“Empire State Of Mind” Turns 10

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Start spreading the news: New York is the greatest city on the planet. Or maybe you’ve heard that before. Regardless of your own personal feelings on the place, or however a person might perceive its rises and falls from one decade to the next, New York has been a fixation and a global destination for … More »

NFL Names Meek Mill, Rapsody, & Meghan Trainor “Inspire Change Advocates”

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Jay-Z & Meek MillEveryone has an opinion on the NFL’s new partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. It seems Meek Mill is a fan because he’s agreed to be an official ambassador for the league’s social justice initiative along with Rapsody and, uh, Meghan Trainor. More »

Jay-Z partners with NFL as its live music entertainment strategist

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Jay-Z partners with NFL as its live music entertainment strategistJay Z Live The Meadows 2017

The NFL and Jay-Z have entered into a partnership that will place the high-profile hip-hop artist in a position of considerable influence: live music entertainment strategist. As a part of his new role, Jay-Z will consult with the NFL on the selection of Super Bowl halftime talent. He will also help the NFL orchestrate other music driven events affiliated with the league, while assisting with the NFL’s activism campaign, Inspire Change.

The development represents a shift in the mogul’s contentious relationship with the NFL. Jay-Z flipped the NFL a lyrical middle finger in his 2018 single, “APESHIT,” rapping, “I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you.” The diss came after Jay-Z declined the league’s offer to perform at the 2018 Super Bowl in a demonstration of his solidarity with prior San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Rihanna notably rescinded the Super Bowl’s 2018 bid for the same reason.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the National Anthem in protest against police brutality in 2016. Jay-Z had sought to bring attention to the issue of police brutality in the nation for many years preluding Kaepernick’s on-field opposition and notably dedicated a song to Kaepernick during his 2017 performance at The Meadows Music and Arts Festival. The rapper was also said to have been vocal in his attempts to dissuade fellow hip-hop entity, Travis Scott, from performing at the Super Bowl after the league approached Scott with an offer to appear at the 2018 iteration alongside Maroon 5.

“The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” Jay-Z said in an interview at Roc Nation in Manhattan. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, [so] that we can do some good.”

“We don’t want people to come in and necessarily agree with us,” Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, said in an interview on Aug. 12. “I think that’s a core element of our relationship between the two organizations, and with Jay and I personally.”

H/T: The New York Times

Freddie Gibbs Supports Jay-Z’s NFL Deal, Says “Fuck Colin Kaepernick”

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Freddie GibbsJay-Z’s Roc Nation signed a deal last week to advise the NFL on its live music productions and social justice issues. This was immediately contentious, and unconfirmed reports that Jay-Z will become the owner of an NFL franchise have only intensified the debate. More »

NFL Hires Jay-Z To Consult On Live Music & Social Justice

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Jay-ZThe National Football League has an image problem. It is hoping Jay-Z can help solve that problem. More »

Meek Mill launches new label, Dream Chasers Records, under JAY-Z’s Roc Nation

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Meek Mill launches new label, Dream Chasers Records, under JAY-Z’s Roc NationJay Z Meek Mill Criminal Justice

With the stroke of a pen, Meek Mill and JAY-Z inked a record label dedicated to the identification and development of new musical talent guided by Meek’s creative direction. Christened Dream Chasers Records, the label will foreground talent acquisition, creative strategy, and marketing as some of its central operative focuses. Dream Chasers Records’ current state differs from its past: now backed by JAY-Z’s Roc Nation, Dream Chasers Records’ was previously established in 2012 as a label imprint under Rick Ross’ Mayback Music Group. At the time, Dream Chasers signed a modest selection of ascendant artists such as YBS Skola and Lil Snupe; it functioned mainly as an auxiliary project for Meek Mill, as the rapper worked to further expand his own catalog.

“I think the time is now [to grow Dream Chasers],” the Championships rapper told Rolling Stone. “I’m 32-years-old, I’m in a nice spot in the music business and I think it’s time for me to focus on growing artists because that’s what I love to do. I love to spend time on helping artists grow, and I think it’s time for me to dive in, business-wise.”

