Tina Turner, Jay-Z Among 2021 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees, Fela Misses Out

Fela Kuti, circa 1980.(PHOTO: David Corio)

 

 

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti has missed out on the bid to become an inductee of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where Tina Turner, Carole King, and Jay-Z made it.

Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, and Tina Turner are the newest inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the organization announced Wednesday morning.

The hall said it’s 2021 class includes the “most diverse list of inductees in the history of the organization.” Three are two-time inductees.

Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, and Jay-Z were on the ballot for the first time this year.

Speaking of the new inductees, John Skyes, the Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said: “This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture. It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”

To be eligible for induction, artists have to have released their first record 25 years earlier and “have created music whose originality, impact and influence have changed the course of rock & roll,” according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, and Jay-Z were on the ballot for the first time this year.

Musicians and groups who were nominated but not inducted were Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, Devo, Iron Maiden, Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, and Dionne Warwick.

Fela Kuti was first announced as a nominee for the award in February. Soon after the announcement, there was a huge push on social media to vote for the Nigerian music legend whose music much of the populace especially fans say is still relevant to date because of the social issues it addressed.

 

2021 Final fans’ ballot (Image: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

 

Massive support from celebrities like Davido, Burna Boy, Banky W, Don Jazzy, and other prominent voices gave the legend an early boost but the Turner fans gave it more from the results that were published by the hall.

If Fela had won, the multi-instrumentalist and Afrobeat legend would have made history as the first Nigerian artist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

No Plans To Let Fela Win?

Fans took to social media to express their disappointment and displeasure in the situation despite having the second-highest votes and other inductees not coming close to his number of votes being inducted to the hall.

See some of the tweets below:

Square Unveils Deal For Jay-Z’s Tidal Music Platform

Digital payments firm Square said on March 4, 2021, it was buying a controlling stake in the streaming music platform Tidal from a group led by Jay-Z for $297 million in cash and stock. “The acquisition extends Square’s purpose of economic empowerment to a new vertical: musicians,” said a statement from Square, the finance tech firm led by Jack Dorsey, who is also the chief executive of Twitter.
ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ, Jim WATSON / AFP

 

Digital payments firm Square said Thursday it was buying a controlling stake in the streaming music platform Tidal from a group led by rap star Jay-Z for $297 million in cash and stock.

“The acquisition extends Square’s purpose of economic empowerment to a new vertical: musicians,” said a statement from Square, the finance tech firm led by Jack Dorsey, who is also the chief executive of Twitter.

“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” said Dorsey.

“New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy.”

Jay-Z Marks 50th Birthday With Return To Spotify

Hip Hop Rapper Jay-Z and Beyonce

 

Rap mogul Jay-Z celebrated his fiftieth birthday and surprised fans Wednesday by putting his catalog back on streaming giant Spotify, after a two-year hiatus.

The billionaire artist, who owns rival streaming service Tidal, had pulled the majority of his discography from Spotify in 2017, months before dropping his “4:44” album exclusively on his own upstart platform.

The introspective album prompted a surge of interest in the paid subscription service Tidal — which also exclusively carries his megastar wife Beyonce’s much-touted visual album “Lemonade” — briefly becoming a top downloaded app.

Fans can now stream “4:44” on Spotify for the first time, along with classics like “The Blueprint,” “American Gangster” and “Watch the Throne.”

The rapper has the second-most top albums in the history of Billboard’s rankings chart with 14, bested only by The Beatles, who have 19.

“Happy Birthday, Hov,” Spotify tweeted Wednesday, using a nickname of the rapper born Shawn Carter, who grew up in one of Brooklyn’s most notorious housing projects.

There was no indication how long Jay-Z’s flow would remain available on Spotify, which has often come under fire from prominent artists including Prince, Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke for its royalty system, which many musicians say leaves them underpaid.

In June, Forbes declared Hov rap’s first billionaire, estimating $100 million of his vast fortune came from Tidal.

As of 2016, Tidal said it said it had 3 million users.

