From Where We Are

Super Bowl halftime show breaks boundaries

The Super Bowl showcases LA’s hip-hop culture, featuring performances from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg among others.

A photo of a Los Angeles Rams helmet and a Cincinnati Bengals helmet facing each other on a stage, with the words "Super Bowl LVI Los Angeles" on a graphic in the background.

The Super Bowl LVI half time performance marked the first time that an all hip-hop set took the stage. With this historic milestone, we talked to USC students about their opinions on the show and the significance it has for hip-hop culture. Gina Nguyen prepared this story.

The halftime show featured L.A. legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, accompanied by Mary J. Blige, Eminem and surprise performer 50 Cent. The concert showcased the past and present hip-hop cultures of L.A. USC sophomore Andrea Jackson worked on the audio team for the performances. She says the artists embody L.A.’s hip-hop culture.

I feel like, like all of the performers really emulated, like the culture of L.A. and like the up-and-coming nature of it and everything, and especially like Dr. Dre, who was like the epitome of it and like the whole performance was kind of catered around Dr. Dre. Almost all of the songs had some sort of mention of Dre and like just how he was like such an icon and like the dancers were wearing like these glasses that said, like Dre Day, and it was like very much like a tribute to him and like how much of an impact he made on like rap culture.

Locals and visitors alike felt that the show captured the essence of L.A. William Lipton is a freshman in the popular music program at USC Thornton.

Yeah, totally, I really like that they they tried to represent like an older era of Los Angeles. I’m not really from here. So I guess my comments don’t really weigh as much, but I definitely appreciated how they were dancing on the map of L.A. I mean, the songs are just like, so so California.

I thought it was pretty iconic. I didn’t think I’d ever see all those guys up on stage.

Sam Rosenberg is a freshman studying real estate development.

And it was just something that was really cool for, I think a lot of people in, especially the city of L.A.

While the show was cool to see on T.V., imagine watching it from inside the stadium. Andrea Jackson, the USC student who worked on the audio team, was there for rehearsals and yesterday’s live event.

It was definitely really crazy, especially because we the entire past week, we’ve been like going and watching the halftime show when there’s no one in the audience and like we still like really, really enjoyed it. But then seeing it with like the audience, it’s like such a different experience because like the audience, they like all the like roar and clap at the same time, and it makes it so much cooler. And like, the sound is so much better when they’re like fans cheering for that and everything.

Love it or hate it, this halftime show will go down in history as these hip-hop artists were able to bring the L.A. community together through this thrilling experience.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Gina Nguyen.