There are two types of people in this country— those who watch the Super Bowl for football, and those who watch it for the Halftime Show. Personally, while I do have an interest in football, I am 100% the latter type. This year’s Halftime performance was one that had me more excited than any other. As a huge appreciator of rap music and someone whose favorite genre of music is Hip-Hop, I went as far as to pay for a Peacock subscription just so I could watch that 15-minute performance live (which, speaking of, I really need to go back and cancel, BRB).
This year’s lineup was composed of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige. Without a doubt, this performance was an homage to rap. The question is, did it pay its respects properly?
If we’re being real, there were obviously many people who were not a fan of this lineup. I saw so many videos of predominantly white bars filled with stiff viewers who looked like they were listening in to a conference meeting as opposed to a concert. Sorry to all those people, but the 2022 Halftime Show was a rap show, and an amazing one at that. The show started out with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg spitting their famous hit, “The Next Episode.” Next, the duo moved on to a song written by Tupac Shakur, a man who both artists have high admiration for. Many predicted that “California Love” was going to be performed since the Super Bowl took place in Los Angeles, California. Another point that non-Hip-Hop listeners might have missed is the relationship between the artists themselves and the setting. Dre, Dogg, and Lamar are all California natives. Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem all are Dr. Dre’s prodigies, meaning that Dre discovered all three of these iconic rappers. These relations play a big part in the show’s theme.
50 Cent popped out for a surprise performance of his hit song “In Da Club”! After this single, Ms. Blige came in swinging with her classic “Family Affairs,” one of my favorite acts of the night. After Mary, beloved Compton born rapper Kendrick Lamar came in with the beginning of “M.A.A.D City,” and flung into the To Pimp a Butterfly favorite entitled “Alright.” Once Kendrick’s performance was over, we began to hear “Forgot About Dre” creeping in the background. Next thing we know, the roof of a part of the set is torn apart and Eminem rises out! My top rapper out of the five, I must say Eminem took a route I didn’t expect. While it may sound odd because it is arguably his most known song, many predictors did not include “Lose Yourself” as part of their Halftime predictions. Nonetheless, I think it was a good choice on his part because besides 50’s “In Da Club,” it was probably the most known song among non-Hip Hop heads. The show closed out with all performers coming together to sing Dre and Dogg’s collab song “Still Dre.”
The only true change I would have made to the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show was its length; I enjoyed it so much that I wish it could have been longer! Besides this, I suppose I have some opinions on the single Kendrick performed. I personally am not the biggest fan of “Alright,” and would have preferred for Kendrick to choose a different song from Good Kid Maad City or To Pimp a Butterfly.
This Halftime show was one that needed to be done. In an audience of presumably pop, country, and rock lovers (the Super Bowl audience primarily consists of non- POC folks, y’all), I am happy that some of the greatest rappers of all time were able to shake things up a bit and make people not so comfy, teehee.