Today, Spotify says it has 248 million users, including 113 million who pay for premium service.

AFP

Jay-Z Sues Australian Retailer Over Use Of His Name And Lyrics

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 12, 2017 Jay-Z performs in concert on the first day of week two of the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 13, 2017 in Austin, Texas. PHOTO: SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP

 

Hip hop superstar Jay-Z is suing a small online Australian retailer for profiting from the use of his name and hit song “99 Problems” in books that teach children the alphabet.

Shawn Carter, best known by his stage name Jay-Z, filed a lawsuit with the Federal Court of Australia on November 22 claiming Australian brand “The Little Homie” had infringed on his intellectual property.

The Age newspaper reported on Tuesday that, according to the American rapper’s lawyers, the company traded on his likeness and infringed on the copyright of the lyrics to “99 Problems”.

The Little Homie advertises on its website a “hip-hop inspired” children’s book called “A B to Jay-Z” for Au$34.95, as well as a colouring book of the same name for Au$19.95.

The back pages of the books riff off the lyrics to “99 Problems” — “If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABC’s ain’t one!” — a photo posted on The Little Homie’s website showed.

The lawsuit said Jay-Z asked the company to stop selling the books in March 2018 but it continued to “deliberately and knowingly” use his likeness and lyrics in a “flagrant, glaring” manner, according to The Age.

The use of the rapper’s name, image and lyrics was “calculated to injure, has injured and is continuing to injure the reputation and goodwill of Mr Carter,” it continued.

Jessica Chiha, the founder of The Little Homie, is named as a respondent in the case.

Chiha raised Au$8,000 on Kickstarter in 2017 for the book — which teaches the alphabet using an A-Z of hip hop artists — that she described as being designed for “the next generation of hood rats”.

Her online store also stocks titles such as “1 2 3 With the Notorious B.I.G.” and is promoting the forthcoming “First 50 Words With 50 Cent”.

The Little Homie has not yet filed a defence to the claims and its lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jay-Z’s Australian lawyers declined to comment.

The case is scheduled for an initial hearing on December 6.

AFP

The World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars (Full List)

Kanye West becomes No. 1 earner for the first time in his career.JAMES DEVANEY/GC IMAGES, NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, JOHN PHILLIPS/GETTY IMAGES, JENNIFER GRAYLOCK/GETTY IMAGES, TAYLOR HILL/WIREIMAGE. DESIGN: NICK DESANTIS/FORBES

 

For the first time in his life, American rapper and fashion designer, Kanye West has been named the highest-paid hip-hop act in the world.

According to the latest Forbes World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars List, Kanye who is also a designer earned 50 million dollars in a year.

Kanye pushed down the ladder, Mogul JAY-Z who earned 81 million dollars and Drake who made 71 million dollars, leaving them in second and third place respectively.

In recent years the top spot have been coveted by JAY-Z who in 2007 got an ode from Kanye when the rapper released a song called “Big Brother”.

Those who made the top ten include Eminem, DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, and Childish Gambino. The only female artists who made it into the top 20 are Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who came in at number 12 and 13 slots respectively.

Nicki Minaj made 29 million dollars earnings, and Cardi B, the youngest to make the list at 26, raked in 28 million dollars in earnings.

READ ALSO: Tubaba Celebrates His Birthday With Big Brother Housemates

Below is the Full List of the World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars

20. Pitbull ($18 million)

19. Wiz Khalifa ($18.5 million)

18. Nas ($19 million)

17. Future ($19.5 million)

16. Birdman ($20 million)

15. Meek Mill ($21 million)

14. Swizz Beatz ($23 million)

13. Cardi B ($28 million)

12. Nicki Minaj ($29 million)

11. J. Cole ($31 million)

10. Childish Gambino ($35 million)

9. Migos ($36 million)

8. Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million)

7. DJ Khaled ($40 million)

6. Eminem ($50 million)

5. Travis Scott ($58 million)

4. Diddy ($70 million)

3. Drake ($75 million)

2. Jay-Z ($81 million)

1. Kanye West ($150 million)

Jay-Z, John Fogerty Drop Out Of Embattled Woodstock 50 Fest

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 12, 2017 Jay-Z performs in concert on the first day of week two of the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 13, 2017 in Austin, Texas.
SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP

 

Rap mogul Jay-Z has pulled out of an August bash commemorating Woodstock’s 50th anniversary, a source said Friday, the latest blow to hit organizers after months of setbacks.

Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity a source close to the matter said Jay-Z, arguably the top act, would no longer bring down the curtain on the festival that reportedly will now be held in Maryland on a smaller scale, instead of upstate New York where the 1969 blow-out took place.

Rocker John Fogerty — who played the original weekend of peace, love and music with his band Creedence Clearwater Revival — said he would be returning there to mark the anniversary but would not perform at the Maryland commemoration.

This is despite his having appeared alongside promoter Michael Lang in March to announce the Woodstock 50 line-up, where he was featured.

“John Fogerty knows where he will be for the anniversary weekend of Woodstock. At only one site… At the original one — the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts,” the artist’s team said in a statement obtained by AFP.

The August 16-18 Bethel Woods celebration — marking the original festival that saw hundreds of thousands descend on a dairy farm to see Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and other icons in the pouring rain — will feature sets from Ringo Starr, Santana and Fogerty.

Just weeks after Lang — who was behind the original weekend — unveiled the Woodstock 50 line-up, the festival’s lead financier announced its cancellation, citing production difficulties.

Festival organizers insisted the show would go on, but hit hurdle after hurdle, including the withdrawal of the planned venue at Watkins Glen, New York. The artists’ contracts were linked to that original venue.

Other towns in upstate New York denied permit applications for the event, until Thursday when The New York Times and Bloomberg reported that the fest, also slated for August 16-18, would be held at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.

Organizers have not responded to AFP requests for comment regarding the new location, which has a capacity of just 19,000, a far cry from the 100,000 people Woodstock 50 had once anticipated to descend over the three-day weekend.

Rapper Jay-Z Joins Cannabis Business

Hip Hop Rapper Jay-Z and Beyonce

 

Rapper Jay-Z has become the latest celebrity to enter the weed business, signing on to be the chief brand strategist for a California-based cannabis company.

The rapper said he reached out to the company Caliva after a wide search for a suitable partner in the booming industry.

“Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level,” he said in a statement posted on Caliva’s website. “With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos make them the best partners for this endeavor.

“We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.”

READ ALSO: Cancellation Of Nicki Minaj’s Saudi Concert Stirs Online Outcry

Caliva said as chief strategist, Jay-Z would help the company with its creative decisions as well as outreach efforts and strategy for the brand.

He will also focus on efforts to increase the participation in the legal cannabis business of people who have served time in prison and have been shut out of the fast-growing sector.

“Together, we hope to shape the conversation surrounding cannabis, foster equality and fairness in the development of the industry, promote awareness for the many uses and benefits of cannabis and empower consumers to feel free to use cannabis how, when, and where they want,” Caliva said in a statement.

The 49-year-old rapper, born Shawn Carter and married to popstar Beyonce, is the latest celebrity to get into the cannabis business which is spreading fast in the United States as more and more states legalize it for recreational purposes.

Rapper Snoop Dogg has established his own brand of marijuana and actress Whoopi Goldberg launched a line of medical marijuana products for women in 2016.

Jay-Z, who grew up in one of Brooklyn’s most notorious housing projects, was recently named by Forbes magazine as hip hop’s first billionaire thanks to investments in champagne, cognac, the ride-sharing service Uber and his Roc Nation entertainment company.

AFP

Jay-Z To Headline Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary Festival

Jay-Z performs in concert on the first day of week two of the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 13, 2017 in Austin, Texas. SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP

 

Contemporary heavyweights including Jay-Z and Chance the Rapper will headline this year’s Woodstock festival marking the 50th anniversary of the legendary concert weekend, organizers announced Tuesday.

