Dr. Dre’s Super Bowl Halftime Show performance has been one of the biggest musical events of the year, as the legendary producer set the stage ablaze alongside fellow stars Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige. The historic moment served as evidence of the mainstream’s continued embrace of Hip-Hop culture. However, according to Dre, the performance may not have ever occurred if it weren’t for the encouragement he received from rap legends Nas and Jay-Z.
During an appearance on Dolvett Quince’s Workout the Doubt podcast, Dr. Dre revealed he had second thoughts about the opportunity and admitted that he feared being deemed a “sellout” for working with the NFL despite the league’s response to shows of protest by Colin Kaepernick and others.
“I was absolutely concerned about that,” the acclaimed hit-maker shared. “I actually called a couple of close friends and said, ‘Listen, I’m gonna pull out. I’m not gonna do the show. Because I don’t know if I want that smoke. I don’t know if I want the backlash after doing the show and potentially looking like a fucking sellout or something like that.’”
Dre said amid his doubt, a conversation with Nas put him back in the right frame of mind to view the bigger picture and how the opportunity was too significant to pass up on. “I got on the phone with Nas. He called me up and was like, ‘Yo bro’ — you know, Nas has that voice — ‘Yo bro, you gotta do it. You gotta do this. It’s gonna be so powerful for f**king Hip Hop, for the culture, for you, for L.A. and the whole nine.’”
Dre also recalled getting advice from Jay-Z on the matter, who received mixed responses about his own partnership with the NFL in years prior. “We were on the phone for like 10 minutes, and he talked me into doing it,” Dre said of his longtime collaborator. “Nas and Jay-Z were big reasons why I decided to do the show.”
Watch the clip of Dr. Dre sharing his comments below.