c.) 50 Cent
If you chose Nelly (of all people), then you are correct. In fact, he performed twice. Once in 2001 alongside Aerosmith, ‘N’Sync, Britney Spears, and Mary J. Blige; then again in 2004–and we all know how that ended. However, he’s not the only hip-hop act to grace the Super Bowl stage: that same Super Bowl in 2004, the artist formerly known as P. Diddy had a guest spot, and Nicki Minaj joined Madonna in 2012. Not only have there been just three hip-hop acts to ever appear during the halftime show, not one rapper has been the headliner.
Will a hip-hop artist ever get the opportunity to headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show? Everyone understands that this is a big show; so it would make sense to tap one of the biggest names in hip-hop, one of America’s most popular genres, to perform. This would have been a great year for hip-hop to be a part of the Super Bowl: with living legends Eminem and Jay-Z both dropping albums in 2013, either one would have been a suitable center. Even Kanye West would have been a great choice. But instead, this year’s sponsor, Pepsi, chose Bruno Mars. Bruno had an electrifying performance this past Sunday that further catapulted the Grammy winner to stardom. However, many feel Bruno was a downgrade compared to last year’s performer, Beyonce. Some may say Jay-Z would have been a better choice; what better person to follow-up Mrs. Carter than Mr. Carter?
It’s likely that the sponsors of the Halftime Show are not interested in hip-hop acts or they fear a hip-hop-oriented show will cause a decrease in viewership. Every year, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched events on television. It is dismissive of hip-hop culture to leave it out of one America’s largest musical spectacles.
Honestly, this dismissal may never die. There are a lot of politics that are involved with selecting a performer for the show, and the “risque” nature of hip-hop in the eyes of much of America will be a huge hurdle to leap. If sponsors truly feel that a hip-hop artist is not a safe idea for a halftime show, then hip-hop will continue to be left out. Hopefully sponsors will come to their senses and allow icons such as Jay, Eminem, or Kanye to headline the show before they’re too far past their prime. Maybe, if they continue their rise up the pop ranks, sponsors will call up artists like Drake, Macklemore, or Kendrick Lamar.
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