Names and faces
Jay-Z performed his first headlining concert in three years in his hometown of New York City on Friday, a show that featured his popular hits and a dedication to NFL player Colin Kaepernick. The Brooklyn rapper kicked off the first of three days of the Meadows Music and Arts Festival at Citi Field in Queens, performing a 90-minute set that included his well-known songs as well as political moments. “I want to dedicate this song to Colin Kaepernick tonight,” Jay-Z said of “The Story of O.J.,” a song about blackness and managing money that also refers to O.J. Simpson. “I want to dedicate this to Dick Gregory. I want to dedicate this song to anyone that was held back and you overcame,” he added about the song from his personal and revealing album, 4:44. Kaepernick became a polarizing figure among NFL fans for his decision to sit, and then kneel, during the national anthem last season to protest police brutality. Gregory, who died last month, was a comedian and activist who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health.
U2 has canceled a planned concert for Saturday night in St. Louis, where crowds have been protesting the acquittal of a former city police officer who had been facing a murder charge in the shooting death of a black driver. In a statement Saturday morning, the Irish rock band — composed of Bono, David Howell Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. — and entertainment company LiveNation said they had been “informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size.” Friday night’s protests turned tense and sometimes violent as crowds descended on the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. Protests had been ongoing since the announcement Friday morning of a bench ruling acquitting former police officer Jason Stockley in the 2011 killing of Anthony Lamar Smith. U2 said fans who had purchased tickets to the show will be issued full refunds. Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran's concert, initially scheduled for tonight, was canceled for the same reasons.