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The Super Bowl LVI halftime Show, Sunday, February 13th, 2022, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif, Reviewed

Dr. Dre should be the one to represent Black Excellence in Los Angeles, he has has had a breathtaking career dating from N.W.A. in 1987 to the selling of Beats electronics to Apple in 2014 and the biographic movie “Straight Outta Compton” in 2015. That’s just a skim. Hell, he discovered Eminem in his spare time.

With the Los Angeles Rams beating the Cincinnati Bengals at the Superbowl yesterday at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, and I guess with the Beach Boys not available, it was left to Dre and four superstars to make hip hop safe again. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post has been having at the n word using, misogynistic, NC18ish stars of rap (here)… wait, he put it better, “(Today’s) Super Bowl halftime show will be loaded with black “entertainers” whose standard fare references black men as “n—as,” young women as discardable sexual expletives, worships guns and who perform while holding their crotches.” Anybody would think he was listening to Chicago Drill. And though it is difficult to deny that the calling card for rap has been, among other things, claiming American culture as its own through a terrifying refraction of the Watts not sucker punched to warehoused young black men, it is thirty odd years later and the cutting edge of rap were not those men any more (well, maybe Kendrick)… Dr. Dre is LVI himself (56 years of age), Mary J. Blige is 51, Snoop Dogg is 50, Eminem is 49, 50 Cent is 46, and Kendrick is the new kid on the block at 34. These characters are too damn old to be threatening, sure Snoop has been to jail but so has his friend Martha Stewart.

The set, like the game itself, was pretty good. Eminem took a knee in protest of police brutality after a strong “Lose Yourself”, Mary J won the MVP award for “Family Affair” (produced by Dre back when) and “No More Drama”, Snoop was under used, Fitty was a surprise add, and Kendrick disappeared into the show despite two songs. Dre has never been much on stage.

It was an easy going summation built to offend no one but Phil Mushnick, and an exciting breather during a close game. Not just what were once vices are not habits but also yesterday’s rebels are today’s mainstream. Personally, if they had gotten Brian and Al to join, I’d have wanted a repeat visit from the Beach Boys, the 1998 Super Bowl Halftime show -Brian wasn’t there but Glen Campbell sure was, is one way to celebrate Cali. In the interim, just chill till the next episode…

  1. “The Next Episode” – Snoop Dogg
  2. “California Love” – Dr. Dre
  3. “In Da Club” – 50 Cent
  4. “Family Affair” – Mary J. Blige
  5. “No More Drama” – Mary J. Blige
  6. “M.a.a.D City” – Kendrick Lamar
  7. “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar
  8. “Lose Yourself” – Eminem
  9. “Still D.R.E.” – Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg

Grade: B

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