While some are just there for the Big Game, there’s no denying Super Bowl Sunday is also one of the biggest days in entertainment. And this year’s halftime show had no shortage of surprises.
The middle of the Bengals vs. Rams game was already packed to the brim with talent, with Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige teaming up for an all-star tribute to hip-hop. But audiences were in for a true treat when 50 Cent swooped in for a very special guest appearance.
Recreating the video for his 2003 anthem “In Da Club”, 50 entered the scene upside-down while a room full of glittering dancers swayed around him. The rapper looked handsome, showing off his brawny biceps in a white tank top and a faux bullet-proof vest.
His song was the perfect addition to the hit-packed setlist, which was a showcase of 90s and 2000s gems. The halftime performance included an array of songs, featuring everything from renditions of Dre’s “The Next Episode” and Mary J.’s “No Drama”, to a version of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”, among others. Another choice moment was when Dre took over to rap Tupac’s “California Love”.
Making a smaller cameo in the show was Anderson .Paak on drums. Also, there were deaf rappers Sean Forbes and Warren “WaWa” Snipe, who were invited to the stage by Dre. himself. Their appearance will mark the first time sign language interpreters were included in the halftime show, according to Variety.
While it’s not clear how much this year’s halftime show cost, it certainly didn’t look like a budget affair. Last year’s performance by The Weeknd reportedly cost $17 million, $7 million of which he personally shelled out for the spectacle, according to Billboard. The year before, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s 2020 performance reportedly cost $13 million, per Reuters.
This year also kicked off with a bang, as Mickey Guyton sang the National Anthem, R&B singer Jhene Aiko performed “America the Beautiful,” and gospel act Mary Mary serenaded the crowd with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” accompanied by the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.