As the controversy surrounding Jay-Z’s partnership with the NFL splits the hip-hop community and sports fans’ opinions of the mogul, Jay’s Roc Nation and the NFL continue to roll out details of their joint venture/smokescreen effort. Today, they announced that Meek Mill will headline a free concert September 5 at the NFL Kickoff Experience in Chicago’s Grant Park along with Rapsody and Meghan Trainor — all, it should be noted, Roc Nation affiliates in some way or another.
All three entertainers were named Inspire Change advocates, taking the title from the NFL’s social justice initiative Inspire Change, which was instituted as a reaction to the growing outcry against the NFL’s crackdown on National Anthem protests in prior seasons. The NFL also announced the launch of Inspire Change apparel and Songs Of The Season, two initiatives geared toward channeling funds from the proceeds toward organizations committed to education, economic empowerment, and criminal justice reform.
According to the press release, Songs Of The Season will highlight artists in all genres, from superstars to emerging artists, who will create music that will be integrated into NFL promotions throughout the season and made available on digital streaming platforms. The proceeds will also be funneled into the Inspire Change initiative.
Whether this announcement endears Jay and Roc Nation to fans remains to be seen, but it seems likely that many will approach any future announcements just as skeptically as the first until some measurable positive results can be included. Jay seems unaffected either way.