadows Festival in New York City, and dedicated a performance of “The Story of O.J.” to Colin Kaepernick, the football star who was nudged into NFL unemployment by owners and GMs refusing to sign him in the wake of his anthem protests.
On 4:44, Jay expressed the importance of unity within the black community and among black celebrities, especially in the face of injustice. The report doesn’t mention Jay’s political views in relation to the reasoning behind his alleged decline, but the shoe certainly fits.