September 29, 2022

Dr. Dre And Eminem Bring The Tits To The Super Bowl Halftime Show

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Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige, and Kendrick Lamar headlined the famous half-time show at the Super Bowl on Sunday, putting hip-hop front and center. But what if there were too many hooks in the pot?

We’ve all been to a house party when no one can agree on what music to play.

You might hear the first verse of a song, and if you’re lucky, the chorus, but it’s never long until someone fiddles with the playlist and changes the music impatiently.

Half-time shows during Super Bowls often resemble this, albeit on a much larger scale, as performers attempt to fit as many of their songs as possible into a condensed 14-minute set.

This year, the problem was expected to be even worse. With five joint headliners, the question looming over the hip-hop half-time concert in 2022 was how to do credit to the stars’ extensive discographies.

Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige, and Kendrick Lamar, in the end, achieved the perfect balance between cramming as many monster smashes as they could while also giving each other time to breathe.

Dr. Dre, a rapper and super-producer, kicked off the act by emerging from the floor in front of a massive mixing desk. Within seconds, The Next Episode’s instantly recognizable refrain played, and Dre’s first co-star appeared alongside him.

“La-da-da-da-dah / It’s the one and only D-O-double-G,” sung one of rap’s most recognizable voices, as Dre and the crowd cried “Snoop Dogg!” in unison.

Any doubts regarding this year’s lineup were quickly dispelled when the audience roared in applause. Hip-hop had made it to the Super Bowl for the first time.

It wasn’t long until the track gave way to the song’s characteristic opening bars. California Love was an obvious choice for a half-time show honoring West Coast hip-hop, and included Dr. Dre rapping some of the late 2Pac’s most famous lines.

While a rumored appearance by a hologram of 2Pac did not materialize, Dre’s performance was a fitting homage to a rapper who died in 1996 at the age of 25, but is now regarded as one of the best ever.

That wasn’t going to cut it at the largest US TV event of 2022, so this half-time show featured pricey cars, a full live band, a swarm of active dancers, and a clever set design that allowed the hip-hop giants to fluidly weave between songs.

The stage comprised of five neighboring living rooms, each of which appeared to be hosting a distinct party.

The rooms were connected by passageways, allowing the five stars to roam freely between them to collaborate and appear in each other’s songs.

The entire affair appeared to have been influenced by Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” video (and doubled as a representation of what a retirement home for rappers might look like).

Es Devlin, a British set designer who was recently in the news for her work on Adele’s cancelled Las Vegas residency, was responsible for this superb staging.

Songs would overlap as the stars passed through the rooms, with some performing on the roof, some from within their rooms, and one even hanging from the ceiling, which was the biggest surprise of the night.

As if the five headliners weren’t enough, 50 Cent made an unexpected appearance by hanging upside down in a replica of his most popular music video, In Da Club. Despite the fact that he was out of breath, the crowd erupted in applause.

Given the backlash over Janet Jackson’s nipple and MIA’s middle finger at previous half-time concerts, hiring five rappers with a loose attitude toward profanity could have been a risk, to put it gently. However, all five kept things surprisingly, if not dissatisfyingly, clean.

Curse words were replaced with family-friendly lyrics, and Eminem’s appearance near the end of the event was the only thing that came close to causing controversy (more on that in a sec).

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