Earlier this week, many, including Bryan-Michael Cox, claimed Jay-Z told Jermaine Dupri to turn down his NFL deal. Now the producer is speaking out for the first time to set the record straight.
During a recent interview with Big Tigger on Atlanta’s V-103 radio station, Dupri discussed a conversation he had with Jay-Z about his NFL agreement to executive produce a series of free concerts ahead of Super Bowl 53.
“I’m speaking and letting the people know, he and I never had a conversation where he told me ‘don’t do what you’re doing’,” he said while sitting next to Cox. “What our conversation was ‘you know what side I’m on, I understand what you’re doing’. That’s what the conversation was.”
Dupri also debunked rumors that Jay-Z’s recent NFL agreement, where he will help coordinate entertainment for the Super Bowl halftime show, was similar to his deal.
“Even during my press, I kept having to reiterate the that fact that ‘guys, I’m not doing Super Bowl. I’m doing shows in Centennial Olympic Park,’” he said. “I gave artists that don’t get an opportunity to perform Super Bowl halftime an opportunity and platform.”
Despite his good intentions, he said he received a bunch of flack for working with the NFL, an organization that’s been accused of punishing athletes, like Colin Kaepernick, for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
He said people told him he was accepting “blood money” and called him a “sucker.” He even read one tweet that said, “you looking just as bad as R. Kelly.”
“I was in a bleep storm. I was standing in the middle of a storm, and I was hit in every possible direction that you can be hit,” he said.
But he said he doesn’t have any regrets and applauded Jay-Z for his efforts.
“It’s kids out here that don’t have money to go to a concert. I had 70,000 people in Centennial Olympic Park. I don’t really care about nothing else. I did my job,” he said. “You can’t change anything unless you get involved.”
Watch the full interview here.