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Eminem Kneels During Super Bowl Halftime Show

The move was a nod to Colin Kaepernick, who as an NFL player, kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice against Black Americans.

Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Eminem delivered a memorable performance during the 2022 Pepsi Halftime Show by taking a knee at the end of it. The statement seemingly paid tribute to former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick who, as a player had kneeled in protest of police brutality and racial injustice against Black Americans.

According to league spokesman Brian McCarthy, the NFL was aware that Eminem was going to kneel because he had made the gesture during rehearsals, The New York Times reported. The gesture came after Eminem finished performing his 8 Mile anthem “Lose Yourself.”

Kicking off the halftime show, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre delivered a medley of “The Next Episode” and Tupac’s “California Love” at California’s SoFi Stadium. Then, 50 Cent surprised the audience with a performance of his Dre co-produced hit, “In Da Club,” while mimicking the upside-down pose that he took in the original music video. A group of dancers joined 50 Cent in a makeshift club scene before the camera panned to Mary J. Blige who delivered a bouncy performance of the Dre-produced “Family Affair” before transitioning into the slow-burning “No More Drama.”

Next up, Kendrick Lamar took the stage to perform “Alright” and an intro of “m.A.A.d city” surrounded by Black men in “Dre Day” sashes.

To close out the show, Dre and Snoop reappeared onstage for “Still D.R.E” and were joined by the other halftime performers of the evening.

The Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, which took place in the Los Angeles area for the first time in 30 years, was produced by Jay-Z and was the first-ever halftime set that was focused on hip hop. The Bengals and Rams game brought together L.A. hip hop icons Snoop, Dre and Lamar for their Big Game debut. Also joining the trio were Blige and Dre’s longtime collaborator Eminem.

Ahead of the performance, Dre said in a statement that performing at the halftime show would be “one of the biggest thrills of my career.” He added, “I’m grateful to Jay-Z, Roc Nation, the NFL, and Pepsi as well as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar for joining me in what will be an unforgettable cultural moment.” Jay-Z added that their performances would be “history in the making.”

This is the third year Roc Nation has produced the Super Bowl Halftime Show. In 2021, The Weeknd performed, while Shakira and Jennifer Lopez co-headlined in 2020 during a performance that also featured Bad Bunny and J Balvin.

From Rolling Stone US