After weeks of struggling to find additional acts for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, Maroon 5 confirmed on Sunday that rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott will join them on stage at the February 3 event. Scott reportedly used the performance as a bargaining chip with the NFL, asking the league for one major request before he officially agreed to take the stage. The “Sicko Mode” rapper said he would only perform if the NFL donates $500,000 to a charity of his choice, according to E! News.
A statement that the rapper released about his decision revealed that he chose Dream Corps., an organization founded in 2015 by CNN’s Van Jones. The Dream Corps organization focuses on social change. The organization’s website states that they are a “solutions-oriented” organization that aims to “create a better future for all.”
“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in. I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation,” Scott said. “I am proud to support Dream Corps. and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.”
After hearing the news, Jones took to Twitter to thank Scott for his important decision.
“This is great news! Welcome, @trvsXX. Glad to have you with us, brother,” he said.
Neither Maroon 5 nor the NFL have addressed the Dream Corps donation yet.
The announcement came after a difficult months-long search for artists to perform the halftime show, in light of the Colin Kaepernick controversy. Maroon 5 reportedly reached out to over half a dozen acts — including Pink, Rihanna, and Cardi B — all of whom refused to take the stage. Most of them said no in protest of the NFL fining players who take a knee during the National Anthem, a movement that Kaepernick started as a player for the San Francisco 49ers, according to Consequence of Sound.
“Nobody wants to be associated with it,” an inside source told Consequence of Sound.
Kaepernick is currently involved in a legal battle with the NFL, alleging that they kept him off of the field as a result of the protest.
Other acts, such as Mary J. Blige, simply declined the offer because of prior obligations.
Amy Schumer, a known critic of the NFL, reportedly asked Maroon 5 to step down from the scheduled performance multiple times. Meanwhile, fellow rapper Meek Mill called out Scott in December for his rumored involvement in the show, according to the Daily Beast.
“He don’t need that he on fire already! Stay strong in this,” Mill tweeted at the time.
Super Bowl LII will air on February 3 on CBS.