Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show: Dr. Dre’s family reunion on home ground was a spectacular one

 This star-studded halftime show was one for the ages

Whether you are a football fan or not, Super Bowl Sunday is always a night you circle in your calendar. Some might use this yearly event as an occasion to appreciate one of the most-watched sporting events of the year, others use it as an excuse to gather round with friends and family to drink cold brews and eat an unreasonable amount of chicken wings. One thing is for sure though, everyone enjoys the halftime show. From 15 to 20 minutes packed with performances from legendary artists to the likes of Prince, Beyonce and Paul McCartney creates one of the most talked about music events of the year — propelling superstars into legendary status. 

The LVI Super Bowl made no exceptions by spoiling hip hop fans with the invitation of Dr. Dre and friends to headline this year’s show. And by friends, I mean four of the greatest MCs the legendary producer has ever worked with: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige.

With the Super Bowl taking place in the Golden State, it was only natural to name the Compton native Dre as a headliner. The show started off with Dre and Snoop appearing on top of small white houses, to perform their hit “The Next Episode,” followed by 2Pac’s “California Love,” where Snoop rapped the late East Coast rapper’s verse. Following another track from the two, both Blige and Lamar performed two songs of their own while Eminem jumped on the chorus of “Forget about Dre” before performing his own “Lose Yourself.” An upside-down 50 Cent made a surprise appearance on the set to rap his hit song “In Da Club.”

While far from being the most visually stunning or creative halftime show, the music more than made up for it with hit after hit being played. This concert saw six of the most influential hip hop artists of the millennial generation, one being arguably the greatest rapper of the 2010s perform their best work. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg without a doubt stole the show, showcasing that Cali connection and looking like the coolest fifty-somethings out there. Lamar’s theatrical performance was also a highlight, with the Compton artist performing what might be his most important song “Alright” — especially during Black History Month. And while I could have gone without Mary J. Blige’s or Eminem’s performances to let the three West Coast rappers sing more songs, I get their inclusion to this lineup and they still did their thing.

All and all, this year’s halftime show was a memorable one and Dr. Dre orchestrated what might be the best hip hop-focused Super Bowl halftime show of all time.




On Repeat

Our Music Editors share what they have been listening to lately

Music Editor Guillaume Laberge

A lot of hot rap songs have seen the light of day recently, enough to make my hyperactive self sit back, put them on a loop and relax. With that said, here are three songs that have been in my rotation lately. 

“Johnny P’s Caddy” – Benny The Butcher, J. Cole

This hookless single sees Benny the Butcher and J. Cole both spit back to back striking verses with a heavy delivery riding along a chill instrumental.

“ETA” (with Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes & Anderson .Paak) – Dr. Dre

Released for the new GTA update, this collaboration features an amazing soul-sampled beat and a great chorus by Snoop Dogg. The best part of the song is without a doubt when Dr. Dre and Anderson .Paak trade bars at the beginning. A must-listen.

“2012” (feat. Day Wave) – Saba

A wonderful song about a young teenage school love over a laid-back beat. Saba provides a great hook and also solidifies himself as an incredible storyteller on this one.

Assistant Music Editor Saro Hartounian

My most recent music sessions have been all over the place: a little bit of funky Red Hot Chili Peppers, a little bit of soft grunge Eddie Vedder, and a little bit of alternative/indie with Father John Misty. That being said, my volatile music taste has brought me many a gem which I would love to share with you. 

“Black Summer” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

This well-awaited single with John Frusciante back as the band’s guitarist has delivered, ironically with a fitting title: “Black Summer.” A darker song from them than usual, but it still feels like driving through the Hollywood Hills.   

“Invincible” – Eddie Vedder

An uplifting song from the surfer grunge icon with strong elements of Bruce Springsteen. This definitely sounds like a song that could be in a surfing documentary the moment the athlete goes through the eye of the wave. 

“Q4”  –  Father John Misty

If ABBA and Rufus Wainwright could have collaborated, they would have made this song. It’s a  warm and happy melody involving a harpsichord (weird right?) that could be played in a Wes Anderson movie.  


