×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NFL, Roc Nation to Stage ‘Inspire Change’ Concert With Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor Next Week

The National Football League and Roc Nation today announced the first elements of their controversial new partnership: An apparel line called “Inspire Change” and a “Songs of the Season concert series, the first of which will take place in Chicago’s Grant Park on Sept. 5 and feature Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody.

The programs were announced during a press conference in New York earlier this month. The apparel line is “a new social enterprise model,” according to the announcement, that “will fund and support Inspire Change programs across the country,” including such “key priorities” as education and economic empowerment, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform,” although it does not specify which specific organizations are involved. The Inspire Change apparel line, designed by artists, will be available later in the 2019 season.

Songs of the Season is a multi-tier, season-long initiative that will highlight superstars and emerging artists of all genres. The selected musicians will create and deliver a song to be integrated in all NFL promotions each month during the season. The songs will debut during an in-game broadcast and will be simultaneously released to all digital streaming platforms worldwide. All proceeds from the songs will go toward Inspire Change.

Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody will be the first Inspire Change advocates of the 2019 Season and will perform a free concert at the “NFL Kickoff Experience” in Chicago’s Grant Park on Thursday, September 5. Also performing will be Chicago-based DJ Pharris.

A portion of Meek Mill and Meghan Trainor’s performance will be featured in simulcast coverage of the 40-minute pregame show from Chicago from 7:30 – 8:10 PM ET on NBC and NFL Network.

The partnership was officially announced by Jay-Z and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at an Aug. 14 press conference at Roc Nation’s New York offices.

While the conference was generally genial, at times the exchanges between the two and reporters became contentious with regard to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose controversial symbolic kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racial inequality in the U.S. has essentially seen him drummed out of the league.

Jay and Goodell said that they both have had conversations with Kaepernick, but declined to reveal any details about those conversations, or what his stance on the partnership may be.

“I would never tell you what me and Kap’s private conversation was about,” Jay said, “but we spoke, yeah.” Reps for the quarterback later contested the pair’s characterization of the conversations.

Earlier, asked how he could enter into this partnership while Kaepernick remains without a team, Jay said, “I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice so in that case this is a success — this is the next thing. There’s two parts of protest: the protest, and then there’s a company or individual saying ‘I hear you, what do we do next?’ For me it’s about actionable items, what are we gonna do about it? We get stuck on Colin not having a job, you know what I’m saying? And this is more than that.

“I support any protest that’s effective,” he continued. “I’m into action, I’m into real work — I’m not into how it looks from the outside. If protesting on the field is the most effective way, then protest on the field. But if you have a vehicle that can inspire change and speak to the masses at the same time, it’s hard to steal the narrative away.”

Asked if Kaepernick has been blackballed, Goodell said that “any team” can sign him.

More Music

  • XXXTentacion

    Album Review: XXXTentacion’s 'Bad Vibes Forever'

    This might be a lousy way of expressing it, but, the last few weeks have been a great time for moody, Nirvana-inspired, emo-punk, SoundCloud rappers… or their fans, anyway, since not all the artists are around anymore to enjoy the spoils. For better or worse, Tekashi 6ix9ine might have handed his prosecutors a get-out-of-jail-early card [...]

  • Biggest Scandals Feuds and Apologies of

    Biggest Scandals, Feuds and Apologies of 2019

    Variety looks back on some of the biggest scandals, feuds and apologies of 2019: College Admissions Scandal Wealthy parents including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged with bribing school officials to get their unqualified kids into prestigious universities. Shane Gillis Executives at “SNL” hired, then fired, Gillis in September, before the new season started, [...]

  • MODEL RELEASED Mixer, assistant at computer

    Women Who Man the Boards: Five Engineers Powering Today's Hitmakers Sessions

    Women behind the boards at recording studios is hardly a new phenomenon. Susan Rogers famously engineered some of Prince’s most beloved albums in the 1980s; Linda Perry first made a name for herself as a producer at the turn of the millennium; there wasn’t a console Imogen Heap didn’t command; and, last year, Emily Lazar [...]

  • The Two Popes Netflix

    'Two Popes' Walk Into Abbey Road Recording Studio (No Joke)

    The soundtrack to Netflix’s “The Two Popes” is the tonally diverse product of Grammy Award-winning musician Bryce Dessner who was tasked by director Fernando Meirelles to score the film, generating large-scale cinematic energy to unseen, intimate moments between religious figures.  Scheduled for release on Friday, Dec. 20, “The Two Popes” explores the friendship between Pope [...]

  • And released by the Chicago Police

    R. Kelly Faces Charge of Bribery for Obtaining Fake ID to Wed Underage Aaliyah

    Among the many numbers that R. Kelly is finding do matter: the growing number of charges pending against him. One more significant one has been added: a charge that the singer bribed a public employee to obtain a fake ID for his then-15-year-old bride, Aaliyah, in 1994. Her marriage to Kelly, who was 27 at [...]

  • Julia MichaelsJulia Michaels in concert, O2

    Julia Michaels on Working With Selena Gomez: 'You Had a S---ty Ex-Boyfriend Too?'

    Julia Michaels could brag about being the voice behind several No.1 hits like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and, most recently, Selena Gomez’s “Lose You To Love Me.” But she won’t — the singer and hit songwriter is too humble. Michaels — who will receive the Citi Voice of Impact Award at Variety’s Hitmakers event on Saturday [...]

  • Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division nominee

    DOJ Sides With Irving Azoff Against Radio Stations

    The Department of Justice is taking sides in another hot-button antitrust battle, this time siding with Irving Azoff’s upstart music licensing firm against a group representing 10,000 radio stations. The DOJ Antitrust Division filed a brief on Thursday arguing that the Radio Music License Committee may have engaged in illegal price-fixing when it refused to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content