Eminem snuck a tribute to Colin Kaepernick into his performance during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show on Sunday February 13. After he finished performing his hit song “Lose Yourself” during the all-star performance, he dropped to his knee, just as the NFL player had done during the national anthem throughout the 2016 season in protest of police brutality and racial inequality.
Marshall Mathers’ tribute to the former San Francisco 49ers QB came after a report from Puck claimed that the NFL had nixed a plan for the rapper to kneel. The reporters were quickly denied by reps for the league to The New York Post. Either way, Eminem was clearly not afraid to show his support in a short tribute to Colin.
Given that Super Bowl LVI is in Los Angeles, it was only fitting that Southern California hip hop was the focus of the halftime show. Pepsi and Roc Nation announced that Dr. Dre would be the mastermind behind a who’s who of classic rap to headline one of the biggest music events of the year. Besides Dre, the lineup was star-studded with all-stars like Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar. While Slim Shady and Mary brought some Midwest and East Coast flair to the show, Snoop, Kendrick and Dre are all Cali natives who were welcomed in their home state.
In the lead up to the Super Bowl, the performers and Pepsi had promised an incredibly exciting show from the superstar lineup. All five of the artists were announced in an Instagram post from Pepsi, boasting all of their achievements. “43 Grammys, 19 No. 1 Billboard albums, 5 epic hitmakers and 1 stage for the [Super Bowl LVI] Pepsi Halftime Show,” it said in the caption.
Ahead of the big show, Mary had teased that fans were going to love their performance, and boy, did they deliver! Before taking the stage, the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul” gave an interview to Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1. “People are going to be losing their minds. It’s amazing,” she said.
Long before the hip hop royalty took the stage at the Super Bowl Halftime show, they were all part of an amazing teaser trailer, titled “The Call.” The teaser featured all of the performers getting called on by Dre to take part in the epic concert. The trailer opened up with Em in the lab facing off with Slim Shady. It then cut to Snoop getting the call while in traffic on the freeway, before going to Mary getting contacted during a photoshoot. The last performer to get the text from Dre was the studious Kendrick writing lyrics. Dre was then seen walking along the shore, before the rap genius was seen to be plotting the show like a game of chess. The commercial ended with all of the rap legends walking up to SoFi Stadium.