Super Bowl Exclusive
by Pat Freeman
The Super Bowl Half time performance is of such high demand that it has helped to launch some of the most recent concert tours in the country. What single event gives you an audience of 111 million viewers than the Super Bowl? The NFL and their corporate sponsors use this opportunity to promote their backed concert tours that have generated millions of dollars for them, and the selected performers.
In 2006, Super Bowl XL converged on Detroit , Michigan . Many of us felt the NFL would pay homage to Motown, and a generation of music which transcended the world. Not so, the NFL and their corporate sponsors decided that it was more fitting to bring the Rolling Stones as halftime performers to the Mecca of R&B. After some rumblings at the last minute the NFL added the Four Tops to the pre game show as a second fiddle acknowledgement of the apparent snub. Black Leadership seemed to accept that at least they attempted to make some amends to the home of Motown, the music that helped to bridge all racial cultures of the tumultuous sixties.
Fast forward eight years , Super Bowl XLVIII in New York/New Jersey , the cradle , the beginning of the most popular music movement of the last forty years , corporate sponsors repeat the same action .There is no way that you dedicate a halftime show to life in New York City , a rich history without honoring the greatest most recent musical creation, born of the streets of it’s five boroughs. Hip hop has transcended all cultures for the last forty years around the world. How can you honor the richness of New York music without mentioning hip hop? You had Queen Latifah singing America the Beautiful but no mention of her hip hop beginnings? I guess that part of her history is unacceptable to the narrow mindedness of the power brokers. Yes, once again the NFL missed a rare opportunity to honor New York and the real musical roots, snubbing the Busta Rhymes, Naughty by Nature, De La Soul, Doug E Fresh, Roots, Run DMC and many others.
Why were JayZ and Alicia Keys not singing New York at the Super Bowl? The problem with these types of snubs comes from the lack of response from us in media, leadership, and all that represent the value of true American ethnic culture. This seems to be missing from the decision makers of the NFL because most of their theme music seems to deliberately move away from hip hop on their high profile stage yet the power brokers make large amounts of money. The NFL in recent years has tried to increase the publicity of its community outreach to hide some of these obvious snubs of the most popular music movement of the last 40 years all because of the clothing failure of Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
The failure to condemn and call attention to the NFL for the exclusion eight years ago reared its ugly head this past week in New York City. When are we going to start calling out those that devalue the music culture of a generation? The modern story tellers of hip hop should have been highlighted in its birthplace at this year’s Super Bowl.
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