Promoter quashes press reports.
Despite press reports, rapper Jay-Z's Shanghai concert is "not necessarily canceled," according to the event's promoter, Emma Entertainment. "It might still happen as initially scheduled on Oct. 23. It might be postponed, and it might be canceled. We can't say for certain yet," said an Emma spokeswoman. She suggested, but would not confirm, that the company was still negotiating with the cultural bureau for a performance permit.
State-owned English-language paper Shanghai Daily recently cited a representative of promoter KS Productions as saying that the cultural bureau had denied permission for Jay-Z to perform due to objections to the rapper's lyric content. However, the Emma spokesperson says KS Productions is not involved in the planning of the concert. "There are a lot of agents and online ticket-sellers, but they are not affiliated with the event."
Emma, the two-year-old China branch of an American promoter, has previously organized concerts for artists including the Rolling Stones, the Backstreet Boys, and Whitney Houston.
To date, Jay-Z has not officially released any albums in mainland China. A representative of the Universal Records' Shanghai office explained that, of the label's hip-hop catalog, only two albums by the Black Eyed Peas have been distributed in China. The Black Eyed Peas played here in July.
"There's a big audience for hip hop here, but we haven't released many hip hop albums in China because it's hard to get approval from the ministry of culture," which annually authorizes a very limited number of foreign albums for import," the Universal executive explains. "It's not a matter of our company's decision, but rather that this country's culture and government are not receptive."