Hip-hop was certainly in the house Sunday night (Feb. 13) during the 2022 Super Bowl, when Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar (with special guests 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak) celebrated L.A.’s hip-hop scene for a spectacular 15-minute tribute to the championship city after which the L.A. Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z with daughter Blue Ivy, Megan Thee Stallion, Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) with children North and Saint, Cardi B and Offset, last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show performer The Weeknd and many more were on show at L.A.’s SoFi Stadium. And Billboard was also in the house — Rams house, that is — to catch all of the action from inside.
Here’s the inside scoop on what you missed from your TV screen.
It took seven minutes for them to set up the Halftime Show — and seven minutes to take it down.
Starting the moment the second quarter ends, the swift set-up for the epic Halftime Show commenced. The buildings were rolled onto the field in halves before coming together to replicate houses on one side and hot spots of the city of Compton on the other, from the MLK Monument outside of Compton’s City Hall to Tam’s Burgers. Production crew slowly drove the three low riders before parking them outside of the miniature city structure in the middle of Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium, while black tarps with yellow and blue illuminated illustrations formed an aerial view of Compton. And they took down the entire set as quickly as they had assembled it — all within seven or so minutes.
There’s a staircase leading up to the roof of the middle house where artists ascended and descended from.
Unbeknownst to the families and friends watching the show at home is a staircase behind the middle house that the performers used to get up and down the roof. While 50 Cent went from hanging upside down to standing right-side up during his performance of “In Da Club” in the house, Dre and Snoop slowly descended the stairs post-“California Love” and boogied to the houses on opposite sides.
50 Cent and Anderson .Paak weren’t really a surprise if you were looking closely.
Kudos to those who were paying close attention, but as Dre and Snoop were performing their opening number “The Next Episode” on top of Eve After Dark, Compton’s historic hip-hop nightclub, its marquee contained some key context clues. Underneath the “Compton’s Super Bowl LVI Presents” banner, all five names of the headliners were listed with two guests, Fif and .Paak, which was pretty visible from the jumbotron. So it shouldn’t have come as a total surprise when the legendary MC appeared upside down to perform “In Da Club” and when the epic drummer was part of the backing band for Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” spectacle.
Lights were waiting for fans at their seats before they simultaneously lit up the stadium during the Halftime Show.
Those attending the game at SoFi finally understood the function of the Halftime Show lanyards waiting for us at our seats once the Halftime Show began. The lanyards synced up and helped light up the show, alternating between red, white and blue (which could either be a nod to America or Pepsi) and later coordinating with Slim Shady’s backup dancers’ lights.
They use the cameras’ blind spots to set up for the next performers.
While everyone was unreeling from the shock of 50 Cent’s “surprise” performance, those watching it live could tell Blige was up next by the time she hit the stage with the Dr. Dre-produced “Family Affair” because her silver sequin-wearing dancers had already ascended to the roofs of each building. Before she closed out her set, brown boxes that spelled out “Dre Day” formed a square directly behind the middle house, where Lamar and his backup dancers would emerge from once he started rapping “m.A.A.d city” for his portion of the show. But while all eyes were on him for those watching at home, those at the game could see the hooded figures begin sitting in large concentric circles at the outside perimeter of the spectacle for Em’s slot. While we gained a sneak peek at who was up next, it didn’t stop the anticipation from building.