When they announced the lineup for the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, we must admit we were a little confused. The five headliners — Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar — are all legends in their own right, but they aren't necessarily known for show-stopping spectacle when it comes to performances. However, with the game taking place in LA and Dr. Dre being the central figure of the set, we knew we were going to get a true salute to the West Coast.
Dre and Snoop rightfully kicked things off with "The Next Episode" as the performance took us to Compton with a set that included miniatures of landmarks such as Dale's Donuts, Eve's After Dark and Tam's Burgers. The two rhymers and homies stood on top of the buildings as the band (which included music director Adam Blackstone on bass) kicked it in the set's lower level. They then transitioned to the appropriate "California Love" as Dre rapped and Snoop crip-walked up a storm.
The audience's attention was soon directed down below as the set's surprise guest 50 Cent hung upside down to recreate a scene from the video of his 2003 hit "In Da Club" while the crowd went wild. He eventually found his way back to the ground as a troupe of sexy dancers went off like it was their birthdays. His section ended with him pointing back upward, leading our eyes to Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige.
The singer and her dancers were decked out glittering silver outfits as they got us crunk up in the dancerie with her Dre-produced hit "Family Affair." Mary rocked the song like only she could before segueing into "No More Drama" for a moving moment.
Mary's set quickly changed to take us to Kendrick Lamar, who gave us a medley of his adrenaline heavy "m.A.A.d city" and crowd pleaser "Alright" while suited and booted in all-black and surrounded by golden-haired men wearing "Dre Day" sashes. While everyone definitely rocked the crowd, it was safe to say that K. Dot undoubtedly understood the assignment as his militaristic choreography and bigger-than-life swagger turned the energy all the way up.
Once Kendrick's set was done, it was on to Eminem, who went into "Lose Yourself" with Anderson .Paak there to assist on drums. The moment got everyone hype in the stadium and ended with Em taking a knee in respect to the protest of players in prior years.
The focus then went back to Dre, who dropped crowd pleaser "Still D.R.E." to close the show as dancers in khaki Dickies sets and skullies crip-walked to the beat. He was then joined by all the previous performers as they struck a pose in salute of the West Coast hip-hop pioneer and the city he calls home.
The halftime show not only was a fine showcase for the music that put Los Angeles hip-hop on the map more than three decades ago, but it also made sure that no one would ever forget about the musical contributions of Dr. Dre.- Advertisement -