Several of hip hop’s most decorated artists are ready to make a splash on the world’s biggest stage. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem are performing Sunday night for the Super Bowl LVI halftime show.
During a news conference for the event, Dre said the decision to have five hip-hop artists take the stage together was a long time coming, and they hope the performance will move the needle forward for the genre.
“We’re gonna open more doors for hip-hop artists in the future, making sure the NFL understands that this is what it should have been a long time ago,” he told reporters. “We’re gonna show exactly how professional we can be, how dope we’re gonna be on stage, and how exciting we’re going to be to fans.”
He added: “This should have happened a long time ago. Hip-hop is the biggest genre of music on the planet right now, so it’s crazy that it took all of this time for us to be recognized. I think we’re gonna go on and do a fantastic show, and we’re gonna do it so big that they can’t deny us anymore in the future.”
Asked for spoilers about what’s in store, Dre — who was joined at the conference by Snoop and Blige — wouldn’t divulge any details. However, he recalled being blown away by Blige’s rehearsal.
“I had the chance to watch her set and it gave me goosebumps,” he said. “If I’m getting them, I know what the audience is gonna feel when she hits the stage.”
Super Bowl halftime performers don’t receive a paycheck for the 12-minute show, which will likely be seen live by over 100 million people. But, during an interview on “The Cruz Show,” Blige said that the opportunity was too big to pass up, even without a pay day.
“You’re gonna be paid for the rest of your life off of this,” she said. “People are gonna be knocking at your door. Look, you don’t have to pay me…This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
The lineup for Sunday’s show joins the ranks of halftime performers that include Prince, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Madonna, Coldplay, Katy Perry, U2, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira. Blige is the only returner, having joined an ensemble including Aerosmith, NSYNC, Britney Spears, and Nelly in 2001.
While the group has 44 Grammys among them and have performed on hundreds of stages over their decades-long careers, the nerves seem to be setting in for some of Sunday’s musical guests.
“I’m gonna tell you, it’s f—ing nerve-wracking,” Eminem said on SiriusXM’s Shade 45. To me, there’s nothing more final than live TV. You know what I’m saying? So if you f— up, your f— up is there forever.”
Dre, on the other hand, is confident that the quintet will be unforgettable.
“Throughout my life, I’ve always enjoyed being underestimated,” he told reporters Thursdsay. “I’m living in that space right now. I know we’re gonna kill this shit.”