A pair of deaf rappers have been tapped for the gig of a lifetime at this Sunday’s (Feb. 13) Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Detroit MC Sean Forbes and Washington, D.C.-bred Warren “WaWa” Snipe will be on hand during the face-off between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams to perform American Sign Language renditions of the songs in the halftime show from the all-star lineup featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.
According to the Detroit Free Press, it will mark the first time the NFL has incorporated ASL interpretations into the halftime show, with the sign language versions viewable at NBCsports.com and on the NBC Sports app. “The doors to accessibility are busted wide open with something like this,” Forbes told the Free Press, noting that he could not share any details about the always super-secret halftime extravaganza, but was able to reveal that he will accompany Snoop and Eminem.
The booking of the pair was arrange by the National Association of the Deaf and fans can expect both men to offer up “spirited and expressive” performances to match the action on-stage. It will be the second Super Bowl trip for Snipe, 51, who blew away audiences at last year’s big game when he provided high-energy, emotional ASL accompaniment to Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church’s rendition of the national anthem and backed up H.E.R. on “America the Beautiful.”
According to the Free Press, Forbes, 40, has a second-hand connection to Eminem; Forbes’ dad was close to some of the people in Em’s business/studio circle and the rapper was a regular at the studio where Slim Shady tracked most of his early work, 54 Sound. “So this is very much a full-circle moment, being from Detroit, being part of the Eminem camp — or even going back to being 12 and listening to N.W.A., Dre and Snoop on my Walkman,” Forbes told the paper.
In fact, it was at 54 Sound in 2005 that Forbes got to show Marshall Mathers a video of his intense ASL take on the Detroit legend’s signature hit, “Lose Yourself.” “My goal is to get out there, show what we can do, and have fun,” Forbes said. “And I want to open the door for other deaf performers.”
Check out both rapper’s posts about their history-making big gig below.