50 Cent guest appearance as hip-hop takes center stage at Super Bowl halftime show

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Eminem and Dr. Dre perform during the Super Bowl LVI Pepsi Halftime Show on February 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.  (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images))

Some of the biggest names in hip-hop gathered this year to wow the country at the Super Bowl halftime show. 

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, who have a combined 44 Grammys between them, dazzled with their ode to hip-hop. Snoop Dogg had previously called the show a "great moment" because it was combining "the biggest sporting event in the world" with hip-hop, "the biggest form of music in the world."

Last week, some of the music icons had said the NFL was late in embracing hip-hop and vowed their halftime show would create more opportunities for the genre. 

It was a rare Super Bowl halftime show performed in the daylight, but it still had a feeling of a nightclub at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, with a set made up to look like the houses of nearby Compton and South LA.

Blige was the only return performer among the group — she was part of an ensemble cast that featured Aerosmith, NSYNC, Britney Spears and Nelly back in 2001.

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Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg kicked off the show, with "Next Episode" and "California Love," with a surprise appearance coming shortly after from 50 Cent as he rapped — while hanging upside down — his 2003 hit ‘In Da Club’ with a crowd of dancers behind him. 

Mary J. Blige sparkled with her backup dancers in silver sequin outfits. She slowed things down and belted out her 2001 hit "No More Drama" from atop one of the halftime stage’s modules. 

Kendrick Lamar moved the show to the turf area, rapping "Alright" in the midst of a crowd of male dancers wearing all-black suits with sashes reading "Dre Day."

Eminem’s "Lose Yourself" came next, while his co-headliners were seen dancing and bobbing their heads. A rock band accompanied him as he, at one point, took a knee in an apparent tribute to Colin Kaepernick’s protests. 

Dr. Dre played his iconic "Still D.R.E." melody on the piano before rapping alongside Snoop Dogg to close out the show.

The set was surrounded by what looked like a lit-up cityscape from above, with classic convertibles and a replica of the sculpture outside the Compton Courthouse.

The crowd had lanyards with LED lights that flashed in coordination with the show’s beats.

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The NFL denied reports that it was attempting to stop Eminem from making the gesture.

Deaf musicians part of halftime show for 1st time 

Another notable feature of this year’s show was the inclusion of the first deaf performers, Warren "Wawa" Snipe and Sean Forbes. The two used their hands, body and facial expressions to deliver unique renditions of the songs in American Sign Language.

Their entire performance will be available on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Super Bowl LVI kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. At half-time, with the Los Angeles Rams leading 13-10 at half-time. The game is being played at the Rams’ and Chargers’ Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California, making it the second straight season where a team is playing in a Super Bowl on their home field.

This story was reported from Detroit and Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.