Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige are getting ready to take the stage for the halftime show of Super Bowl LVI, and they’re giving a rapper from Detroit a very special opportunity to join them on stage.
On Friday (February 4), the Detroit Free Press announced Sean Forbes, a deaf rapper from Detroit, Michigan, would be hitting the Super Bowl LVI halftime show. According to the report, the National Football League contacted an unsuspecting Forbes and invited him to perform during the Hip Hop centric event.
Forbes will have the duty of performing sign-language interpretations of the headliners’ music alongside another deaf rapper named Warren (WaWa) Snipe. It’s the first time the NFL will have sign-language performances incorporated into their halftime show, and fans can watch it on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
For the first time in its history, two Deaf famous musicians, Sean Forbes & Warren “Wawa” Snipe, will perform and sign performing during the Halftime time show!! This is amazing! We are looking forward to see the performance at Super Bowl LVI on February 13th! #DeafAwareness pic.twitter.com/2U2MQzYurc
— Deaf Army Education⁷ (SLOW) (@deafarmyedu) February 4, 2022
For Sean Forbes, the performance is a full-circle moment for him as his father was close to people inside Eminem’s camp.
“The doors to accessibility are busted wide open with something like this,” Forbes said. “So this is very much a full-circle moment, being from Detroit, being part of the Eminem camp — or even going back to being 12 and listening to N.W.A., Dre and Snoop on my Walkman.”
He added, “My goal is to get out there, show what we can do, and have fun. And I want to open the door for other deaf performers.”
Although Forbes will be performing at the Super Bowl for the first time in his career, WaWa has already done it. He did a rendition of the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” alongside Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church last year. According to WaWa, performing through sign language is all about feeling the music.
“I would listen to the music over and over to get a feel of the music and the singing,” Snipe, a 50-year-old rapper and actor, told the The Washington Post in an interview last year. “This takes a lot of time and you want to make sure you’re understood, so playing with various ways to interpret a song is warranted!”