Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and special guests 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak put on a show no Hip Hop fan will forget at the Super Bowl LVI on Sunday (February 13). Prior to the star-studded performance, though, there was speculation over how the NFL — a traditionally conservative organization — might censor the set.
A report that was later refuted claimed the league had prohibited the performers from taking a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick in order to avoid turning its premier event into “a divisive culture war moment.” The NFL also reportedly tried to block Dre from rapping the line “Still not loving police” from “Still D.R.E.” while banning Snoop from wearing “gang-related” clothing.
Lo and behold, the Pepsi Halftime Show went ahead without any of these rumors proving to be true. Eminem did indeed take a knee after performing “Lose Yourself,” Dr. Dre declared he still doesn’t love police while performing his 2001 hit and Snoop Dogg proudly rocked a blue outfit while Crip walking on stage.
“There were a few things that we had to change, but it was really minor things,” he explained. “Em taking a knee, that was Em doing that on his own. There was no problem with that. I think the beginning of Kendrick’s set, he says ‘If Pirus and Crips all [got along].’ They had a problem with that so we had to take that out. No big deal, we get it.
“But all in all, everybody came in, we were professional, everybody was on time and everybody really felt the magnitude of what this thing was and what we were going to be able to accomplish. It was a fantastic experience.”
Kendrick’s line from “Alright” where he says “And we hate po-po” was also censored, although Dr. Dre didn’t clarify why that was muted during the performance. Presumably, it was part of the NFL’s “minor” changes, even though they green-lit Dre’s own “police” lyric.
“Mary came back here to the house last night and we went downstairs to the studio,” he said. “She was playing me samples and we were just vibing out because we’re talking about working together on her next project. I’m not even sure if I’m supposed to be saying this or not, so I’m sorry, Mary. But I’m excited about it.”
Watch Dr. Dre’s full TMZ interview below.