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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    FIRST AGAIN!!! I’m glad those Saints won. Fuck the Colts and fuck Peyton Manning. Colts just aint what they used to be LOL

  • Lock Ent.

    Me and my people were talkin about this last night. They basically banned hip hop artist from performing because Janet Jackson(an R&B act) busted out a titty during the performance. I don’t know about anyone else, but that titty coming out was more entertaining then the whole performance from The Who

    • Andrew J

      yall don’t understand it’s not about making the best possible show, it’s about capturing ratings. goodell has already got nfl fans, and most hip hop fans, and people who just watch it for the commercials watching. he can diversify the show and compete with law and order and the food network for grandma if he throws the who up on stage at halftime. last night’s superbowl was the most watched show of all time. i’d love to see hip-hop back at halftime, but until the people get a say, goodell is gonna keep fuckin up.

  • My 3 Cents

    Being a fan of neither of these two teams I have to say the Colts looked like they got screwed by the refs, I never saw a call go their way. It makes you think the NFL wanted the Saints to win b/c this is going to have a HUGE impact on the New Orleans economy with all the sales they will have of everything. Also the NFL which is the richest and best ran league in all sports could give two shits about pleasing the Hip Hop community. There half time shows have not been that good of late, but who the hell watches the Super Bowl b/c of the halftime shows.

  • nicholasdelorejo

    of course Hip-hop may never be acceptable in a halftime performance at the Super Bowl. Not after the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake fiasco (which by the way both of whom were not rap artists). But you gotta understand hip hop is like America’s secret drug addiction. People may say that hip-hop is garbage and it sucks but if that were true then that shit would disapprear from the billboard charts and be replaced with classical music (which people consider as the definition of what music should be). The commision of the NFL doesn’t want to cause any controversy so he opts for family friendly acts from an older generation. It’s cool to avoid controversy but not at the expense of generating a younger audience or providing a memorable show.

  • jerryp

    Everyone here is crazy The Who rocked the damn thing. Great show. So what if they’re old they still do it better than many of their counterparts. I love hip-hop but there’s just nothing out that really gets embraced by the entire community anymore. Some people on this blog and comments should really read up on the the NFL’s economic model.

  • No Mames Buey

    IMHO a major effect of the internet on music (say from 1999 to now) is eroding the mass market. More people are into their own fav niche artists nowadays.

    For example, now I’m replaying the hell out of Elevated Ruffians 2009 Magnificent Soul LP (aside, give that a spin already!), that & Fashawn are the best hip hop albums of 2009 imho. But most “heads” that dig the blogs might not even have heard of these. Look at rock, different “indie” heads are in to niche different bands.

    Compare this to say the 80s. A majority of USians were big fans of at least a few of these artists: Michael Jackson, Prince, U2, Hall & Oates, Phil Collins, etc. Also, some of these artists actually made CLASSIC albums that were also big sellers. Current super-marketed shyt is not on that classic level, with a few exceptions, like Kanye’s College Dropout & Late Reg. Mediocre shyt like Rihanna, Camel’s BP3, Britney Spears, etc is NOT on the level of say Prince, they ain’t within a light year of distance!

    So with the death of the music mass market, it makes $ense that the NFL is gonna bring out the old school mass market artists.

    It’s also generational thing. The NFL “TIs” would rather have the 50+ yo’s enjoying the music and the under-30s have the “who the eff is this” confused face, then visa-versa.

  • General

    Yeah this classic rock halftime shit has to go…

    I think they should let the players vote who they want to perform at halftime…

  • CrunchyBlack187

    My only question is which hip-hop artist would it be then?

  • http://www.bboycult.com The $ykotic Don Mac

    “but that titty coming out was more entertaining then the whole performance from The Who”

    ^^^ Word is bond the 50 + people at the shindig I went to ALL said this…


    First off congrats to the Saints for beating us they played a hell of a game they did what a lot of other teams have done successfully against us they kept Peyton off the field and when he made a mistake it was a bad one. Lastly FUCK ANYONE WHO SAYS FUCK THE COLTS OR FUCK PEYTON MANNING, QUIT BEIN A HATER WHEN YOU KNOW YOU COULDNT EVEN HOLD HIS JOCK STRAP.YOU MUST BE BUTT HURT CUS WE PUT YOUR TEAM OUT.

  • Curtis75Black

    Football is a little too family for a Hip Hop Halftime show, especially the ones “we” would like to see. I wouldn’t mind seeing a variety of acts blazing the show but being its gonna be the a “radio show” without no true diversity why stress it ? If the NBA would put one on, then we could see some of the illest performances, because Basketball and Hip Hop goes hand in hand.

