The Super Bowl Pepsi Halftime Show went down on Sunday (February 13) with maestro Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar taking centerstage.
Right before Dr. Dre played the few first notes from 2Pac’s “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” on the white baby grand piano, Slim Shady took a knee in solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Eminem took a knee at the Super Bowl. Good. pic.twitter.com/mvI2qrRgbr
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 14, 2022
Rumors the National Football League had forbade Eminem from doing it started to spread like wildfire on social media, but The New York Post confirmed no such rule had been imparted on the musical talent nor any of the players. Even so, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani didn’t appreciate the gesture and called out Eminem during his radio program, the Rudy Giuliani Show.
“Let’s get right to Eminem taking a knee,” Giuliani said on Monday (February 14). “Why doesn’t he go to another country? I mean, go take a knee someplace else. You know how many cops were defending him and protecting him at that game yesterday? I mean crime is way out of control in Los Angeles.”
“He thinks that all happened because everybody loves Eminem?” the former New York City mayor continued. “The simple reality is the NFL has made a mockery of law enforcement, particularly with its support for the cop-killing Black Lives Matter.”
77 WABC's @RudyGiuliani provides his input on Eminem's decision to take a kneel during the halftime show last night.
Do you agree with Eminem's actions?
— TalkRadio 77 WABC (@77WABCradio) February 14, 2022
Rudy Giuliani may not have liked Eminem’s socio-political stance at the Super Bowl, but there were plenty of people who applauded him for it. There were other moments during the show that likely infuriated Giuliani, too.
The roughly 15-minute performance ended with “Still D.R.E.” and the controversial lyric, “still not loving police,” which The Puck suggested made the organizers “uncomfortable” as did Snoop Dogg’s blue rag sweatsuit that could possibly be perceived as “gang-related.” But they reportedly decided not to censor either to avoid a “divisive cultural moment.”
However, Dr. Dre admitted the NFL did implement a few adjustments to the set while speaking to TMZ earlier this week.
“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 Lamar’s line from 2015’s “Alright” where he says “and we hate po-po” was also censored, but Dr. Dre didn’t clarify why that was muted during the performance. Whatever the case, the set seemingly went off without a hitch.