Was the hip-hop Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show the greatest of all-time?
With an average viewership of 112.3 million, this year’s Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show can be considered as one of the bests. According to NBCUniversal, the West Coast musical event drew the best ratings in the past five years across television and streaming.
For the first time ever, the hip-hop genre was the main feature at the NFL’s championship stage including a number of hip-hop’s historical acts with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar. Surprise guest 50 Cent joined the show, and although he’s not originally from Los Angeles (neither is Eminem nor Mary J), he took the opportunity to bring SoFi Stadium to the club.
Hit after hit, Dr. Dre’s resume was on full audio-spatial display starting with “The Next Episode” as Dre stood up on a custom built setup of the Inglewood suburbs forming as the hip-hop Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show’s main stage. Lights beamed on Snoop just a couple houses down while he performed his verse. On the back side of the stage, we noticed the sign of Inglewood’s Tam’s Burgers, immediately sparking cravings for some chili-cheese fries.
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“California Love” got the whole crowd cheering even more, and though it would’ve been the perfect moment for Dre to get into his Mad Max costume from the music video, no wardrobe changes were made. Dre and Snoop then pointed down under the roof, where 50 Cent popped outta nowhere hanging upside down and followed to perform “In da Club”, a 2002 track from 50’s debut album which Dr. Dre produced.
Mary J. Blige’s turn was next where came out in a crystal-embellished bodysuit and sang her r&b hits “Family Affair” and “No More Drama”. The cameras then cut towards a theatrical rendition of Kendrick Lamar’s “m.A.A.d city” and “Alright”, filled with an all Black cast of background dancers.
Down at the side of the stage, Eminem continued the list of throwbacks with “Forgot About Dre” and his Grammy winning mom’s spaghetti, “Lose Yourself”. Anderson .Paak elevated from the building’s roof as the hip-hop Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show’s second surprise guest and synced right in while playing the drums. Dr. Dre paid a piano tribute to the legendary 2Pac with “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” which transitioned to a performance of “Still D.R.E.” to cap off one of the greatest halftime shows in Super Bowl history.
In comparison, the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show saw a 7% increase in viewership from the previous year’s performance by The Weeknd. This year’s big game was aired on NBC, Telemundo, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, NFL’s digital platforms, and Yahoo Sports.