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Hip-Hop at Halftime: Let Us Back In, Commish

Dear Commissioner Roger Goodell,

On behalf of hip-hop, I’d liked to congratulate you on putting together another superb Super Bowl. That’s three years in a row football fans have been treated to a classic battle on the gridiron. Congrats to the New Orleans Saints for winning their first Super Bowl.

Who Dat?! Who Dat?!

Winning it for a city that needs some good vibes was big. Apologizes are in order for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Being that I’m a New York Giants fans, Eli’s big bro is like extended family, so seeing him throw a colossal interception kind of hurt, but you gotta give it up to the Saints’ defense for delivering in the clutch.

Seriously, Mr. Goodell, you outdid yourself with this one. The plot lines were endless in this game.

First, you had Louisiana native Peyton Manning opposing the childhood team he once rooted for thanks to the fact that his dad, Archie, was and still is one of the most famous New Orleans Saints players. Secondly, you had the once hard-luck N’Awlins franchise putting on for a city that’s still rebuilding post-Hurricane Katrina. Then, you had the Haitian-American players Indianapolis’ Pierre Gorcon and New Orleans’ Jonathan Vilma trying to win one for their homeland as Haiti recovers from its own natural disaster. NBA commissioner David Stern would kill for a line up like that Mr. Goodell.

The only gripe I had, and I’m sure I speak for the many football loving hip-hop fans, was your halftime show. I appreciate you letting Jay-Z open things up in the pre-game, but we want more.

No the disrespect to The Who, I’m certainly familiar with their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame credentials, but I’m certain a collective “who are you?” swept the crowd and viewers when they took center stage. And I’m not talking about their classic album. Of their set, “Baba O’Riley” was the one song I can truly admit to enjoying.

But c’mon, commish, you saw the show with your own eyes. Those old British guys were sucking the life out of the building. For the three straight classic games you’ve given us, you’ve also given us three straight years of geriatric halftime performances. From Tom Petty in 2007, to Bruce Springstein in 2008, and The Who last night. That’s a line up that only a mother could love—truly.

I think you know what needs to be down, Mr. Goodell. I’m sure you hear the complaints. I’m sure your inbox is inundated with messages begging you to do the right thing. Let us back in, commish! Let hip-hop get another shot at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Forgive Ms. Jackson her transgression. How long must we pay for a simple wardrobe malfunction? In fact, hip-hop has been on the sidelines since 2001. I know it wasn’t you’re problem then, but do you know Nelly was the last rapper to grace your mid-game show.

Peep the videotape.

This year you missed a real opportunity to make the Super Bowl an even bigger spectacle. You could have invited Lil Wayne to perform for his hometown fans and possibly opened the door for a quasi-Hot Boys reunion. I know CBS has a say in who you select, so we would have even went along with their over the top censoring. We’re reasonable people. We know it’s all about give and take. Pause.

We know it’s too early to be discussing this, given the fact you’ve got a potential lockout looming over your league, but we just want you to consider ending the lockout of rappers on your stage. Please, sir, just chew on this for a while. If above 40 years old corporate acts are what you like, we have that.

Next year’s Super Bowl will be held in Dallas, Texas at the new Cowboys Stadium. Two of our biggest stars, Eminem and Jay-Z are huge Cowboys fans. I’m sure they’d be honored to rock out in Big D. They both fit your age criteria and who more corporate than them. Em already has a budding relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, I’m sure it’s something they’ve talked about already.

If it’s appeasing the fans in Middle America you’re concerned with, well Em has a certain appeal with them. You seem to like Jay-Z, judging from the many spots he’s had with your company. Remember, you let him debut his new video on Monday Night Football. C’mon, sir! Make it happen! We’re counting on you, commish! —Rondell Conway

Eminem talking with Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones

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