Remember “Welcome to Atlanta”? And the remix? Of course, you do. Well, who better to welcome Super Bowl fans to the city than the artist behind those hot jams, Jermaine Dupri himself?!
It’s officially happening. The famous rapper and So So Def producer is in charge of the concert series featured by Super Bowl Live, a ten-day festival of live music, food, and entertainment taking place in downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Park. Oh, and it’s free!
No lineup has been announced yet, but Dupri, who was raised in Atlanta, says he feels obligated to showcase a variety of Atlanta artists during this event. But since the Super Bowl and the festivities that surround it are also a family affair, he wants to avoid acts with profanity. For that reason, he’s waiting for performers who say they’re going to “keep it clean.”
He’s partnered with the NFL to pick and produce the entire show despite Super Bowl boycotts by other major artists like Rihanna and Jay-Z, who don’t agree with the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. He disagrees with that idea, saying that using your voice and platform to promote your cause is a better way to accomplish things.
Dupri told TMZ Sports, “[B]eing the unofficial man of the city… caring about the way people viewed my city forever and ever, I feel like it’s my job to make sure the ‘Welcome to Atlanta Experience’ is the best that you ever had for those who still do support Super Bowl weekend.”
It’s no secret that Atlanta is a major hotspot for hip-hop acts. Hopefully, Dupri’s choices for these concerts will appease the locals who were a little upset (angry) that the selected halftime performers, Maroon 5, had no real connections to the city. Especially when there were so many quality local options like Outkast, Jeezy, Migos, and Gucci Mane to choose from…
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she warned the host committee that “there might be some uprising in Atlanta if we didn’t have some representation.”
Like Dupri told Atlanta Magazine, “[There’s] no city musically like Atlanta. No city has had a run the way that we have for this many years, with this much talent and this many artists. It’s really important to see that the committee paid attention to that.”
It’s possible that he already has some inspiration for who his headliners should be. Dupri mentioned that he loved the crazy energy of the three sold-out shows Outkast once performed right there in Centennial Park a few years ago. He said that’s what he feels like this should be. Of course, the city has produced other genres besides hip-hop, and Super Bowl Live is expected to show off those as well. Dupri says he’s looking for a diverse blend of artists.
As we mentioned, Super Bowl Live is also a free concert series, so even those without tickets to the Super Bowl (or the wallet to buy them) can attend and enjoy the music. The mayor acknowledged that downtown is adjacent to some of the most underserved neighborhoods in the city, so this event is great for allowing the many, rather than just a privileged few, to participate in the atmosphere and excitement of having the Super Bowl come to town.
According to Dupri, “It means a lot, especially to make sure people from out of town leave with the right mindset of what Atlanta is about.”
Dupri did just make headlines for canceling almost all of the dates on his “So So Def Cultural Curren$y Tour,” except the show in Atlanta, because he needs more time to “properly produce his vision.” With only 87 days left until the Super Bowl, let’s just hope he’s got enough time to bring together his vision for Super Bowl Live.
These events give the host committee a chance to show off what Atlanta is all about. Dupri doesn’t care about any NFL controversies, saying, “For me, this doesn’t have anything to do with football. It has to do with people coming to my city.”
Super Bowl Live will be presented by Verizon, starting the weekend before the big game, from January 26 through February 2. Just FYI, there are no concerts on the 29th and 30th. There will be tents and stages all throughout Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta.
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