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Hip Hop takes center stage at the Super Bowl

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige & Kendrick Lamar headline the biggest music event of the year

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 14 Feb 2022

GOAT producer and all-around Hip Hop trendsetter, Dr. Dre, announced a few weeks ago that he, along with Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar would be the entertainment for this year’s Pepsi Halftime Show at Super Bowl 56. The game would be played in Los Angeles, so these West Cost Hip Hoppers were the perfect pick for the hometown crowd. It was also a big win for Hip Hop as after 48 years, it would be the main draw for the biggest music event of the year.

The trailer was released and people were getting excited. Lighthearted memes were made with things like “If you know all the words to the songs at the halftime show, you need to schedule a colonoscopy” on them.

As the hype was building, the Los Angeles Rams won their playoff division and it became a game with a home team advantage as they were taking on the Cincinnati Bengals. While the game was exciting, a lot of people were ready for the halftime show to begin.

The elaborate stage set up had five different performance areas. Dr. Dre was in the center on the roof at the control boards as the first notes of ‘Next Episode’ played to a huge roar in the 70,000 person stadium, with an average ticket price of US$9,000. “Da da da da da/It's the one and only D-O-double-G [Snoop Dogg!]/Da da da da da/You know I'm mobbin' with the D.R.E.” were the first lyrics on this PG version of a Hip Hop concert that the whole world was watching.

Snoop, fresh off becoming the owner of Death Row Records, showed out for the Crips in his full blue bandana outfit and went down into one of the performance areas and grooved with the live band as Dre rapped his verse. Then, Dr. Dre did his verse from ‘California Love,’ and it was one of the best synergies of sports and Hip Hop since Jay-Z and Alicia Keys played ‘NY State of Mind’ at a Yankees game in the World Series after 9/11.

Then, the first guest star showed up upside down. 50 Cent recreated the most famous scene from ‘In Da Club’ as he hung upside down and rapped a verse to his biggest hit. It’s been 19 years since ‘In Da Club’ was released and 50 is now a Hollywood mogul and isn’t in quite as good of shape as he was in 2003, so be prepared for a slew of 50 fat jokes.

Next up was Mary J. Blige and of course she did the Dr. Dre-produced ‘Family Affair’ and added ‘No More Drama’ in there just for the fans. She ended her performance with a flop on her back, which must have hurt afterward.

Then it was Kendrick Lamar’s turn to shout out the Pirus and Crips in ‘M.A.D.D City.’ The performance got very theatrical as all his dancers with blonde beards and hair were wearing Dre Day sashes. After his first verse, Pulitzer Kenny went into the Black Lives Matter anthem ‘Alright.’

Joining the greatness on the big stage was Eminem, as he rapped the chorus of ‘Forget about Dre’ acapella-style, then had a live band for ‘Lose Yourself,’ a song made for stadiums. Anderson .Paak is a part of the Dr. Dre universe, so he was on the drums for Eminem’s set, and he even jokingly sold ‘We're with Eminem’s drummer’ T-shirts on his IG page right after. Once his set ended, Em got down on one knee, defying the NFL, to give a shout out to Colin Kapernick and earning the respect of people everywhere.

As the performance of a lifetime came to a close, Dre got on the piano and started playing the notes that Scott Storch came up with for ‘Still Dre.’ The dancers really got loose on this one wearing their Dickies and Chuck Taylors doing the Crip Walk in the stadium. All five superstars got on the roof together and ended the show with fireworks.

It didn’t really matter who came out on top in the Super Bowl because Hip Hop was the real winner today.

Check out Pepsi Halftime Show by following this link.