By: Skyler Johnson
The Super Bowl Halftime Show is always a performance to remember and is oftentimes defining for an artist. Audiences are consistently provided with top-of-the-line choreography, special effects, and artistic direction. This year was no different, with performances by five legendary hip hop artists, including Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and Snoop Dogg.
Unlike other past performances, Super Bowl LVI’s didn’t include a ton of huge, fancy getups and expensive sets. And, this is one of the few performances where there weren’t dramatic changes to the set and outfits throughout. No one performed on a chariot like Madonna, or on a metallic lion, like Katy Perry. Instead, the entire set was five white stages that looked like buildings, placed in a row, on top of a large, overhead shot of Compton that carpeted the field.
This Half Time performance made history as it was the first time there were five headliners and the first time the artists were predominantly hip hop/rap artists. Rappers have performed during the event beforehand (including Puff Daddy and Nelly) but never have there been that many at a time.
Another unique aspect of this Super Bowl was the color scheme. Most of the performers wore dark or earthy tones, save for Mary J Blige and Snoop Dogg. The former wore a striking, silvery-white outfit and the latter wore a regal blue suit.
There were sequences of intense choreography but not from the performing artists. The result is that the music shined through. And the track list was legendary. “The Next Episode” and “Lose Yourself” are just examples of some of the great, classic music that was played during this show. Unforgettable moments included a sequence where 50 Cent rapped “In Da Club” upside down, reminiscent of the iconic original music video. Eminem performed “Lose Yourself” with Anderson Paak on drums.
Kendrick Lamar delivered an intoxicating and beautifully choreographed performance of his hit songs “M.A.A.D. City” and “Alright.” For many, they saw their childhood compiled into one performance given how many artists and songs were represented.
At the center of it all is Dr. Dre, who produced many of the songs, and discovered many of the artists that were represented here. The artist who founded Dre Beats and other iconic brands was celebrated during this performance.
This performance came at a very interesting time for rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg. The rapper is known as both a Billboard no. 1 artist and an actor (Beach Bum, Soul Plane), who also hosts a cooking show with Martha Stewart. He has now purchased Death Row Records, a record label founded by Dr. Dre.
Overall, this Half Time Show, while not flashy or extravagant, was certainly one for the books.