Connor Quick

Stadium Status and Super Bowl Halftime [Pawprints S1E4]

J.Rey and special guest co-host Eli Davenport ('18) talk about the historical Super Bowl halftime shows of their time and who they would want to see in years to come. Also, a heated Kanye West argument occurs.

February 2, 2018

On this episode of Pawprints, J.Rey and special guest Eli Davenport (filling in for Mello Mellon) talk about the cultural impact of Super Bowl halftime show.

Over the past few years, more big pop acts have been performing at the Super Bowl halftime show, from Coldplay to Katy Perry to Bruno Mars. These performances have been topic of discussion not just for the sports world, but for the pop world as well. This is because when an act headlines, they typically will have a surprise guest perform with them. The only exception in more recent years is Stefani Germanotta a.k.a. “Lady Gaga” who captured the essence of arena rock with a drone-driven show and neon paint-dipped setlist, all rounded out with an intimate performance of “Million Reasons.” In terms of guests, Eli and J.Rey expect Justin to bring *NSYNC back for the night and also possibly a Michael Jackson homage via hologram because of the fact that Justin remixed the MJ demo “Love Never Felt So Good” with hip-hop music producer Timbaland in 2014 for Michael’s posthumous release “XSCAPE.”

Justin Timberlake’s return to the Super Bowl halftime show brings up the historical 2004 incident that shook up the nation and brought up more controversy to follow. The last major occurrences of controversy include M.I.A.’s 2011 bird flip during Madonna’s set and Beyoncé’s 2016 outfit choice which many surmised was a BLM and Black Panther propaganda ploy, although it can also be seen as her homage to the late Michael Jackson’s 1993 half-time performance outfit because 2016’s show had been celebrating the 50th Super Bowl, as well as all the pop stars who had performed in previous years.

Also, the Super Bowl halftime is not safe from the terrors of meme culture. Katy Perry’s 2015 “left shark” ordeal became a viral joke across the internet. As well as Lady Gaga’s 2017 which featured a rooftop jump at the beginning of her performance, which was also subject to memeification.

Eli and J.Rey also debated over artists who have not had their own halftime performances. J.Rey vouched for Taylor Swift although he claimed he thinks that she thinks the Super Bowl is below her. Eli showed favored to Canadian XO figurehead chart-topper The Weeknd. Drake, although a superstar, was not given the green light by the duo out of speculation in Drake’s persona and showmanship. J.Rey also brought out acts like Sia, Selena Gomez, and Kanye West. Kanye is Eli’s favorite artist and he holds his 2007 album “Graduation” in high esteem and shows bitter resentment towards Kanye’s 2016 unpolished pursuit “The Life of Pablo.” J.Rey, on the other hand, is a major fan of Yeezus, 808’s, and is also a The Life of Pablo apologist. The duo came to terms with the fact that Kanye West is the opposite of what networks and the NFL want to advertise their brand due to his off-kilter personality. This argument begged the question whose career should be celebrated by being showcased to not just casual consumers (like a grandmother or a dad), but the world.

Listen to this episode’s soundtrack here (Listeners Discretion Advised):

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