Meek Mill assumes presidency of Dream Chasers and will supervise a team based in New York. He will also help to facilitate a recording studio for those signed to the label. For now, Meek Mill is recalcitrant when it comes to the artists with whom Dream Chasers will seek to pen deals, or conversely, those who the label has recently signed. The label, after all, is “still in the beginning stage,” according to the rapper.

JAY-Z is meanwhile adamant that Roc Nation’s support of Dream Chasers Records’ will bolster Roc Nation, Dream Chasers’ nascence aside. “The overall and overarching view is for us to boss up and do things together and pull each other up and get control of the things that we produce,” JAY-Z said of Roc Nation and Dream Chasers’ newly forged agreement.

Photo Credit: AP/REX/Shutterstock (9201710a)

H/T: Rolling Stone

Jay-Z, John Fogerty Pull Out Of Troubled Woodstock 50 Festival

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Jay-Z’s got 99 problems but Woodstock isn’t one: The rap king has pulled out of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival just weeks before the troubled event is supposed to take place. A person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, … More »

Woodstock 50 denied venue permit in Oneida County

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Woodstock 50 denied venue permit in Oneida CountyWoodstock50

2019 remains a cursed year for Woodstock 50 as the anniversary event continues to face logistical nightmare after logistical nightmare. The festival, which according to the official website’s live countdown still takes place in a month and still boasts acts like The Killers, Dead & Company, Jay-Z, and Chance the Rapper, lost its original venue at the Watkins Glen Raceway in NY earlier this month. In more recent news, the proposed celebration of peace and culture was denied a permit at the much smaller Vernon Downs Raceway just this week.

Woodstock 50’s have five days to appeal the decision, but Oneida Country Administrator Anthony Picente Jr. stated that the chances of the festival happening at Vernon Downs is “highly unlikely.”

Woodstock 50’s organizers released a statement following the
decision.

“In response to the denial of an event permit by the Town of Vernon, Woodstock 50 believes certain political forces may be working against the resurrection of the Festival. Local reports claim Woodstock’s filing for the permit was “incomplete” but that is not the case. Woodstock 50 officials were informed by the Town of Vernon that most questions had been answered and asked only that Woodstock submit medical, safety/security and traffic plans by this past Sunday, which it did. With a venue chosen, financing assembled and many of the artist’s [sic] supporting Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary event, the organizers are hopeful that their appeal and reapplication tonight will prevail without further political interference.”

The festival, which was originally planned as a 3 -day event including camping, is now being pitched as three 1-day events where attendees leave and return each day. Woodstock 50’s fate may be up in the air, but as the festival website’s live countdown insists, time is ticking…

H/T: Variety

Rosalía Is Becoming Earth’s Most Exciting Pop Star

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RosalíaAt this late date it’s rare to encounter music that truly sounds like nothing else, but El Mal Querer pulled it off last year. The Catalonian singer Rosalía’s second album was truly unique, alchemizing traditional flamenco with futuristic R&B in a manner that felt both natural and visionary. Palmas that hit like accented … More »

JAY-Z officially named rap’s first billionaire

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JAY-Z officially named rap’s first billionaireJay Z Live The Meadows 2017

According to a new report by Forbes, JAY-Z‘s fortune has now surpassed $1 billion, officially crowning the legendary mogul hip-hop’s first billionaire. How HOV became hip-hop’s most paid man is no secret through—the rapper’s famed 23-year come up has been well documented across 18 studio LPs, canonizing the story of a Brooklyn drug dealer that changed the course of music history in America.

JAY’s first major moves included the launch of Roc-A-Fella Records and Rocawear in the late 1990’s, and over the course of an illustrious quarter-century career his ever-expanding portfolio has come to include investments in high-end spirits like his co-venture with Bacardi, D’Ussé, his champagne brand Armand de Brignac, Uber, and of course his streaming platform, TIDAL which he purchased in 2015.

Forbes calculates that the 4:44 rhymer has $75 million invested in Roc Nation as well as an additional $75 million in his own music catalog. TIDAL accounts for a $100 million investment. According to the report, JAY’s real estate holdings total $50 million and his art collection is worth more than $70 million. Now, HOV’s iconic line on Kanye‘s 2005 “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” remix rings truer today than ever—“I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.”

Via: Forbes