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Halftime recap: Rap legends stun with nostalgic Super Bowl show

The much-talked-about halftime show at Super Bowl LVI featured countless iconic performances.  – Photo by NFL / Instagram

Super Bowl LVI took place this past Sunday at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and although the Los Angeles Rams took home the win in an extremely close game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the annual halftime show was the main topic of conversation.

The annual Super Bowl halftime show is a yearly performance that millions of people look forward to, creating buzz within the music and pop culture worlds. Every year, the general public theorizes who will be the headliner for the show — and the outcome is never disappointing.

This year's halftime show featured a star-studded lineup of popular rappers and singers from the 90s and early-2000s, like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and a more popular, modern-day rapper, Kendrick Lamar. There was also a surprise guest appearance by 50 Cent.

The stage was shaped to resemble multiple local businesses from the city of Compton, California, such as Tam’s Burgers, a local favorite. A map of the city was laid out underneath the stage to act as the backdrop for the performance, which was meant to be a love letter to California.

The show began with Dr. Dre sitting in front of a sound panel, flexing his skills as a well-known music producer and rapper. Snoop Dogg then appeared to perform their joint 2000s hit, “The Next Episode.”

The duo continued on with a tribute to the late rapper Tupac Shakur, performing his 1995 hit “California Love” featuring Dr. Dre. It was reported that there would possibly be a hologram of the late rapper during the halftime show, but it ended up just being a rumor.

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s tribute to Tupac was followed by a short guest performance from 50 Cent, where the New York rapper performed his 2003 hit “In Da Club.”

Following 50 Cent’s surprise appearance, powerhouse Blige took over the stage, adorned in a white bodysuit and thigh-high boots covered in silver cheetah print. She began her part of the performance by singing her 2001 hit “Family Affair."

After the first upbeat performance, Blige slowed it down and gave a soulful performance of her 2001 hit “No More Drama.” She delivered killer vocals and a feeling of 2000s nostalgia with this song.

After Blige’s portion of the halftime show concluded, the atmosphere completely changed as Lamar took over, offering a short interlude performance with his 2012 hit song “m.A.A.d city” featuring MC Eiht. Next, Lamar broke out into a spew of robotic dance moves while performing his 2015 hit “Alright." Lamar’s exciting performance, paired with his unmatched flow, made for an unforgettable experience.

Following Lamar’s portion of the show, Eminem burst onto the stage, reciting lyrics from his 2000s collaboration with Dr. Dre, “Forgot About Dre." Eminem then jumped into his 2002 hit “Lose Yourself” which was featured on the soundtrack to his first credited film appearance, “8 Mile.” The song's famous electric guitar riff in combination with his steady flow had the crowd singing along to every word.

At the end of his performance of “Lose Yourself,” Eminem took a knee in reference to Colin Kaepernick, showing his solidarity with the former football player.

After Eminem’s performance, Dr. Dre took over the piano and played a snippet of Tupac's 1996 hit song “I Ain’t Mad at Cha," paying tribute to his late friend and collaborator.

To end the halftime show, all of the performers returned to the stage while Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg closed the show with their 1999 hit “Still D.R.E.”

This year's halftime performance was showstopping and intricate, bringing a nostalgic feeling for many viewers as each of the acts from the 90s and 2000s performed. The stunning performances from each of the artists have already played their part in recreating the yearly excitement and buzz for who could perform at next year’s halftime show.

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