Veteran acts that played the 1969 festival in upstate New York — considered a definitive moment in pop culture history — are also on the lineup set for August 16-18, including Santana, John Fogerty, Country Joe McDonald and Canned Heat.

The 2019 edition of peace, love and music will span the genres, in a bid to appeal to fans of the original weekend — where icons including Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin jammed in the pouring rain — as well as today’s young concert-goers.

Michael Lang — a promoter who co-created the 1969 show — had promised an “eclectic bill,” telling Rolling Stone that Woodstock 50 aimed to be “multi-generational.”

READ ALSO: Koffi Olomide Handed Suspended Sentence For Raping 15-Year-Old Girl

This three-day event to be held in Watkins Glen, New York is separate from one slated for the same weekend at the first festival’s site, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) away.

With a lineup that includes everything from hip hop to country with more than 80 artists, Woodstock 50 lives up to vows of widespread appeal, featuring a diverse billing of artists including rapper Common, rockers The Black Keys, pop futurist Janelle Monae and folk-rock troubadour Brandi Carlile.

“See ya in Aug! Performing on Friday, so I have all weekend to party!” tweeted pop star Miley Cyrus.

The 73-year-old Fogerty, frontman of the legendary rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, also tweeted his delight: “Come join me on my 50 Year Trip at Woodstock 50!”

“I was there 50 years ago in 1969 and I’m back to celebrate 3 days of Peace, Love, & Music.”

AFP

Jay-Z’s Lawyer Takes On Immigration Case Of Rapper 21 Savage

Rapper 21 Savage performs on stage during Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest / EA SPORTS BOWL at State Farm Arena on January 31, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

A lawyer who has represented rap mogul Jay-Z is defending 21 Savage, the young rapper facing deportation after US immigration agents arrested him on the grounds he is stateside illegally.

The 26-year old chart-topper — real name Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph — was detained in the southern city of Atlanta over the weekend by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who said the British citizen’s visa expired in 2006.

New York lawyer Alex Spiro, who has represented a number of entertainment figures, took on the case at Jay-Z’s request.

The attorney told AFP that the Grammy-nominated 21 Savage was incarcerated in a detention centre near Atlanta and called for his release on bail.

Spiro said 21 Savage had a pending visa application that is backlogged but would secure the artist’s immigration status.

READ ALSO: 21 Savage Faces Deportation After Shock Arrest

“The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years,” Jay-Z posted on Facebook.

The U visa is for victims of crimes who have faced mental or physical abuse. His team earlier had said it was filed due to his experience as a “victim of a deadly shooting in 2013.”

ICE has said the artist was convicted of felony drug charges in October 2014 — but Spiro said it was a marijuana conviction that was vacated.

The rapper’s legal team said earlier that he arrived in the US at age seven, staying there continually for almost 20 years except for a brief trip to Britain in 2005.

The statement said 21 Savage — long considered a local act from Atlanta, the capital of hip hop — arrived in the country at age seven and had been in the US continually for almost 20 years, save for a brief trip to Britain in 2005.

He has three children who are American citizens, which his lawyers say make him eligible for deportation relief.

“In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately,” Jay-Z said.

AFP

Rappers Meek Mill And Jay-Z Launch Criminal Justice Group

 

Rappers Jay-Z and Meek Mill announced Wednesday they are launching a new criminal justice reform organization aimed at “dramatically” reducing the number of people in the US prison system.

The group’s creation comes less than a year after Mill, 31, was released from jail after his harsh sentence for a parole violation sparked protests against racial biases in US probation laws.

REFORM Alliance is putting an initial $50 million toward “disabling the revolving door of probation and parole,” by “changing the laws, policies, and practices that perpetuate injustice,” according to its mission statement.

Along with Mill and Jay-Z, founding partners of the group include CNN commentator and justice advocate Van Jones, who will serve as the organization’s CEO.

