If you haven’t been living under a rock, by now you probably know that the L.A Rams were the winners of this year’s Super Bowl, adding them a second championship in their history. But that was not the only historical event we witnessed. For the first time, hip-hop was the main genre at its half-time show led by icons such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar.
Having such important artists, most of them known for their constant defying of the system and supporters of representativity and inclusion, they, of course, turned some of their performances into political statements.
Here are some easter eggs you probably missed but will let you understand why it was one of the greatest shows in Super Bowl history.
The show was a tribute to Compton, California
A projection on the floor showed the city of Compton and on one of the sides a replica of the city’s Martin Luther King Monument was displayed and a flag with the word Compton was waved.
The scenography included other Compton’s landmarks like Tam’s Burgers, one of the oldest sandwich stores in California, Dale’s Donuts famous for its giant donut sign, and even a sign of hip-hop nightclub “Eve After Dark”, where Dr. Dre was a DJ.
Most of the talent was local
Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar are both from Compton, California; while Snoop Dog is from Long Beach. Eminem is from Missouri, and both Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent are from New York.
Snoop Dog made a tribute to her late mother
When Snoop Dog appeared inside of a trailer, in the background you can see two milestones in his life: the cover of his debut album Doggystyle and a picture of him with his late mother Beverly Tate who passed away last October.
Two deaf rappers performed
For the first time in Super Bowl history, two deaf rappers performed making it the first time that sign language was included in a half-time. The rappers were Sean Forbes and Warren “WaWa” Snipe who were chosen by Dr. Dre himself.
“I want to open the door for other deaf performers,” Sean said to Variety prior to the show.
50 Cent made a reference to his video clip
When 50 Cent appeared on stage, he did so by hanging upside down, a clear reference to the “In Da Club” video.
It was the first time a Pulitzer Prize winner performed at the Super Bowl
It was back in 2018 when Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize thanks to the lyrics about racial injustice, police brutality in his album D.A.M.N that, according to the organization, captures the complexity of modern African-American life.
Though he didn’t perform any of the album’s songs, Kendrick did stick to his way of criticizing the system and made a political statement while singing “m.A.A.d City”.
Eminem and Dr. Dre also did a political statement
If you blinked maybe you missed it, but it is now one of the most powerful moments in the half-time. Eminem kneed at the end of “Lose Yourself” in reference to the movement Colin Kaepernick started in 2016 to demand racial justice.