LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige took the stage during halftime at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles as part of the 56th annual Super Bowl on Sunday night.
The show marked the third year that Roc Nation, Jay Z’s joint venture with Live Nation, has produced the halftime show as the league works to repair the damage to its reputation after a bruising and public battle with some of its players and employees over on-field protests against racial injustice. The protests saw players, including most famously former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, take a knee during national anthems at games and became a hot button political issue against a larger backdrop of public outrage about perceived police brutality.
On Sunday night, Eminem joined the protest and took a knee himself after performing his hit “Lose Yourself,” which was featured in his biopic “Nine Mile.”
Along with Eminem, Dre performed his 2000 hit “The Next Episode,” with some help from Snoop and the two then segued into a rendition of Tupac’s 1995 “California Love.”
Then it was the East Coast’s turn and a surprise guest in the form of 50 Cent took the stage to perform his 2003 hit “In Da Club,” followed by Mary J. Blige who mined her deep catalog to perform “Family Affair” and “No More Drama.”
Kendrick Lamar was next, and at 34, significantly lowered the average age of the night’s performers. For his time on stage, Lamar dropped a pair of tracks, including “M.A.A.D. City” and “Alright” some of the only music for the night created in the last decade.
Following Lamar, it was back to the golden oldies as Dre and Snoop closed the show out with the iconic hit “Still D.R.E..”
Following the halftime show, the NFL denied initial reports that it was unaware that Eminem planned to take a knee during the performance. According to a statement from the NFL to Fox News, it was aware of Eminem’s plans, and that he performed the move during rehearsals.