Hip-Hop made its mark on the history of Super Bowl halftime shows. The highly-anticipated performance came to reality on Sunday night (Feb.13) at Inglewood, Calif.’s SoFi Stadium as the L.A. Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals played for the NFL championship title.
On a massive all-white set featuring notable monuments and places from the City of Angeles, Dr. Dre kicked off the nostalgic night in front of a soundboard and introduced Snoop Dogg. After Snoop appeared atop one of the buildings in a blue-printed fit, the two stars went right into their respective verses from Dre’s 2001 hit, “The Next Episode” and transitioned into Tupac’s West Coast classic, “California Love.”
50 Cent made a surprise appearance and took us back with his 2003 single, “In Da Club.” After starting his performance upside down (just like in the song’s music video), Fif turned right side up in a white sweatband and tank top as he delivered a one-song performance in a ladies-laden set of dancers.
Shortly after, Mary J. Blige appeared in an all-white, silver-accented outfit and knee-high boots custom-designed by Peter Dundas. With backup dancers scattered around the stage, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul kept the energy up with her 2001 record “Family Affair.” In true Mary fashion, she slowed things down with her single, “No More Drama.”
Dressed in all black, Kendrick Lamar came in hot with a militant performance of his 2012 number, “m.A.A.d city” as he performed on the ground level featuring a glowing, aerial streetscape of the city of Compton. As he performed his 2015 record, “Alright,” blond-haired dancers rocked “Dre Day” sashes and danced around him in various formations in front of the legendary Eve’s After Dark nightclub.
Eminem popped up in his 8 Mile hat and hoodie getup rapping the chorus of “Forgot About Dre.” As he performed his 2002 hit, “Lose Yourself,” Silk Sonic’s Anderson .Paak appeared on the drums along with the night’s musical director Adam Blackstone and his BBE band held down the live instrumentation (they actually held down the musical arrangements throughout the night). Another highlight of the night came at the tail end of Eminem’s performance when he kneeled as a nod to Colin Kaepernick.
The Los Angeles love and crip walkin’ were at an all-time high for the last number, Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.” All of the acts came together at the top of the white stage to close out their nearly 14-minute halftime show.
You can watch the halftime show (executive produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment) on the NFL’s official YouTube channel.