In terms of nostalgia, the show seemed like it was set in the year 2000.
Dre and Snoop Dogg kicked off the show by performing “The Next Episode,” followed by “California Love,” a duet featuring Dre and Tupac Shakur on top of a gigantic white multi-house structure with parked automobiles and a slew of dancers.
Next, in a surprise performance, 50 Cent joined the celebration by performing “In Da Club” in an improvised party setting, commencing with a literal upside down act.
R&B singer Mary J. Blige next sang “No More Drama” in front of the stage, surrounded by guys in black wearing “Dre Day” sashes, before Lamar’s performance of “Alright.”
Eminem then, sank to his knees and cradled his head in his palm after singing his Grammy and Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself.” An action that sparked outrage on social media after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s social justice protest.
After that, Dre sat down at the piano to play his legendary opening notes of his song “Still Dre,” and the whole crowd gathered on top of the middle building structure to cap off the act. On the drums, Anderson.Paak also made a notable appearance.
The NFL engaged Jay-Roc Z’s Nation to “amplify the league’s social justice efforts” to stage the third consecutive Super Bowl performance. The Weeknd put up a spectacular pandemic-era event last year, while Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed at Roc Nation’s debut gig, which was well-received.
This year’s version comes three years after the NFL was chastised for hiring Maroon 5 to headline the coveted event in Atlanta, long regarded as America’s hip-hop capital, which regularly attracts a crowd of over 100 million people.
Country musician Mickey Guyton, dressed in a sleek royal blue gown and accompanied by a gospel choir, sang a moving version of the US national song before the game on Sunday. Jhene Aiko, backed by a harpist, performed “America the Beautiful” at the pre-game spectacle as well.