Hip-Hop Meets Halftime

This year’s halftime show was one of the most anticipated Super Bowl performances of the year.  It featured a West Coast hip-hop vibe, bringing together artists from R&B and rap like Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and Dr. Dre, with special guest, 50 Cent. The halftime show opened up with Dr. Dre who emerged from the set. Snoop Dogg joined him for their collaboration on “The Next Episode.” 50 Cent then joined them to play his hit song “In Da Club,” by reenacting his music video and hanging upside down. We then shifted over to the R&B part of the show with Mary J. Blige, who performed “Family Affair” and “No More Drama.” The drama continued when Kendrick Lamar and his dancers jumped out of boxes wooing the crowd. He performed “M.A.A.D. City” and “Alright” looking extremely sharp in his all black suit and sunglasses. The final performance ended with Eminem, who performed “Lose Yourself .” The artists were trying to create nostalgia. All of these artists performed together in the past and they wanted to rewind the clock to the late 90s and early 00s. 

This Superbowl was the first ever to focus on rappers.  Roc Nation, a group founded by Jay-Z, that has produced the last three halftime shows, was hoping that this collaboration would create more opportunities for the hip-hop community. When asked what this performance was all about, Dr. Dre said, “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. 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.” Considering that this is the first time ever that hip-hop has been featured it wasn’t clear what the reception would be. However, since the performance, there has been a lot of positive feedback that the ratings also confirm. 

The 2022 halftime show and a large audience. 1.2 million households just watched the halftime show but ended up tuning into the second half of the game. There was a 12% increase in viewership for this year’s superbowl but, there was an even bigger increase for this year’s halftime show. An additional 19% of households tuned in from last year’s performance by The Weekend. 

Neither of those shows, however, cracked the top five all time viewed performances. The top five most watched performances were Katy Perry with Lenny Kravitz & Missy Elliot with 120.7m in 2015. Lady Gaga who performed in 2017 had 117.5 million views. Coldplay with Beyonce and Bruno Mars in 2016 had 115.5 million views. Bruno Mars with The Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2014 had 115.3 million views. And in fifth place was Madonna with Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, M.I.A. & Nicki Minaj in 2012 with 114 million views. The 2022 halftime show does not compare to these previous performances in numbers. However, many people still tuned in to watch this iconic collaboration. This production hopes to garner more opportunities for hip-hop artists and the NFL to collaborate. It is clear from the response, that many people saw the talent of these artists and enjoyed the performance.


Sydney Bruns