By Morgan Sung, NBC News
The 2022 Super Bowl halftime show, which featured a handful of hip-hop legends, was a love letter to Black history in Los Angeles. And millennials were here for it. The show, held at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, featured performances from hip-hop legends Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige and a surprise appearance by 50 Cent. Some online, including Los Angeles Lakers legend LeBron James, hailed it as the “greatest halftime show.” Many praised it for showcasing Los Angeles pride and leaning in to nostalgia.
Here’s a look at moments that stood out.
50 Cent surprised viewers
50 Cent, who wasn’t previously announced as part of the halftime show lineup, performed “In Da Club.” He opened his set upside down, a callback to the song’s music video, which was released in 2003.
Eminem took a knee
Eminem knelt while rapping “Lose Yourself.” Some suggested he did it as a dig against the NFL, which penalized former player Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.
The NFL reportedly pushed back against Eminem’s request to take a knee and tried to censor an anti-police lyric. While performing “Still D.R.E.,” Dr. Dre recited the lyric “Still not loving police.”
But an NFL spokesman said the league did not try to stop Eminem from kneeling.
“We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
Set paid homage to L.A.
The set featured architectural reproductions of Tam’s Burgers, Randy’s Donuts and the Compton courthouse, as well as a map of Compton on the stadium floor.
“THIS HALFTIME SHOW REALLY IS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE BORN AND RAISED IN LA,” wrote one Twitter user.
Many on social media also celebrated the show’s references to Black history in Los Angeles.
“This is the blackest NFL halftime show. happy black history month!” wrote one Twitter user.
The performance thrilled millennial and Gen X hip-hop fans.
The show especially spoke to millennial hip-hop fans, who were thrilled by the legendary rappers.
Some joked that loving the show meant they were aging.
“if you loved the halftime show as much as i did don’t forget your anti-aging moisturizer tonight,” one Twitter user wrote.
“The Super Bowl giving the people what they want: a medley of the songs they listened to in middle school,” journalist Kevin Fallon tweeted.
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