Dr Dre, Enimem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige – these were the billed half time stars for the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. Yes it was our peeps. This was our time to shine. Snoop smoked up while on the stage right before they went live – Eminem takes a knee when the NFL told him not to – I mean, this show brought me right back to my youth in so many ways.
These were the people I listened to growing up – these artists were dangerous. Teachers told us to avoid them, parents screamed at us telling us their music was forbidden. Media was slamming them at every turn, blaming them for violence, suicides, drug usage and bad grades. If you listened to Eminem you were no good, Snoop Dogg was for stoners only – Dr Dre came from the groundbreaking NWA and ran with Suge Knight and Tupac. Stay away at all costs the adults said. These artists will only bring your life down and throw all your achievements down the toilet.
Well look at them now. Top of the World, Ma! Taking over the Super Bowl! Taking over the single most watched program in all the world. I’d say that’s quite an achievement. Maybe some cannabis is not so bad for you, after all. The government is making it legal in many states now. It has proven valuable in the medical community. Our parents are now smoking it to ease the pain of their arthritis, joint pain, back pain, on and on. Snoop Dogg told you so! You didn’t want to listen! You told us it would rot our brains – and now you’re smoking it daily!
Is this a full circle moment? I’d say so. Dr Dre came out of the battle with the alleged murderer Suge Knight in one piece. Survived the Biggie v Tupac deadly duel, out battled a brain tumor and even survived a nasty and very expensive divorce! These guys are battle tested!
Dre and Snoop did “The Next Episode” and “California Love”. 50 Cent did his big hit song “In Da Club”, Mary J Blige did “Family Affair”, Kendrick Lamar did “m.A.A.d City” and “Alright” . Eminem did “Lose Yourself” and finale was “Still D.R.E.” when Dre sat at the piano, bashed the cops and Eminem took a knee.
All acts were produced by Dre, who went through hell and back and came out on top, richer then he ever thought he’d be, and respected by an entire industry that he himself has changed, twice.
These were the troublemakers, the pot smokers, the music videos our parents didn’t want us watching, the music our parents didn’t want us listening to. Now here they are, 20 years later, on top of the world, on the biggest tv shows, with the biggest sales, the most influential songs.
Yea, I guess you can cause a little trouble, speak your mind, and still come out on top. These artists were all over our walls and our CD racks. They had something to say, and they didn’t care if you liked it or not.