The owner of the National Football League’s New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, along with National Basketball Association team co-owners Clara Wu Tsai (Brooklyn Nets) and Michael Rubin (Philadelphia 76ers) have also put their weight behind the cause.

“I’m here to speak for all the people who don’t have a voice,” said Mill, who was born Robert Rihmeek Williams and raised in North Philadelphia, an area notorious for drug violence, by a single mother after his father was killed.

Well before he ascended to rap stardom Mill was jailed on drug and possession charges in 2008 — and re-imprisoned in 2017 after a Philadelphia judge handed down a term of two to four years for a parole violation.

His incarceration triggered a public outcry, and Mill’s case became a flashpoint in the national conversation over the US criminal justice system’s treatment of black people.

His celebrity backers included activist and football player Colin Kaepernick and Jay-Z, who penned an op-ed in The New York Times on his fellow rapper’s behalf.

“Being from the environment I’m from, I don’t even think it’s possible for you to be an angel,” Mill said at the unveiling of REFORM. “You grow up around murder on a daily basis, you grow up in drug-infested neighborhoods on a daily basis.”

“I got caught up in the system, and every time I started to further my life with the music industry,” he said, “every year or two there was always something that brought me back to ground zero.”

REFORM’s current goal is to free one million people from the system in the next five years, with an initial focus on parole and probation.

There are some 6.6 million people in the US criminal justice system, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics — 4.5 million of them on parole or probation

Beyonce To Lead South Africa Anti-Poverty Festival For Mandela

FILE PHOTO: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES / AFP

 

Beyonce and Jay-Z will lead an A-list lineup to mark 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth in a Johannesburg festival by the Global Citizen movement to eradicate poverty.

The December 2 event, which will be internationally broadcast, will celebrate the late anti-apartheid icon and draw a number of leaders in an attempt to throw a spotlight on fledging efforts to eradicate the world’s worst poverty, Global Citizen announced Monday.

Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z will headline the music at the FNB Stadium alongside several other stars: Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, hit pop producer Pharrell Williams and R&B chart-topper Usher.

The festival will also feature some of the continent’s most popular musicians including South African hip-hop producer Cassper Nyovest and Nigerian artists Wizkid, D’banj and Femi Kuti, who is the son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.

Global Citizen said it hoped that the run-up to the festival would raise commitments of $1 billion to help the world’s poorest, with half of the amount aimed at women and girls.

Global Citizen has held festivals since 2012 in New York’s Central Park on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly to rally support, especially among young people, in the fight against poverty. The group has since branched out overseas with seminars and music in India, Germany and elsewhere.

Hugh Evans, the founder and CEO of the movement, said he expected the Johannesburg festival to be the biggest Global Citizen festival ever in terms of reach, symbolism and lineup.

“On every way that we measure outcomes — the number of citizens engaged, the number of policy outcomes that are achieved, the number of lives that are affected as a result of those policy outcomes — we believe it has the potential to be the most significant campaign we’ve ever been part of,” Evans told AFP.

Unlike traditional benefit concerts, Global Citizen distributes tickets for free to supporters who pledge to take actions such as writing their governments to support international development assistance.

For the Johannesburg edition, Global Citizen will also hand out tickets to people who are taking direct action for good including community health workers who conduct HIV tests or who instruct mothers on child nutrition as well as teachers and South Africans who recycle plastics.

Mandela as inspiration

Evans said that Mandela offered a model for the Global Citizen movement through his magnanimous efforts at racial reconciliation and democracy as well as through his focus on tackling poverty and global health.

Beyonce previously performed in South Africa in 2003 at a concert hosted by Mandela to raise awareness on HIV and AIDS. Two years later Mandela delivered a landmark speech in London’s Trafalgar Square urging concerted efforts to “make poverty history.”

But Evans said that the world was falling behind on the UN Sustainable Development Goals which include ending hunger and ensuring educational opportunities to all children, regardless of gender, by 2030.

