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‘Everything Is Love’ takes its shot at the NFL over Colin Kaepernick

Jay-Z joins these rappers in throwing shade at the league, the NCAA and NBA

I learned two things from Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s surprise joint album Everything Is Love.

The first thing I learned was that love truly conquers all. Beyoncé really shouldn’t have taken Hov back. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing black power couples — especially those that have half a mind to avoid the spotlight. But six years into their marriage, Solange famously beat the brakes off of Hov in an elevator. Whatever he did, it most likely warranted that reaction, if not more.

The second thing I learned was that The Carters are rich! From shooting videos at the Louvre like it’s nothing to throwing shade at the Grammys, it seems that the Carters have entered into a whole new level of wealth. The most explicit shot, however, was hurled at the NFL, with Jay-Z declaring it needs him more than the other way around. That line got me thinking. How often do artists criticize the governing bodies of professional and amateur sports? The answer: more than you might expect.

Below is a list of songs in which artists take jabs at some aspect of amateur or professional sports — and yes, there’s a lot of Colin Kaepernick:

  • French Montana, “Dance Move (feat. Fabolous & Wale)” (2012): “I think the NFL must think I’m a damn fool/ Every time I touch down I bust a dance move/ They used to have a movement now they can’t move (Fabolous)
  • Jay-Z, “La Familia” (2013)
    • “NFL investigations. Oh don’t make me laugh”
  • DJ Khaled, “They Don’t Love You No More” (2014)
    • “F— the NCAA, n—–!/ Let a young n—- get paid, n—-!” (Jay-Z)
  • Eminem “Campaign Speech” (2016)
    At a traffic stop gettin’ harassed, sign an autograph/ For this a—– cop’s daughter/ Laugh ’cause I called her a brat on it/ He spat on it and brought it back lookin’ half in shock/ Had a heart attack and dropped dead/ Started fallin’ back with it/ And got slapped with a Colin Kaepernick practice sock
  • Flatbush Zombies, “Aries” (2016)
    • Guess the NBA our reparation (Meechy Darko)
  • Wale, “Heisman Watch” (2016)
    • USC, would you please give Reggie his trophies?/ And I hope the NCAA pay the players like coaches.
  • Lupe Fiasco, “Kneelin’ on Needles” (April 2017)
    • You would think that Kaep took a shat/ On the Statue of Liberty
  • Jay-Z, “Legacy” (2017)
    • That’s major, just like the Negro League/ There was a time America wouldn’t let us ball
  • Trae the Truth, “I’m On 3.0” (July 2017)
    • We gon’ take the White House and get back in it/They tried to turn us into the villains like Colin Kaepernick” (Chamillionaire)
  • Rexx Life Raj, “Ventilation 3.0” (2017)
    • What’s the point NCAA testing can’t roll a joint/ But honestly I’d rather be Kanye West than a Colt McCoy
  • Miguel, “Come Through and Chill (feat. J. Cole)” (November 2017)
    • Know you’ve been on my mind like Kaepernick kneelin’/ Or police killings, or Trump sayin’ slick s—/ Manipulatin’ poor white folks because they ignant/ Blind to the struggles of the ones that got the pigment” (J. Cole)
  • N.E.R.D & Kendrick Lamar, “Don’t Don’t Do It!” (2017)
    • Pac-man wanna prosecute you/ Raise your hand up, and they’ll shoot ya’ “(Kendrick Lamar)
  • Big Sean & Metro Boomin, “Savage Time” (2017)
    • You couldn’t stop these plays even if I was ineligible/ Kneeling like Colin Kaepernick if that s— unethical” (Kap)
  • Lil Wayne, “XO Tour Life” (December 2017)
    • Do it look like I’m playin’? Kaepernick
  • Uncle Murda, “Rap Up 2017” (2018)
    • The NFL a new KKK clique/ Look how them owners done blackballed Kaepernick
  • Vic Mensa, “Diplomatic Immunity Freestyle” (2018)
    • Not the NBA and the NFL are the new Willy Lynch show ya how to be slaves
  • PRhyme, “Era (feat. Dave East)” (February)
    • F— you, your national anthem, that s— don’t concern me’/ Cause it’s your country” (Royce da 5’9”)
  • Wale, “Salary Kaep” (May)
    • Call Goodell, we need to speak and s—/ Rap a piece about that CTE/ And give Kaepernick a new team to check
  • Nas, “Cop Shot the Kid” (2018)
    • Reminds me of Emmett Till/ Let’s remind ’em why Kap kneels
  • The Carters, “APESH*T” (2018)
    • I said no to the Super Bowl: you need me, I don’t need you/ Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too.

C. Isaiah Smalls, II is a Rhoden Fellow and a graduate of Morehouse College from Lansing, Michigan. He studied Cinema, Television and Emerging Media Studies. He was Editor-in-Chief of The Maroon Tiger.