Jay-Z explains why he was seated during Super Bowl LIV national anthem

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: Jay-Z attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording

Jay-Z is clearing the air.

The rapper and his wife, Beyoncé, drew criticism and praise for staying seated during the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.

TMZ was able to obtain photos of the couple sitting with their daughter Blue Ivy during Demi Lovato's performance.

Now, the outlet has obtained footage of Jay-Z, 50, explaining that he wasn't making a political statement but was actually observing the show.

Jay-Z visited Columbia University in New York on Tuesday for a Q&A session, and he was asked whether his sitting down was meant to send a message.

"It actually wasn't," he stated plainly. "Sorry."

He explained that he was busy observing the show, which he had a hand in producing thanks to a deal between his company Roc Nation and the NFL.

"We get there and we immediately jump into artist mode," he explained. "So now I'm just really looking at the show. Did the mics start? Was it too low to start?"

The rapper continued, saying that he wanted to make sure that fans at home could "really feel the music," so it was important to him that every aspect of the song was perfect.

He also noted that he was closely watching Yolanda Adams perform "America the Beautiful," critiquing what shots the cameras were capturing.

"The whole time, we're sitting there, we're talking about the performance and right after that, Demi comes out and we're talking about how beautiful she looked and how she sounds and what she's going through in her life for her to be on the stage, we're so proud of her," he said.

Additionally, Jay-Z said that he and Beyoncé, 38, wouldn't have put their 8-year-old daughter in that position.

"It just happened," he noted. "I didn't have to make a silent protest. If you look at the stage, the artists that we chose, Colombian [Shakira], Puerto Rican J-Lo ... we were making the biggest loudest protest of all."

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