February 14, 2022

What Happened During The Super Bowl LVI Hip-Hop Halftime Show?

What Happened During The Super Bowl LVI Hip-Hop Halftime Show?

Hip-Hop Took Center Stage at the Super Bowl!

Today hip-hop took the biggest stage in America at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. In front of millions, the stage was set for Dr. Dre and a large cast of hip-hop legends to perform. Here’s what happened:

Who performed at the NFL Super Bowl LVI Half-time Show?

Dr. Dre
Snoop Dogg
50 Cent
Mary J Blige
Kendrick Lamar
Anderson .Paak on drums
ASL performers: Warren “Wawa” Snipe and Sean Forbes

What songs were performed at Super Bowl LVI?

The Next Episode – Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
California Love – Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
In Da Club – 50 Cent
Family Affair – Mary J Blige
No More Drama – Mary J Blige
good kid, m.A.A.d City – Kendrick Lamar
Alright – Kendrick Lamar
Freestyle bridge into Still Dre transition
Lose Yourself – Eminem
Still D.R.E. – Dr. Dre

Stage, Set, and Summary

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: 2 Chainz, Tyga, YG, Antonio Brown, Kanye West and North West attend Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The stage and set design are often a major feature of the Super Bowl half-time show. The set of the hip-hop halftime show looked very Donda-inspired, which was interesting as Ye sat front row. The set was simplistic, but efficient. The main stage was built of multiple smaller stages where artists emerged for their portion of the performance. The entire set was painted bright white, however many of the props were stylized in brown and beige.

It was reminiscent of Kanye’s 2021 “Donda stadium listening events,” with much higher production value.

There were dozens of dancers crip walking, big Cadillacs sitting on rims, and imagery referencing “DRE Day.” The West Coast rap scene was well represented. The inclusion of 50 Cent and Mary J Blige ensured that New York was represented in a mostly West Coast production.

More impressively – by the end of the performance the stage had accomplished a studio jam session feel to it, which felt authentic to the genre.

Reactions & News

The Super Bowl Halftime Show is probably the most highly analyzed event of the year. Fans were watching what artists were saying, or not saying. Hip-hop culture was bound to conflict with the general branding of the NFL.

The elephant in the room is Colin Kaepernick and the NFL’s continued failure to achieve racial equity within its ranks. In a highly politicized era, viewers saw Eminem kneel seemingly in solidarity with Kaepernick after performing Lose Yourself. Dr. Dre said “still not loving police” during Still D.R.E., whereas Kendrick Lamar didn’t say “we hate po-po” which is a lyric in Alright.

All in all, the reception of the hip-hop halftime show has been positive. Rap fans loved it, and most Americans under 45 are rap fans! Obviously critics of hip-hop and right-wing pundits found negative things to say, however their claims are largely unfounded and exaggerated.

Dr. Dre and his team killed it. Mary J, Uncle Snoop, Kung Fu Kenny, 50, and Em all put on a spectacular show – it’ll be interesting to see where the halftime show goes from here.

The whole performance can be re-watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdsUKphmB3Y