A few weeks back, I cheekily stayed up a bit later than usual on a Sunday night to watch the opening half of Superbowl LVI between the Rams and the Bengals. It was a ‘school-night’ for me so, as you can imagine, I had one eye on the clock through most of the opening two quarters. Then I thought: ‘Sure, I might take in the halftime show at this stage now.’ 

By Jonathan Foley

While I could never call myself an out-and-out hip-hop fan in my younger days, it was still nonetheless a nostalgia treat when some aging – yet still hugely talented – rap stars of yesteryear entertained the millions watching with a show that generated huge flashbacks to days gone by. 

As the ‘D-O Double G’ teamed up with the Real Slim Shady. Joined in unison by Dr. Dre, the Father of Rap, Fifty Cent with Mary J Blige still reminding us that “we don’t need no hateration,” it didn’t take long for the toes to start tapping. More than that, my mind started wandering back to when these melodies were chart-toppers back when I was a teenager.

Their performance served as something more than just a mash-up of old hits. In essence, it let people know that despite all the things that have gone wrong in life over the past two decades or so, that they are still here and willing to entertain us just like they used to. In essence, it was a fifteen-minute showcase that mean something more. 

When most people in this world go through their twenties and thirties, there’s usually a lot of joy and happiness that fills those years: falling in love, starting a family, buying a house etc. On the other hand, it’s also a time when so many things leave your life: saying goodbye to a loved one, having people close to you pass away and so many factors outside of one’s own control. 

As good as the world is, it’s certainly not had its most enjoyable tenure this past while. We all know why there. 

And yet when these artists took to the stage at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, they reminded those of a certain age and ilk that “Hey! It’s alright! We’re still here to perform the tunes that we did just like when you were a kid!” 

It must be a marvelous gift to have when you can play a few instruments or lift up a microphone and make people feel a profound sense of comfort. Granted, this quartet may have had to modify some of their original lyrics to a more family-friendly audience this time around, but there’s no denying that their ability to throw out a few quick tunes was nothing short of brilliant. 

Looking back, it could’ve been easier to simply throw a few hundred thousand dollars at some flash-in-the-pan modern day pop-star to do this year’s halftime show. Credit to the organizers though, they stuck their necks out and went with performers who most of the younger generation might be somewhat unfamiliar with. 

If anything, I imagine those in attendance at the game – and the countless more tuning in on television – had more parents and adults bumping their fist along to the tunes than kids. It might have been a facepalm moment for some youngsters but that’s because their mums, dads and elders “still got love for da streets!”

It was just a pity it was a ‘school night’ for me.