On the latter note Bryan-Michael Cox, a Grammy-winning songwriter and close friend/collaborator of Jermaine Durpi, is alleging that JAY-Z personally phoned Dupri less than a year ago to advise him to turn down a similar deal. Though Cox didn't specify, the deal could be the NFL's bid to get Dupri to help put together free shows in Atlanta in the lead-up to this past February's Super Bowl 53.
"I'm not saying that it can't turn into some good shit," Cox said of the recently announced partnership. "We're also talking about a guy who single-handedly picked up the phone and called Jermaine to tell him not to do it.... When we all had that meeting with the NFL, all that shit was part of the same shit.
"I'm not gonna condemn it and be like, 'That shit's wack,'" Cox continued. "For me, I want to look at it intelligently because I know a lot of what was happening before and how we were engaged last year as a community.... At the end of the day, [Dupri] took a beating for doing the same shit. And I guarantee you they didn't pay him as much as they're about to pay [JAY]."
In the wee hours of Monday morning, Funkmaster Flex said he spoke to Jermaine Dupri, sharing on Twitter (in all caps), “Last year [Dupri] did get a call from JAYZ asking him.. ‘How deep are u in with the NFL?’ Expressing… ‘That might not be a good idea.’”
Flex then doubled down on Instagram in a long caption saying, among other things, “If Jayz saw what we all saw in the press conference and feels working from the inside while being paid and receiving a ‘stake’ in a team is the answer and can spearhead social justice from the inside he is our HERO for life!!!! BUT if he and the air personalities/social media influencers that Rocknation manages or wants to be managed by them have spun the ‘believe in Jayz... give him a chance’ campaign to line pockets... this will be remembered and NOT swept under the rug in a few months! TRUST!”
Dupri himself has yet to corroborate Cox's claim. You can watch the relevant conversation around the 14:35 mark below: