Hip-hop headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show for the first time ever as Dr. Dre and his iconic proteges inhabited the stage on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.


The memorable 15-minute act was produced in part by Jay-Z’s entertainment and sports company, Roc Nation, and it featured a list of hip-hop heavy hitters including Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and surprise entrant 50 Cent, who were all poetically led by Dre after the NFL wanted to address some of the skeletons in their closet – several years of grappling with an assortment of racial controversies.

The league has faced scrutiny about its commitment to diversity and social justice both on and off the field. After he was fired last month, the Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores sued the league this month claiming he and others had been discriminated against in the hiring process. Despite 70 percent of the league’s players’ being black, the NFL has no Black owners, and until recently, only one Black head coach.

Nonetheless, the LA-themed set rolled out smoothly with Dre in all-black sitting in a seat in front of a mock mixing board, a board which he has used the tip of his fingers on to pioneer the hip-hop-culture by producing head-nodding beats, many of which symbolize palm trees and a drive down the California sunset in lowriders that were showcased on the set as spotless as can be. Snoop Dogg popped up with his unique swagger dressed in all blue as the show kicked off with “The Next Episode,” followed by “California Love,” without the rumoured hologram of Mr. California himself, Tupac.


50 Cent was surprisingly introduced as he stood upside down, paying homage to his music video that was released back in 2003 when he was the hottest thing since sliced bread. He performed his classic hit “In Da Club” as the G-Unit superstar pulled up in his trademark white tank top and white headband as the ladies danced around him.

Mary J. Blige dressed up in all white stood on the roof of the house-themed LA-themed set. She performed the two hits that gave her the title of the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.” Blige began singing “Family Affair,” one of the hardest beats a singer can express their overpowering vocals over, which Blige did successfully. This was followed by Blige’s “No More Drama,” which started off in a mellow tone but quickly took off much to the crowd’s amusement.

Kendrick Lamar introduced himself with his record “m.A.A.d city” surrounded by several men dressed up in all black suits, and blonde hair, rocking sashes engraved with “DRE DAY” on them. K-Dot brought the energy in an enthralling performance with his powerful delivery and dazzling moves full of vigour and graft. “King Kendrick” captivated the crowd with “Alright,” where the line “We hate po-po” was omitted. Instead, he rapped “We hate,” paused over the beat, and then continued with “Wanna kill us in the street fo’ sho.” This was due to the rumours that the NFL patrolled the lyrics of the song.

The chorus of “Forgot About Dre ” was performed as the face of the stage tore apart and up came Eminem. One of the most riveting guitar riffs of all time started and the California crowd erupted and maintained the eruption throughout “Slim Shady’s” overpowering performance of his Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself.” Eminem ended his performance by taking the knee despite rumours of the NFL’s opposing point of view on it. The Detroit Rapper has previously shown support to former NFL player Colin Kapernick in his record “Untouchable,” when the quarterback took the knee in 2016 to call attention to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality.

Dr. Dre returned to close the show by playing Tupac’s “I Ain’t Mad Acha” on the Piano. The rest of the performers returned as they closed the show off with “Still D.R.E.” They stood in unison with raised fists and embraced the overwhelming California crowd.

Published by HOLR Magazine.