Feb. 13 (UPI) — Some of hip-hops’ most iconic and celebrated artists rocked Super Bowl LVI during the halftime show on Sunday with club anthems of the 1990s and early 2000s.
With the Cincinnati Bengals heading into the half with the lead over the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, Calif., the field at SoFi Stadium became the house party of musicians Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Snoop Dogg.
Upon the roof of a series of five interconnected white boxes that evoked residential spaces that made up the set, Dr. Dre with Snoop Dogg kicked off the performance with their 2001 song “The Next Episode” that melded into “California Loving.”
Then below their feet, 50 Cent hung upside from the ceiling from which he rapped “In Da Club” before descending into the room filled with dancers.
Back on the roof, the soulful Blige belted out hits “Family Affair” and “No More Drama” before California’s Lamar received a rousing roar from the crowd as he rapped the explosive “m.A.A.d city” that transitioned into “Alright,” while suited men performed tight choreography around him on the field in front of the set.
The fast-mouthed Eminem followed it up with a rendition of “Lose Yourself” from the film “8 Mile“ that ended with him taking a knee as Dr. Dre tickled the ivories as he transitioned to his iconic song “Still D.R.E.” that he performed at the show’s closure with Snoop Dogg.
Ahead of the game, Dr. Dre told reporters during a press conference that the NFL has long overlooked hip-hop for their halftime shows and that their performance on Sunday would not only be “fantastic” and prevent the show’s executives from overlooking the genre in the future, but that it would open the door to up-and-coming artists.
“We’re going to show exactly how professional we can be, how dope we can be on stage and how exciting we’re going to be to the fans,” he said.
Reception to the show was almost instantaneous, with musicians John Legend and Fabolous praising the performances along with athletes James Harden and LeBron James.
“THE GREATEST HALFTIME SHOW I’VE EVER SEEN!!” LeBron James emphatically tweeted.