This past weekend, Saturday Night Live kicked off their 43rd season with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest JAY-Z, who dropped his album 4:44 early this Summer. The Brooklyn-native rapper arrived on stage sporting a Colin Kaepernick jersey to perform “Bam“, his Jamaican dance hall fueled collaboration with Damian Marley. Later in the show, JAY-Z returned to perform the highly personal, spoken word apology “4:44“. You can check out both performances here.
JAY-Z’s bold performance of “Bam” arrived just after President Donald Trump took a stance against the run of political protests occurring during the national anthem before kick-off. This isn’t the first time JAY-Z has supported Kaepernick. During his set at this past Meadows festival, he dedicated his track “The Story of O.J” to the former San Francisco 49er.
Ongoing activism and use of political protest as art will more than likely surface over the course of JAY-Z’s upcoming North American tour, which runs through the end of December. Recently, he stopped by the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge to play 4:44 track “Family Feud” and his Linkin Park collaboration “Numb/Encore” in honor of the late Chester Bennington.
JAY-Z’s performance on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live was the perfect encapsulation of 4:44, which is definitively his most personal and politically involved album to date. HOV’s tour is one of the most highly anticipated concert tours to take place this Fall, not to mention any surprise guests he has in store for fans. We suggest getting your JAY-Z tickets soon.