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Eminem takes a knee during the Super Bowl halftime show

Eminem took a knee as he performs during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Valerie Macon
/
AFP via Getty Images
Eminem took a knee as he performs during the Super Bowl halftime show.

In what appeared to many fans as a protest statement, the rapper Eminem took a knee for about 50 seconds at the end of his solo set at the Super Bowl halftime show.

It could be seen as an act of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and other players who have kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

Kaepernick first started kneeling in 2016, and many other players joined in in 2017 in response to disparaging remarks by former President Donald Trump.

Eminem's kneeling came during a star-studded lineup from the hip-hop, R&B and rap firmament, who played their old-school hits during the halftime show at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

It was a throwback to the early aughts in West Coast rap.

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg reunited to open with their 2000 hit "The Next Episode," to kick off the show, followed by "California Love." They stood atop an all-white set made up of a string of lofty buildings.

In a surprise appearance, New York rapper 50 Cent popped down on stage — after hanging from the ceiling — to perform his 2003 song "In da Club," taking the show's energy to the East Coast.

Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl 56.
Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images
/
AFP via Getty Images
Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl 56.

Mary J. Blige took the spotlight next. Blige, who hails from the Bronx borough of New York City, sang "Family Affair" and "No More Drama."

Compton native Kendrick Lamar rapped "m.A.A.d City" and "Alright," throwing it back to a more contemporary South Los Angeles as he danced across a map presumably of his hometown, with streets splayed across the stage.

Detroit-born Eminem then cut in with his 2002 single "Lose Yourself." Big-screen watchers may have been able to spot rapper Anderson .Paak on drums.

Dr. Dre closed the show, starting with the signature piano notes of "Still Dre," as the rest of the lineup joined him and Snoop center stage.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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