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Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: Anderson .Paak – Oxnard

Dr. Dre protege and neo-soul-rap alchemist Anderson .Paak is at his most ambitious and vigorous on this vibrant portrait of southern California. His hyper-masculine energy bursts through Dr. Dre’s massive drums and synths to create a tape that trades the smooth, meditated crooning of his previous Malibu for wild, boisterous charisma. Weaving sometimes thin, political musings and Los Angeles colour commentary into his tight braggadocio, .Paak’s character is solidified. His formidable confidence makes his message convincing, even if it can be superficial at times. It is so easy to get lost in his world, and accompanied by a trophy case of features from Pusha T to Snoop Dogg, .Paak is on fire.


Trial Track: “6 Summers”

Star Bar: Trump’s got a love child and I hope that bitch is buckwild

I hope she sip Mezcal, I hope she kiss senoritas and black gals – Anderson .Paak on “6 Summers”


Top 10 hip hop albums of the ‘90s

Hip hop has drastically evolved as a genre over the years. It rose to mainstream prominence during the 1990s, an era that many people consider hip hop’s golden age. Here is a list of the top 10 most important hip hop releases of the 1990s, in no particular order.

10. Outkast – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik:  Outkast’s debut album put southern hip hop on the map. At the time, the American east and west coasts were the most prominent scenes for the genre, but rappers Andre 3000 and Big Boi let the world know that the south was not to be ignored. The dynamic duo mixed intricate rhyme schemes with a laid back ‘70s southern funk and gave birth to a classic.

9. Dr. Dre – The Chronic: Dr. Dre’s debut album, The Chronic, is a household name in hip hop. It established Dre as one of hip hop’s most important producers and paved the way for other, now legendary MCs, such as Snoop Dogg and Kurupt. The Doctor’s combination of funky bass lines and heavy synth revolutionized rap and created a staple sound for west coast hip hop.

8. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers): No list would be complete without this album. 36 Chambers served as a launching pad for Wu-Tang’s members, many of whom went on to record platinum-selling solo albums. RZA’s unparalleled beat-making skills, mixed with standout performances from all of Wu-Tang’s nine rapping members, make this record a tour de force.

7. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory: ATCQ are known for their jazzy hip-hop sounds. The Low End Theory provides listeners with mellow, progressive sounds and street-conscious lyricism. The album merged two forms of revolutionary black music and created a timeless record.

6. El-P – Fantastic Damage: Brooklyn-born rapper and producer El-P redefined alternative hip hop with his debut album. Fantastic Damage is filled with esoteric lyrics over spacey, psychedelic beats. With song titles like “Dr. Hell No vs. the Praying Mantus,” El-P gained recognition as one of the first white rappers, and proved his worth on both the beats and microphone.

5. Nas – Illmatic: Considered by many as the “Hip-Hop Bible,” Nas produced in one album what most rappers try to achieve in a lifetime. The album includes production by legendary beat makers DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Large Professor, lending every song a completely different feel. Nas’ masterful lyricism made his debut album a force to be reckoned with.

4.  The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready To Die: Regarded as one of the best to ever hold the microphone, Biggie Smalls’ debut album was an instant classic. His unique ability to merge comedy with serious, real-life experiences on the street made him a favourite among fans. Standout tracks include “Juicy,” “ Big Poppa” and “Who Shot Ya?”

3. Tupac Shakur – All Eyez on Me: Along with Biggie Smalls, Tupac is considered one of the most influential MCs of all time. His fourth studio album All Eyez on Me is thick with collaboration, but Tupac’s vicious, militant flow and lyricism stand out as usual. An absolute must have for any hip-hop head.

2. The Roots – Do You Want More?!!!??!: The Roots are one of the most diverse acts in hip hop. Rapper Black Thought demonstrates some of the most impeccable flows on this record. The use of live instruments from drummer Questlove and now former Roots bassist Leonard Hubbard produced a completely new hip-hop sound.

1.  Rakim – The 18th Letter:  Back in ‘87, Eric B. & Rakim released Paid In Full. Rakim’s lyrical mastery set the standard for hip hop at the time, leading many critics and fans to crown Rakim as one of the best. When the duo broke up, Rakim released his first solo album The 18th Letter, which was a sprawling, brilliant comeback that affirmed his ability to hold the crown.

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