Dre, Snoop and friends put on an epic Super Bowl halftime show

Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press

Published Sunday, February 13, 2022 9:51 PM EST

Last Updated Sunday, February 13, 2022 23:16 EST

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) – Dr. Dre & Co. lifted the weight of hip-hop culture on the Super Bowl stage, endured the pressure of skeptics, and delivered a powerful half-time show to prove that edgy rap can succeed in the world’s biggest sporting event.

All it takes is hip-hop’s most controversial figure – and one knee taken by music’s most prominent white rapper.

Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar headlined along with 50 Cent as special guests at Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show. Their collective form was one of the best since halftime Beyonce and Bruno Mars in 2016.

Each player offers their own element: Dre, Snoop Dogg and Lamar bring their taste of the West Coast. Blige – known as the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” – sings and dances to her heart’s content. 50 Cent hit the music rewind button with “In Da Club.”

When it was Eminem’s turn, he performed some of his hits starting with “Forgot About Dre” with Anderson .Paak playing the drums. He appeared to defy the NFL by kneeling after performing “Lose Yourself,” even though the league said it knew it would.

Eminem remained on his knees for a moment while Dre sat at the piano and played Tupac’s “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”.

Dre, a prolific producer, kicks off the show by standing behind a ballot table above a makeshift white house. He introduced Snoop Dogg – dressed in a blue bandana – who performed several classics such as “The Next Episode” and “California Love.”

After that, Snoop Dogg shouted, “The West Coast is making a fuss.” The rapper’s statement showcases their unabashed effort to provide an outstanding glimpse of Southern California music – especially the lowrider cars mounted on stage.

As in his “In Da Club” music video, 50 Cent started his set upside down wearing a white tank top.

Blige appeared on the roof with many dancers playing his classic melody “Family Affair” then performing “No More Pain.” The device seamlessly went to Lamar who was wearing a black suit who was joined by other black men wearing the same outfit as him.

After Eminem’s performance, the six joined together as Dre raps “Still Dre.” Their closing action featured a row of dancers wearing khaki clothes.

Six legendary performers – notably Dre and Snoop Dogg – performed clean versions of their songs for PG audiences. At first it felt a bit strange, because there were several examples of swear words being replaced with safer ones.

On the NFL national stage, it worked in their favor. Why? This shows that hip-hop can be performed in various versions and still be attractive to the ear.

Jackson Wintringham

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