Even Marshall Mathers gets butterflies before taking the stage. Despite more than two decades in the game, when pressed about how he’s feeling before Sunday’s (Feb. 13) Super Bowl LVI halftime performance alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, Eminem said he’s kind of freaking out.
“I’m gonna tell you, it’s f—ing nerve-racking,” he told SiriusXM’s Sway Calloway in a rare interview this week. “To me, there’s nothing more final than live TV. You know what I’m saying? So if you f–k up, your f–k up is there forever.” Luckily for him, when his mentor, Dre, made the ask, the legendary producer-rapper already had a success plan in place.
“When Dre first asked, when the whole thing started going down and we were like, ‘OK, this might be actually serious.’ I was trying to envision what Dre might do,” Em said. “I was thinking like, ‘Yeah, it’s dope that all of us are gonna rap together.’ [But] I didn’t expect it to be, like the production to be like this.”
Though the details of the performance are being kept under tight wraps, when the hip-hop/R&B Voltron assembles during Sunday’s big game, Slim Shady said in addition to second-generation rap icons Dre and Snoop, baby of the bunch Lamar will surely prove why he’s one of the game’s G.O.A.T.s. “Kendrick, to me, is one of the most electrifying vocalists of this generation, would you agree?” Shade 45 host Calloway asked Em.
“I absolutely would agree,” Mathers said. “Kendrick is at the very top, top tier of lyricists. Not just of this generation, but of all time.”
Also, at a press conference on Thursday (Feb. 10) hyping the halftime show, Dre promised that Em and Snoop would keep things PG-13, and he wasn’t talking about their notoriously four-letter lyrics.
With the memories of “Nipple-Gate” still lingering after the recent Janet Jackson docuseries, Dre said his fellow MCs will keep it in their pants. “I had to talk Snoop and Eminem out of pulling their penises out,” Dre said, according to TMZ. “It’s just actually Eminem.”
The full interview with Eminem will air on Shade 45 on Friday (Feb. 11). The battle between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles will kick-off at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Watch Em talk about his nerves and Kendrick below.