The halftime show at the Super Bowl this past Sunday left its mark on its fans. If you didn’t catch the Super Bowl, here’s a quick rundown: Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige performed in front of the world. They symbolized the evolution of hip hop over the last three decades, showcasing the progress and impact it had on culture and history.
This year’s Super Bowl halftime show was arguably the most star-studded to ever hit the stage at the halfway point of the NFL’s biggest game of the year. There were sign language interpreters, hidden references, and missing lyrics during the halftime show. We tracked down a few halftime show details you probably missed during this year’s performance, so check them out via Buzzfeed below.
20. Sign Language Interpreters
This halftime show took another step towards inclusion by showcasing deaf rappers Sean Forbes and Warren “WaWa” Snipe. Sign language interpreters were at the halftime performance for the first time in fifty years, taking a major step in history for a better cause. Deaf performers, who may have previously felt alienated from performing, were included in the show with open arms. This is a beautiful step towards human connection and showing how many different types of musical talent there is. This is a halftime show detail you might’ve missed.
“My goal is to get out there, show what we can do, and have fun. And I want to open the door for other deaf performers,” Sean said. – via Variety
The halftime show is all about having fun and expanding possibilities of performance and talent. This is one of the best ways to do so, opening the doors for many people and making performing that much more accessible to those who previously thought otherwise.
During the performance, Snoop Dogg’s debut album “Doggystyle” could be seen in the background (via Buzzfeed). If you take a close enough look, you’ll spot some interesting references from the halftime performance. It’s pretty smart of the NFL to do this, and sort of makes it more interesting, like a secret scavenger hunt. “Doggystyle” was originally released on November 23rd, 1993, by Death Row Records. It’s like spotting an artifact that made history.
History was made at this halftime show. It was the third halftime show executive produced by Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by Jay Z, which has faced some controversy in the past.
“His sports and entertainment company, Roc Nation, partnered with the NFL in 2019 in order to “enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and amplify the league’s social justice efforts. With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Jay-Z said in a press release. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas – instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.” – via Sporting News
If you were watching the halftime show closely, you might have noticed Kendrick Lamar’s missing police lyric. We’re not sure if it was censored by the network, or if Lamar purposefully left it out, but it was surprising nonetheless. If you weren’t paying attention, this is probably a halftime show detail you might’ve missed.
“Since it was released in 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” has served as a rallying cry against police brutality, even becoming a protest song for the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2020 national reckoning with structural inequality. The song deals with racist violence and injustice, and its message explicitly calls out police brutality… Later in the show, Dr. Dre did perform the line “still not lovin’ police” from “Still D.R.E.” – via Time
Usually, other artists perform, but this year made history by asking multiple hip-hop artists to perform. This is the first time that the halftime show featured this many hip-hop artists as the main act, making history. – via Buzzfeed
This is empowering for hip-hop artists across the world, and performing at the Super Bowl shed a lot of light on their talent and messages portrayed in their music.
“We’re gonna open more doors for hip-hop artists in the future and making sure that the NFL understands that this is what it should have been a long time ago,” Dr. Dre said. “You understand what I’m saying? We’re gonna show exactly how professional we can be, how dope we can be on stage and how exciting we’re gonna be to the fans. We’re gonna let you know what it is.” – via Sporting News
If you take a close look at the Eve After Dark sign, you’ll notice several names underneath. These are the names of the surprise performers for the Super Bowl. We can see all of their names: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and Dr. Dre. If you missed it, maybe it’s a good thing. You would have enjoyed the surprise that much more. – via Buzzfeed
Also, If you took a look at the sign, you would have noticed Anderson .Paak was performing before he jumped on the drums. It was a clear giveaway that many of us probably missed. Sometimes, when things are too obvious, they slip right past us.
“As if having five titans of hip hop headlining the halftime show wasn’t already a wealth of talent, 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak made prominent surprise appearances during the show. 50 Cent performed a rousing rendition of his Dr. Dre-produced hit, “In Da Club,” even going so far as to roguishly recreate the music video for it by hanging upside down from the top of the set. Meanwhile, Anderson .Paak emanated pure joy as he played the drums during Eminem’s dynamic performance of “Lose Yourself.” – via Time
In 2012, Madonna brought on CeeLo Green, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, and M.I.A. Since then, only a few artists have performed at the halftime show. This year, there were five performances again.
