Whether you liked it or not, Super Bowl LVI's halftime show was very much legendary.
Pepsi and Jay-Z's Roc Nation curated an immediately iconic halftime performance, where five heavy-weight musicians — 43 Grammys between them! — took the stage for Inglewood's liveliest performance in years.
This year's Super Bowl acts included Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Snoop Dog, with a guest appearance by 50 Cent. There were so many moments within the extravaganza itself, and they deserve their recognition.
Dr. Dre and Snoop paid tribute to California's own Tupac Shakur.
The two performed "California Love," one of Tupac's biggest hits with Dre tuning out the melodic sounds of the rapper's "I Ain't Mad At Cha" on the piano. There were rumors that the late rapper's hologram would reappear but, thankfully, it didn't.
Right before Dre's symphonic piano solo, Eminem took the stage with a bold move, covering his face and getting down on one knee. The NFL may be experiencing some deja vu here.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick became one of the most talked-about players in the nation as he kneeled during the national anthem in a show against police brutality and racial injustice in America.
Despite support from other players and even former president Barack Obama, critics called his actions "disrespectful" and "un-American" (though, really, the action is covered under Kaepernick's First Amendment privilege).
Murmurs initially suggested that the NFL wasn't too keen on Eminem's stunt, but an NFL rep said otherwise.
"We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that," Brian McCarthy, the NFL's Vice President of Communications, said.
"A player or coach could have taken a knee, and there would have been no repercussions, so there was no reason to tell an artist she or he could not do so."
While the stance itself was a power move, I would like to point out Eminem's other A1 selection: his shoe game.
For big game, he wore bespoke Air Jordan 3s, which caused lots of buzz for sneakerheads who will probably never see the sneakers except on the rapper's feet.
Then — surprise! — 50 Cent stepped out sending the crowd back to 2003.
Power's executive producer came out strong, recreating the opening to his "In Da Club" video by hanging upside down in the same outfit.
Kendrick Lamar took the stage next, wearing an all-black custom Louis Vuitton look from Virgil Abloh's last FW22 collection.
During his set, fans quickly noticed an unusual censored part of his hit song, "Alright." The thud of drums replaced Kendrick's original "we hate po-po" lyric, partially muzzling the song's anti-authoritarian bite.
It's an odd cut, one that feels like a submission that appeals to the MAGA crowd (who were already fuming about Eminem's knee). Plus, the show had already preserved Dr. Dre's "Still DRE" lyrics, which include the (admittedly far more subdue) line about Dre "still not loving police."
Kendrick Lamar tends to keep things lowkey, so any appearance is major.
His last music-related moment saw K-Dot delivering assertive morning affirmations on Baby Keem's The Melodic Blue project in 2021.
He'll perform at the Milan Summer Festival in June 2022, playing pieces from his upcoming album, Oklama. You know, the album that was supposed to come last year...and the year before that (you get it).
This year's halftime show also featured American Sign Language performers for the first time in Super Bowl history, thanks to deaf musicians Warren "Wawa" Snipe and Sean Forbes.
Though trollish haters decried the show as "sexual anarchy" and lacking "diversity," I loved it and so did the celebrity attendees.
After this iconic, star-studded spectacle, let's hope the rest of the concerts coming this year can measure up.