The best Halftime show ever, or the best Halftime show, eva? This wasn’t one of the sad ones. It was totally joyous. Inglewood drew Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamarr, Eminem and Anderson Paak’s The National together with a cast of thousands. These are the people, this is the actual music that animated millions of parties over the past 30 years, moved billions of lives all over the globe and generated, of course, trillions of dollars, and it all came together to shoehorn the decades and the cultural touchstones into the NFL Super Bowl Halftime show to demonstrate that if you’re under 60, hip hop is the culture. And also served to remind us once again, as the whole Super Bowl Week does, that if America does one thing supremely well, America is the greatest at entertaining adults. Why should that not be considered important. I know you’re on the bus somewhere applying a Marxist narrative theory to that. Or thinking that there’s nothing wrong with Frank Ifield high kicking his way to the centre circle at Wembley before the FA Cup final to sing Abide With Me.
I know, I know, what Britain does well is Royal Weddings and State funerals. You’ve got me there. Not enough time to debate that. Can’t be bothered to validate, bud.
The Halftime show is pretty astonishing to see. The mechanics are always mind boggling. 2022 and Dre and his magical mixing desk zoomed in from space over a map of Compton. Dre, looking a little stately at times, getting together on the Barbershop roof, with Snoop Dogg - Snoop, what an outfit, what a metabolism, what a sound to his voice. The all white street scene set featured a row of low riders outfront. 50 Cent joins the party upside down…literally. Mary J. Blige is up on the roof… Doesn’t matter how many times you hear Family Affair, it always seems so perfect. And No Drama… Elevated to an epic stadium party song of hope for the neighbourhood. There’s always hope. Oh wow. Since Mary J is essentially impossible to follow, Kendrick Lamar did it and how he did, sometimes I think musicians like Kendrick Lamar are reinventing music in the face and ears of conservative forces and music would be ill-advised to turn back.
Back on the roof, Eminem, Dre and Anderson .Paak Lose Yourself. If you've always had the world on a plate. On your plate, ready to eat. You do get this is a song for the rest of us by now don’t you?
Towards the end when Dre tickled the ivories on those opening chords, there was a Rat Pack in Vegas, an Avengers Assemble moment at the end, six superstars on the roof of of Compton barbershop, Still Dre, all that was missing was Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury… Wow!
Then the Bengals and their great helmets lost. Probably everyone who could walk home from the stadium walked home happy.
The NFL won't let us embed the show here, so go, go see it, here ⇒. I'm an adult and this is one of the ways I like to be entertained.
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]