A Superb Super Bowl Halftime Show
A Superb Super Bowl Halftime Show
Hip-Hop Artists Deliver a Historic Performance
Olivia Riportella ’25
The Super Bowl LVI halftime show could quite possibly go down as the greatest halftime show of all time. With electrifying performances from superstars Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and a surprise appearance from 50 Cent, the 2022 display is truly unmatched.
What is particularly special about this show is that it marks the first time ever that a lineup consisting solely of hip-hop artists has taken the Super Bowl stage. Despite hip-hop dominating mainstream music and the culture of the NFL for quite some time, such artists have never headlined the event until now. However, the league’s celebration of hip-hop and its evolution over the past three decades made for a spectacular, high-energy performance.
The show was kickstarted by the legendary Dr. Dre. If anyone was the star of the night, it was he. He floated up from his producer’s chair with his arms outstretched to Los Angeles, asserting his West Coast’s sonic dominance. Indeed, sitting behind a mixing board in a nod to his roots as a celebrity, he essentially declared himself the patron saint of the West Coast sound. What made Dre stand out the most from his fellow performers is the work that he has done with them over the years, helping each of them achieve some of the most significant milestones of their careers.
The perfect opening, Dre’s timeless song “The Next Episode,” filled the audience with nostalgia as he and Snoop Dogg electrified the stage with ease. Snoop sported a blue and gold bandana-patterned tracksuit from head to toe and topped off the ensemble with white sunglasses, looking cooler than ever. He finished his opening performance by teaming up with Dre to sing hit song “California Love,” originally by Dre and the late Tupac.
Next to perform was unexpected guest 50 Cent, who made an unforgettable surprise appearance. Delivering his smash hit “In Da Club,” 50 Cent showed up below Snoop and Dre hanging upside-down in a red-lit room full of dancers. This iconic entry was a nod to his 2009 music video for “In Da Club,” in which he also appeared hanging upside down from the ceiling.
Next, the feminine energy of Mary J. Blige captivated the audience, as the performance cut to her singing her hit “Family Affair.” Blige was covered in white and silver sparkles from her bodysuit down to her thigh-high boots, surrounded by dancers wearing similar iterations of her dazzling ensemble. Blige then shifted into her hip-hop soul ballad “No More Drama,” solidifying her set as a perfect middle act. Notably, Blige was the only non-rap artist who performed.
Kendrick Lamar was next to take the stage, rising up out of shipping boxes labeled “Dre Day” to perform his iconic song “M.a.a.D. City.” Lamar then switched to his single “Alright,” a rather socially-charged anthem. He was backed by dancers in militaristic black suits, making a clear statement about today’s social climate in the midst of Black History Month. Dre and Eminem then joined Lamar onstage to finish his set with “Forgot About Dre.”
It was then Eminem’s turn to wow the audience. The rapper gave an angsty, chill-inducing performance of his iconic single “Lose Yourself.” He truly shook the stadium as he sang the track more flawlessly than ever. What made Eminem’s performance even more special is the fact that it was Dre who signed him to his very first record deal, and thus played a large role in propelling him to fame. Notably, like Lamar, Eminem also took a political stance, ending his performance by taking a knee in honor of Colin Kaepernick and other African-American NFL players who have protested racial injustice and have been met with controversy.
To cap off this stellar lineup, Dr. Dre returned to the stage. He took to the piano and began to play the opening bars of “Still D.R.E.” At this moment, all of the night’s performers united atop the stage for one final song— one, of course, produced by Dre. The literal and symbolic unity of this ending to their superb performance confirms these artists’ everlasting sonic dominance not only in hip-hop, but across mainstream music as a whole.
Who Will Win Super Bowl LVI?
Providence College Investigates
Will Murphy ’23
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams are set to square off with the up-and-coming Cincinnati Bengals to decide a Super Bowl Champion, and the champion will be the Rams.
Both teams have put together impressive playoff runs, each winning three consecutive games to reach the Super Bowl. The Rams managed to build their team up into one of the top Super Bowl contenders prior to the season. They were able to re-up at the trade deadline, acquiring star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has been one of the Rams’ most dangerous weapons down the stretch. In addition to Odell, the Rams also have Cooper Kupp, who has been one of the most productive wide receivers in the league this year.
Despite his recent struggles with turnovers, Matt Stafford is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league, with the ability to push the ball down the field in a hurry. It will be key for Stafford to take care of the ball and avoid any critical mistakes. If he can do that, the Rams’ dominant defense is more than capable of slowing down the prolific offense of the Bengals.
The Bengals’ quarterback, Joe Burrow, has had a breakout year in his sophomore campaign, but his offense’s glaring weakness is their offensive line. Unfortunately for them, the Rams’ biggest strength defensively is their ability to get to the quarterback. Aaron Donald is widely considered the best pass rusher in the league, and if the Bengals are unable to slow him down, Burrow could be in for a long game. Alongside Donald is Von Miller, another trade deadline acquisition, who is more than capable of getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers. All-pro cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, is another player with a great impact on the game. Jamarr Chase, the Bengals’ rookie wide receiver, has emerged as a star this year, but will draw an incredibly tough matchup in all-pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey’s physicality is unlike anything Chase has faced so far this year, and it could pose a serious problem for the Bengals’ offense if Chase struggles.
Overall, the Rams have a high-octane offense that the Bengals’ defense will struggle to contain. In addition to their powerful offense, the defense will be able to pressure Joe Burrow consistently enough to throw him off his game. The Rams’ overall wealth of talent should prove to be too much for the Bengals to overcome and ensure that the Rams wake up Monday morning as Super Bowl Champions.
Luke Sweeney ’24
This Sunday, two blazing hot teams will meet for the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA when the Cincinnati Bengals face off against the Los Angeles Rams. Unlike most years, both of these teams have had to play a wild card game at the beginning of their postseason campaigns. The Bengals have won six of their last seven games and are currently the high-powered offense that is being talked about around the league.
Led by the prophesied young Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals have been shocking the world recently with big postseason wins against the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and then the reigning American Football Conference (AFC) championship powerhouse, Kansas City Chiefs. Joe Burrow and the Bengals proved everyone wrong who thought that the Chiefs were an unstoppable force. In doing so, they have left their mark on the AFC as the new young team to beat for the coming years.
The National Football Conference (NFC) and AFC championship games two weeks ago left the world with their jaws open. The San Francisco 49ers and Chiefs, although coming up just short of a victory, showed that they have the tools on both offense and defense to win a Super Bowl. The weekend of championship football will go down in history as two of the most competitive and offensively explosive games ever played on the gridiron.
As for the Super Bowl between the Rams and Bengals, the Bengals are the younger and better of the two teams who will come up with the win. While the Rams have superstars such as Matt Stafford, Cooper Cupp, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsay, there is no group of players that can stop the well-rounded AFC powerhouse Bengals.
Joe Burrow and his number one target, Jamar Chase, have been unstoppable all season and the media is widely on their side. The deciding factor of this Super Bowl matchup is most likely going to be on the defensive side of the ball. It is no secret that both offenses have the ability to sling the ball down the field and hammer the run game when needed. That being said, whoever makes the biggest plays on defense will be the ones to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and bring it home to their respective cities.
The question, though, still remains: does a young Joe Burrow have the NFL-caliber skills and poise in the pocket to perform on a stage as big as the Super Bowl? We have all seen what he is capable of, but only time will tell.