The Super Bowl halftime show is now a hip-hop superhero event
Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Mary J. Blige are ready to kick the Super Bowl's ass.
Too much of a good thing is only bad when it isn’t great enough. Today, the first commercial for the Super Bowl LVI halftime show was unveiled, and it’s the type of excess hip-hop has perfected.
The ad honors the grandeur of the once-in-a-lifetime performance of Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg with hyperbolic visuals fit for a Marvel movie. Eminem works with a digital manifestation of his crazed Slim Shady alter ego while the pair craft his supersonic hit single “Rap God” by mixing and matching words out of thin air, which is honestly a logical explanation for how a human brain can offer rappers a Maxi Pad because they’re “havin' a rough time, period.” Snoop Dogg is cruising in a procession of low rider cars with the effortless cool that made people feel second-hand flyness from him simply spelling his name on records. Mary J. Blige is glammed up and the center of attention, living the cherished life of someone who’s been preaching about no more drama for more than 20 years. Kendrick Lamar is writing and discarding lyrics with the speed of Doctor Strange searching through all of time to find a reality where the Avengers can defeat Thanos. Hopefully one of those realities yields us the elusive follow-up to his Damn album.
But, the F. Gary Gray-directed commercial is anchored by one man: Dr. Dre.
Not only does Dre have the longest career of the five performers, but he’s also been the central figure of the halftime show months before it was announced at the end of September 2021. In a May 2021 interview with Yahoo, Snoop expressed his desire to be part of a star-studded Super Bowl halftime performance with Eminem and Dr. Dre, and proclaimed “whoever Dr. Dre wants to pull out of his hat to make this thing a professional event and make it big and the biggest effort [the NFL] can have.” Also, when the halftime show was announced, Dre was the only one of the five artists to release a statement about the “unforgettable cultural moment” the performance will be when they take the stage. So, it’s no wonder the commercial takes place on a chessboard made from the Inglewood neighborhood that will host Super Bowl LVI, with Dre putting the pieces in place like Marvel’s The Watcher with a bit more swag.
If this commercial makes you feel like you’re preparing for the latest Avengers movie, it’s because you practically are with this performance. These five artists have never performed live together nor have any of them toured in years, so seeing them on stage is tantamount to seeing an infinity stone in the wild. Lamar’s performance at Day N Vegas festival in December 2021 was his first performance in nearly two years, and the Super Bowl halftime show is looking like it’ll be his second. Dr. Dre had a guest spot in the storyline of the latest Grand Theft Auto video game, but he only comes out to perform when Tupac is being resurrected as a hologram or Eminem calls, and neither has happened since 2018. While Snoop and Mary have both performed in the last few months, neither have performed with any regularity over the last few years to diminish the rarity of their Super Bowl halftime show appearances. This is truly the gathering of some of the rarest gems in the entire hip-hop/R&B universe.
Eminem collaborates with his alter-ego like Bruce Banner working with The Hulk. Mary J. Blige creates a luxurious life out of her pain like Wanda Maximoff. Kendrick Lamar is a word sorcerer like Dr. Strange. Snoop Dogg is an OG that’s survived every era of hip-hop over the last 30 years like a THC-infused Captain America. And Dr. Dre is the mastermind bringing them all together like a version of Nick Fury with two functioning eyes and close to a billion dollars in the bank. For all intents and purposes, the Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 13 is the closest we’ll come to the Avengers being on screen for quite some time.