Jermaine Dupri
Photo: BECCA J. G. GODWIN
Photo: BECCA J. G. GODWIN

Jermaine Dupri reveals 1st round of acts for Super Bowl shows

Wednesday marked 53 days until Super Bowl 53, so obviously organizers weren’t going to let that slide by without some kind of big announcement. 

And for many, it will not disappoint. 

Jermaine Dupri has revealed some of the artists who have signed on for Super Bowl Live, a week of free fan events preceding the Feb. 3 game. 

The Grammy-winning producer and member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame was tapped by the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee to curate the musical acts and produce the evening concerts.

The week will include performances from Atlanta artists across different genres, including country, rock, EDM, pop, R&B and hip hop. But on Wednesday, speaking from the rooftop at downtown Atlanta’s Glenn Hotel, Dupri only made announcements regarding the last category, outlining the lineups for two of the six events. Artists performing on other dates will be revealed later.

The first round of musical acts for the Centennial Olympic Park shows includes iconic names like Goodie Mob, Kilo Ali and the Ying Yang Twins. Dupri said it’s important for everyone to know what the city’s music scene means to him.  

“The music scene for me goes deeper than the ‘90s, it goes deeper than 2000, it goes deeper than the ‘80s, actually,” he said. Dupri, an Atlanta icon who has worked with artists ranging from Mariah Carey to Aretha Franklin to Usher to Ludacris, recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of his So So Def record label during the opening event at the transformed State Farm Arena.

Khoju, of Goodie Mob — an Atlanta band formed in 1991 with him, Big Gipp, Cee-Lo and T-Mo — said the Super Bowl will bring “another influx of a whole wave of generational people” coming to Atlanta. He thanked Super Bowl organizers, including Host Committee COO Brett Daniels, for choosing Dupri to produce the series. 

Jermaine Dupri, fourth from right, revealed some of the artists for Super Bowl Live. 
Photo: BECCA J. G. GODWIN

“I’d just like to salute and take my hat off to you guys also for recognizing, for being professionals like that, to get with somebody like my brother Jermaine Dupri to make this a fun-filled, family event,” said Khoju at the hotel. 

That sentiment was echoed by DJ Smurf, who will run the stage on Saturday, Feb. 2. 

“A lot of times when these events come to the city, they represent what they think Atlanta should be, and we’re usually not a part of it,” he said. “I’m so proud and honored and happy that you guys made (Dupri) the head of it, so he could make us a part of it. So thank you.” 

DJ Smurf’s show will feature a lot of dancing and throwbacks to Atlanta’s Freaknik and Crunk music eras, he said, with performers such Tag Team, MC Shy D, Ying Yang Twins, Kilo Ali and KP & Envyi. He thinks people may be surprised to learn some of these artists are from this market, pointing to Tag Team’s 1993 hit, “Whoomp There It Is.” 

On Monday, Jan. 28, DJ Holiday will run the stage with YFN Lucci, Waka Flocka, K Camp, Trinidad James, Swag Surf Boys, Coca Vango, Light Skin Keisha, Derez Deshon and Goodie Mob. 

“I’m going for the creme de la creme, the top of the charts, the hitmakers,” DJ Holiday said. “We’re gonna do one of the biggest stages on Monday, I promise you.”

KD Bowe, an on-air personality for Atlanta’s Radio One and in-game host for the Atlanta Falcons, will be the host for all nights of the concert series. 

Jermaine Dupri
Photo: BECCA J. G. GODWIN

The Atlanta-focused lineup should help appease those upset by the rumored-but-unconfirmed halftime performer, Maroon 5. Many felt the chosen act should be more representative of Atlanta and its hip hop culture and history. 

Regardless of who is chosen for the halftime show, there will be no dearth of music that week. 

Two days before the game, Shaquille O’Neal’s “Shaq’s Fun House” will feature Migos, Lil Jon and T-Pain at the Battery. That same night, Cardi B and Bruno Mars will perform at State Farm Arena, which is hosting Aerosmith and Post Malone on Feb. 1 and Ludacris and Migos on Jan. 31.

Dupri does not see that as competition. 

“Ludacris is having his show at State Farm, I’m not mad, that’s what he’s supposed to do, right?” Dupri said. “But I’m having my show right here at Olympic Park. There’s no hatred in this city, and I think that’s what I want to show people, and I want people to see how connected we are and how deep the roots go.”

Atlanta native and hip hop icon Jermaine Dupri is in charge of planning the music and the free shows will appeal to everyone.

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