While Britain, Germany and Nordic countries are meeting the UN-backed goal of devoting 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product to international aid, other major countries are lagging behind.

In the United States, President Donald Trump has called for slashing foreign assistance by one-third, although Congress has largely resisted his “America First” push on aid.

“The truth is the world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless there is greater political will,” Evans said.

Global Citizen said that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as the leaders of Norway and Ghana, plan to attend the December 2 festival in honour of Mandela, who was born on July 18, 1918.

AFP

Beyonce, Jay-Z Celebrate Marriage, Black Identity In Surprise Album

FILE PHOTO: Beyonce (L) and Jay-Z introduce Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) performance in support of her at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. PHOTO: Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

Music’s most famous couple Beyonce and Jay-Z pulled a surprise by releasing a joint album, a long-rumoured collaboration that celebrates their marital passion and black identity.

The pop diva and hip-hop superstar announced the album, “Everything is Love,” from the stage in London as they wrapped up the British leg that opened a global tour.

The album came out late Saturday exclusively on Jay-Z’s fledgeling Tidal streaming service and is not available on Spotify — a far larger platform, which Beyonce disses on the album in a string of F-bombs.

The couple also put out an elaborately choreographed video that takes place inside the Louvre museum in Paris for a song off the album, “Apeshit.”

The video opens with the couple standing regally in front of the “Mona Lisa” — Jay-Z in a light green double-breasted suit, Beyonce in a lavender pantsuit — and features a squad of scantily clad dancers moving sensually in front of Jacques Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon.”

Driven by warm, sultry soul with a largely hip-hop cadence, “Everything is Love” marries the styles of the two artists but is more consistent with the recent direction of Jay-Z.

The album shatters any lingering innocence from the early days of Beyonce, with the singer of “Say My Name” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” generous in the details of her sex life with Jay-Z.

An even more public marriage

The two stars have recorded together previously, notably on the Beyonce-led single “Drunk in Love,” but the album comes after an especially public window into their marriage.

Beyonce on her last solo album “Lemonade” in 2016 revealed infidelity on the part of Jay-Z, who a year later asked forgiveness on his own album “4:44.”

This year, as the title of “Everything is Love” implies, their relationship is apparently swelling. On her very first lyrics, Beyonce beckons to her husband, “Let’s make love in the summertime.”

On the final track, the joyously brassy “Lovehappy,” the two acknowledge past pain but also their efforts to reconcile.

“We’re flawed / But we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyonce sings.

As two of the most prominent African Americans in pop culture, Jay-Z and Beyonce have played increasingly visible political roles, from campaigning for former president Barack Obama to championing the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everything is Love” offers a paean to African American identity in “Black Effect,” which opens in Beyonce fashion with a monologue about self-love before a haunting soul sample.

Jay-Z on the song name-checks Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot dead in 2012 by a neighbourhood watchman in a Florida gated community, and raps, in a twist on performers’ rote calls for crowd gesticulation, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest.”

Saying no to Super Bowl

Elsewhere on the album, Jay-Z appears to confirm a report that he turned down an offer by the National Football League to perform at this year’s Super Bowl, the most-watched event on US television, with Justin Timberlake, ultimately playing American football’s title match.

Jay-Z is an outspoken supporter of Colin Kaepernick, the now-unemployed quarterback whose kneeling protest against racial injustice during the national anthem has triggered angry denunciations by President Donald Trump.

“I said no to the Super Bowl / You need me, I don’t need you,” Jay-Z raps.

“Every night we in the endzone / Tell the NFL we in stadiums, too,” he raps, likely referring to the racial dynamics in American football where almost entirely white owners employ mostly African American players.

The rapper, also known by the nickname Hov, takes aim more directly at Trump on “Salud!”, a song with Beyonce that inexplicably did not make the nine-track album but was released simultaneously.

Making no apologies for his success, Jay-Z raps, “Your president tweeting about Hov like he knows us / My road to the top was to take what you owe us.

AFP