LOS ANGELES—As the Tupac and Dr. Dre classic goes, “California knows how to party…”—and the city of Los Angeles certainly showed some "California Love" during the memorable Super Bowl LVI halftime show, which helped set up a big win for the hometown Rams who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. The iconic rap song was just one of many nostalgic hits performed during the show, which drew Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and surprise guest 50 Cent, and marked the first time the halftime show featured hip-hop artists as the main act.
Taking place at SoFi Stadium—the buzzy new 3.1 million-square-foot venue in Inglewood, Calif.—the show paid tribute to nearby neighborhood Compton, Dr. Dre's hometown, which is considered one of the birthplaces of rap music. The sleek, all-white stage design featured a series of connecting rooms nodding to various Compton landmarks, including Tam’s Burgers, Dale’s Donuts, the Compton courthouse and the nightclub Eve After Dark, where Dr. Dre used to perform early in his career. Details like vintage Chevrolet Impalas and a massive photograph of the city rounded out the tribute to the City of Angels.
Overall, the show drew positive reviews, with the event producers we spoke to praising the A-list performances and clever scenic elements. Some viewers, though, longed for bigger production values and more innovative uses of technology. Here's what else our experts had to say.