Jay-Z kicked off Super Bowl XLIV with a dramatic performance that foreshadowed a great game. The show opened with a pregame music video, featuring Jay-Z, Rihanna and the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. They delivered a mash-up of “Posthumous Zone,” the theme song to The NFL on CBS, and “Run This Town,” Jay-Z’s hit single off the 2009 Blueprint 3 album.
The video began with a pianist and Rihanna’s recorded voice-over. The screen flashed the faces of Saints and Colts players, before focusing on Jay-Z emerging in an ornate, columned room with 65 musicians. The video intermixed action footage of the two Super Bowl teams to heighten energy and anticipation, and culminated with the rapper holding the Lombardi Trophy above his head.
According to HipHopRX.com, the Rutgers Symphony filmed the 2:35 video with Jay Z in New York City on Tuesday. The school got the nod for the job likely because the adaptation’s composer had prior experience with the Rutgers marching band.
“It’s a totally different part of the performing arts,” maestro Kynan Johns told HipHopRX.com. “For classical musicians, it’s not really what we teach and not really what we do.”
But merging musical styles might be something that should be done more often because it certainly got the goosebumps going early.