Leading into yesterday’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, there was a strong possibility that the assembled cast would produce the greatest show of all time. It was never going to be an easy feat. Iconic performances before them were able to execute their songs to a tee and make the crowd go berserk from start to finish.
The 2022 edition of the show without a doubt sent social media into a frenzy, believing it sits atop the rankings. But was it actually better than Prince’s masterpiece, or MJ’s charismatic display, or even Beyoncé’s powerful set? Did the show live up to the hype, or was everyone in awe of these legendary singers performing together under the one roof?
Let’s break it down!
To get to the bottom of this, we have to start with the beginning of the show. Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg kicked off proceedings with the only plausible song ‘The Next Episode’. Emerging from the stage, seated at a control desk, the legendary rapper turned producer was welcomed with a resounding ovation from his home crowd. Combining with Snoop Dogg who was kitted out in a Rams inspired outfit, the duo nailed the opening two songs. The one and only ‘D-O-double G’ killed it with his ‘The Next Episode’ verse, before Dre covered 2Pac’s homage to California ‘California Love’.
When Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg pointed below them, millions watching around the world went into overdrive as 50 Cent hung upside down, reminiscent of the ‘In Da Club’ music video. Performing the same song, the guest star provided an energetic cameo. Mary J. Blige was next to perform and despite a couple of iffy moments with ‘Family Affair’, she displayed her range with ‘No More Drama’. ‘No More Drama’ was a risky song choice considering the mood of the show, but Blige was able to make it work.
The most choreographed set of the night belonged to Kendrick Lamar who was surrounded by dancing soldiers, which draws comparisons to Janet Jackson’s music video for ‘Rhythm Nation’. Lamar started out with his trademark song ‘m.A.A.d city’, before transitioning into ‘Alright’. The powerful medley had the crowd in awe.
Eminem followed suit with the most appropriate song for the occasion ‘Lose Yourself’. A song that is cemented into pre-game/workout playlists, the motivating track was a perfect choice for the set list – and it was delivered brilliantly. Anderson .Paak accompanied the Detroit native playing the drums, which provided that extra edge.
Just when you thought the show couldn’t get any better…
Dr Dre played that famous melody which has been etched into the minds of hip hop and rap fanatics around the world. Standing alongside Snoop Dogg once again, the man behind the madness took matters into his own hands once again with ‘Still D.R.E’. By the time all of the performers joined them on stage, it was known that this show was one of the best…
…But was it the best? In short, no. Whilst it broke new ground for future shows, they were going up against some tough competition. Does it rival other classic shows like Michael Jackson in 1993, or Prince in 2007? For sure. Although with six sole performers (including 50 Cent), the margin for error is smaller than that of say one or two artists. The song choices and duration have to be spot on, and especially with six big stars who could just about headline their own show, this can be incredibly tough.
If it was up to me, I would have slightly shortened Kendrick Lamar’s great but long set, and given Eminem an extra song. ‘The Real Slim Shady’ or ‘Without Me’ would have set the scene perfectly.
All in all, it is hard and harsh to fault an epic performance that made for a brilliant night in LA, but I still believe that Prince holds onto the (purple 😉) reign just.