    • Wrong

      Basketball was created by a Canadian P.E. teacher in 1891, I understand your meaning, basketball is a common topic in a lot of hip hop music. They’re not hand in hand.

      • Curtis75Black

        Not only that, Alot of the players nowadays grew up with Hip Hop in their veins !! This isn’t the 70′s and 80′s or even early 90′s when Jordan was blazing shit. This is the Hip Hop era of NBA truthfully !! That’s what I meant.

  • Gift

    XXL community, I got to put yall on game. One of the members of THE WHO, is or was labeled as a sex offender. This is fine entertainment for millions of people across the world. They were entertaining and all, but I better never hear no shit out of the commisioner’s mouth or any cbs broadcast complain about hip hop. Double standard like a motherfucka. Anybody else care to comment?

    • Wrong Again

      He was never labeled as a sex offender, an investigation said he was not in possession of anything illegal he was cleared of any charges.

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Who’s really “rocking the crowd” like that in Hip-Hop today? If Hip-Hop had a “Whoop, There It Is” type of hit blowing up the airwaves that would get EVERYBODY out of their seats, that act would’ve been booked. I think Black Eyed Peas are trying to get in that lane (they’re close, but not quite).

    Might as well face it, there are no megahits out right now. No “H.O.V.A.”, no “Can’t Touch This”, not even a “Humpty Dance” or an “O.P.P.” Mama Said Knock You Out, anyone???

    Notice how oooold those hits are. We ain’t been right in a minute.

  • http://www.bboycult.com The $ykotic Don Mac

    XXL is in HEAVY moderation mode…

    C/S J7M

    @ Gift

    There’s a response if they let the comments go…

  • A Fan of Hip Hop but

    I like Hip Hop/Rap, but as far as going to a show/concert the shit is not good, it actually stinks. Just about any other genre of music is better than Hip Hop/Rap when it comes to live performances. If you disagree than you really have never been to any other kind of performance than rap and that makes you not very smart so you will have no idea what I am talking about.

  • el negro

    real-talk, janet jackson wardrobe malfunction had nothing to do with hip hop. her and justin timberlake are singers. not rappers. y tha hell cant a hip hop artist perform?

  • gkajdgkdkldg

    The Roots at Halftime, anyone?

  • jasp

    i didnt catch any of the half-time performance, but the who are like rock legends. i think it was a good choice

  • http://www.justice.gov.za Chiliz

    Peyton Manning handed Saints the victor,nuff said!

  • caino

    Shit, the WHO peado gets away with it (kindofa) because he is in the WHo, same as MJ got away with being a ‘paedo’ (aledgedly) cos who he was.

    Hip-Hop is too ‘dangerous’ for a halftime performance and like Jamal7mike says, we havent had a proper hiphop anthem in a minute. One that has properly crossed over to the mainstream and not just in hiphop circles.

  • john cochran

    Im glad there was no hiphop, cause if it was they would only pick commercial ass Jay Z and Im tired of that nigga. As a sport I love football, but the NFL dont care about black peoples opinions. They couldve at least mixed it up, they let them old farts play for 30 minutes. Fuck it, its NBA allstar week baby. The NBA still has a mostly black fan base. They been dealing with hiphop since the 80s. All they need is more stars, right now its the Kobe Lebron show.

  • mav

    that shit was awful…i aint even askin for them to put rappers back in it but at least let some current pop stars do the half time show and i dont wanna see jay or em either but they would definitely be better than who the fuck? im in my mid twenties and i dont know none of their shit the dude that wrote this article is corny as hell 4 sayin he like one of those songs that shit was the lamest show ever id rather watch that flavor flav video wit him singin over autotune…nuff said

  • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

    Prince had the only halftime show I ever enjoyed.

    “Purple Rain” performed in the rain – cool as fu*k.

    I would like to hear D’Angelo or Erykah Badu sing a real soulful version of the U.S. anthem like Marvin Gaye did for the NBA allstar game

    The Who have great songs but them dudes is too old to do their own music any justice.

  • GregSIDE

    First Off the Saints str8 ran through the Colts. Secondly it was on CBS. It felt like one big ass CSI promo. Lastly, I like Peyton and I’m glad he at least won the Oreo Double Stuff Championship with his brother again. 1st the Williams Sisters and now The Trumps. I’d really like to see them go up against the Brother’s Thortan or better yet Meth and Red. If they hit the trees be4 the “game” they’ll win hands downs.


    The Saints didnt run through shit you obviously wasnt watchin the same game. The Colts had the lead, they held us back because our rooks made some bad mistakes then the kicker missed and the Saints scored then Peyton through an interception. We beat ourselves. We made mistakes we dont usually make.Congrats to the Saints they deserve it but its not like they smashed us or somethin.Cant wait till next year.

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