“This is tricky partly because you’ve got five artists and a finite amount of time, limiting the number of songs that will fit even after they’re chopped into medleys as Super Bowl acts typically do… Snoop Dogg: “Drop It Like It’s Hot” is a fun, catchy song, and perfect for the guys and the girl to join in… Kendrick Lamar: He does “Humble” in the halftime show trailer, but our pick is “All The Stars,” his Oscar-nominated song from “Black Panther.” And the bonus you’re getting for the finale: “California Love,” by the late Tupac Shakur, featuring Dr. Dre, and name-checking cities all across the state including Inglewood, which SoFi calls home.” – via Mercury News
We can all agree that when performers have a matching look, it adds to the entire thing. Did you notice that the dancers during Kendrick Lamar’s segment had matching beards and matching dyed hair? This might have been a halftime show detail you may have missed. – via Buzzfeed
This is a surprising fun fact, a few of the performers were all locals. Both Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre are from Compton, and Snoop Dogg is from Long Beach. They’re all nearby, which makes the performance even that much more special.
“In that soft drink ad, Lamar rides a tricked-out Stingray bicycle to SoFi. Snoop swings by the beach in his lowrider with hydraulic jacks to give Dre a lift. They don’t need to consult Google maps to get around; this is their turf.” via Daily News
Did you notice the “Dre Day” sashes and boxes? They were a reference to the 1993 Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg song. – via Buzzfeed
This halftime show keeps getting more and more clever with their hidden messages. If you missed these messages this time around, maybe next year, you’ll take a closer look and scrutinize every sign and outfit you see in case there’s a hidden meaning behind it.
If you’ve seen 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” video, then you might have caught on to why he started his performance upside down. Even though it’s speculation, we believe he started his performance upside down in reference to his “In Da Club” video. – via Buzzfeed
It might seem surprising that the halftime artists perform for free. Luckily, the NHL covers the costs of the performance, so the artists don’t have to spend any money. This is a halftime show detail that many people don’t know about.
“The surprising truth is that halftime performers aren’t paid to perform at the Super Bowl. Per league policy, the NFL covers all costs related to the production of the halftime show, but the performers don’t take home a paycheck (although the NFL foots the bill for their travel expenses).” – via Esquire
While “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” was performed by Tupac on the piano, Eminem took a knee.
“Kneeling has become symbolic of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 demonstration against police brutality and racial inequality, in which he kneeled during the national anthem, so it was a charged moment when Eminem knelt on stage after his performance of “Lose Yourself.” While Eminem did not explicitly state he was kneeling in solidarity with Kaepernick, the visual was powerful and sparked meaningful dialogue.” – via Time
In the background of the final section of the halftime show, a “Compton” flag waved. This not only celebrated Los Angeles but Compton as well. Many fans loved seeing this flag waving around. The flag wasn’t the only display of Compton, either, and is probably a halftime show detail you missed.
“The show started with Dr. Dre displaying a map of Compton. Then the stars performed on a set built to look like different locations in Compton, including the Los Angeles County courthouse at 200 West Compton Blvd.” – via Daily News
Not only were several performers from California, but Eminem and Mary J. Blige are from Detroit and Yonkers, New York, respectively.
“Dr. Dre and Eminem have worked together often on each other’s albums and songs such as “Guilty Conscience,” “Forgot About Dre,” and “I Need A Doctor.” Dre cowrote Blige’s song “Family Affair,” and she’s done features on his songs such as “The Message.” – via Daily News
Not only did F. Gary Gray direct the show’s trailer, but he also directed “Straight Outta Compton,” which featured Dr. Dre. He seems like the best person to choose to direct the Super Bowl’s trailer. – via Buzzfeed
People were placing halftime bets. Were you one of those people? Maybe you didn’t even realize you could place bets, and might even be a halftime show detail you missed. It’s a fun way to get more involved in the halftime show, that’s for sure.
“Prop bets, which are wagers not connected to the actual game, cover topics such as which performer will be first on stage — Dr. Dre is the favorite, followed by Mary J. Blige — and whether or not there will be more than 8.5 songs performed in the show. You can bet on whether Eminem will be censored during his performance and which song is likely to be played first. “California Love,” our pick for the finale, is favored in the latter. And, of course, you can lay a bet on whether cannabis connoisseur Snoop Dogg lights up during the show. Probably not, right? But the fun money says yes.” – via Daily News