We saw Jay Z keep the peace with Nas at Coachella earlier this year, performing onstage with his once rival. Now the Brooklyn native is lending his massive popularity to some issues larger than ancient hip-hop beef: Hov will headline this year's Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park, with the purpose of addressing and taking action against the issue of extreme poverty worldwide.
The September 27 event will also include Carrie Underwood, No Doubt, fun., Tiësto, and the Roots. This will be its third consecutive iteration, timed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Last year's show included John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Elvis Costello, and Kings of Leon, and the year before saw sets from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, the Black Keys, Band of Horses, John Legend, and K'naan.
The festival is expected to draw a 60,000-strong crowd. Driven by the Global Poverty Project, the fest will highlight issues of education, sanitation, and vaccination, pairing each with a possible solution. Most of the event's tickets are earned rather than bought, as would-be concertgoers are directed to participate in various awareness-building tasks such as tweeting, signing petitions, and watching videos.
"After last year's success, Jay Z put up his hand and said, 'I want to headline year three,'" Hugh Evans, chief executive of the Global Poverty Project, told the New York Times. "We sat down with people from his Shawn Carter Foundation and found that there are so many alliances between what they're trying to do and what we're trying to do."
"I think what we've found in the last year is that the movement has diversified," Evans continued. "It's incredible to have the king of hip-hop on one end of the bill, coupled with the king of EDM on the other end of the bill, and in the middle we've got one of the biggest country stars in America. There's so much diversity on this bill, and that's a very conscious decision."