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Jay-Z teams up with NFL

The '99 Problems' hitmaker will be the sports league's live music entertainment strategist as part of the partnership with his company Roc Nation.

Rapper Jay Z. Picture: @RecordingAcad/Twitter.

LONDON - Jay-Z is to team up with the National Football League (NFL) for a music and social justice campaign that will see him involved in producing the Super Bowl halftime show.

The 99 Problems hitmaker will be the sports league's live music entertainment strategist as part of the partnership with his company Roc Nation, and he will also be working with them on their Inspire Change activism campaign.

Jay told the New York Times newspaper: "The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive. They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good."

As part of the partnership, the 49-year-old rapper will be involved in selecting and producing the Super Bowl halftime performance, despite recently slamming the NFL in his song Apes##t, in which he rapped about turning down the coveted show in solidarity of Colin Kaepernick, whose take-the-knee protest at racial inequality saw him ousted from the league.

But despite his criticism, NFL bosses think Jay - who has described the footballer as an "iconic figure" akin to Muhammad Ali and wore a custom version of Kaepernick's jersey on Saturday Night Live in 2017 - will be an ideal partner because they are looking for people who will hold them to account.

Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, said: "We don't want people to come in and necessarily agree with us; we want people to come in and tell us what we can do better. I think that's a core element of our relationship between the two organisations, and with Jay and I personally."

Kaepernick started the #TakeAKnee movement in 2016, which saw him and several other players refuse to stand during the national anthem at games in protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

In March 2017, Kaepernick's contract with the San Francisco 49ers was not renewed and no other team have hired him since, leading to him filing a lawsuit against the NFL for colluding to keep him unsigned because of his politics.

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