Throughout his industry tenure, Jay-Z has overseen the careers of several musicians as one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Forbes’ top wealthiest hip-hop artist of 2018 and founder of music label powerhouse Roc Nation.
Sri Lankan femcee M.I.A. was one of his protégés from 2012 through the end of 2013. However, in a new Huck Magazine interview, she claims that a sticky situation with the NFL proved that her then-manager wasn’t the leader she thought he was.
The “Paper Planes” artist sat down with the magazine to speak about her new documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.
In this discussion, she recollected the 2012 Super Bowl Halftime controversy where the NFL filed a $16.6 million lawsuit against her for flipping her middle finger at the camera during her performance. M.I.A. eventually reached a settlement with the organization two years later. But prior to the deal, she alleges that Hov urged her to sign into another settlement proposed by the NFL that she likened to slavery.
“If you’re talking about racism and sexism, that moment in my life showed the cracks in everyone I knew,” Huck reports of her statement. “I was at Roc Nation at the time and Jay-Z was managing me. The lawsuit was so ridiculous, it proposed that they would keep 100 percent of my earnings for the rest of my life if I ever earned more than $2 million dollars. Jay-Z was like, ‘You should sign that sh** and I was like, ‘no.’”
She added that people scrutinized her for rejecting the deal simply because things could be worse.
“A middle finger, it’s like, get a f**king grip,” she said. “People were like, ‘Oh, you’re lucky you’re not in jail, give up all your profit, be this slave for the rest of your life.’”
Hov has never commented on the matter nor the severance of Roc Nation’s management relationship with her. Thus, it’s safest in this case to take her claims with a grain of salt.
(Photo: Mike Pont/FilmMagic)