Rap Icon The D.O.C. on Dr. Dre’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and What Watching Michael Jordan in 1989 Was Like

This year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show is one rap fanatics are eagerly anticipating, with icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige all slated to hit the stage. However, hip-hop legend The D.O.C. — who is long associated with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg — may be the most excited of all.

“I’m a little biased in that for me, it’s an emotional connection. I’m just really happy and excited for my guys and I can’t wait. It’s like when your big brother and little brother win the state championship, you just so glad to be at the game,” The D.O.C. told FN.

The D.O.C.’s resumé is stacked, including writing credits for classics from Eazy-E, N.W.A., Dr. Dre and others, as well as revered debut album “No One Can Do It Better,” which arrived in 1989. For this historic moment, The D.O.C. will be in attendance at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to take in a performance that’s sure to be discussed for decades.

“This is fantastic for hip-hop period, no matter what coast it’s connected to. It’s just a testimony to how dominant hip-hop culture really is in all forms and facets of the entertainment world,” The D.O.C. said.

Eazy-E The D.O.C.
Eazy-E (R) and The D.O.C.
CREDIT: Courtesy

Aside from the Super Bowl, speaking with FN, the rap legend also shared his decades-long love of Jordan Brand and Air Jordans, which dates back to 1989 when he wore all-black and all-white Jordan warmup suits in the video for his hit single “It’s Funky Enough.”

“They need to put those back out, let me throw that back on,” The D.O.C. said with a laugh.

Below, The D.O.C. shares thoughts with FN on the Super Bowl LVI halftime performance and his fandom of Air Jordans.

How often have you been around Dr. Dre and everyone featured in the show as they’ve been putting together the Super Bowl performance?

“I’ve been around pretty much for all of it. I’ve seen it all come together from the

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deck to the stage, and it’s remarkable. But I’m not involved. All [Dr. Dre] does is show me what he’s doing and I get to marvel at it and see how he put things together, which for me is a blessing because I get to learn a lot about how to turn things that are in your head into a vision that you can literally touch and feel and see.”

What can people expect from the performance?

“Dre would say, ‘Whatever you think you’re going to see, it’s that times 20.'”

What would you say?

“I would say, ‘Trust Dre.'”

Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre Super Bowl LVI halftime show
(L to R): Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Dr. Dre in a news conference for the Super Bowl LVI halftime show.
CREDIT: AP Photo/Morry Gash

Is there anything left for you to accomplish in music?

“This life that I’m living right now I understand is a real blessing, and I’m not going to make it any more uptight than I need. I’m going to take these blessings and do my best to pay it forward. I’m going to leave something on this earth much more sustainable than that guy was a great rapper. That may be a part of who I am, but it’s not who I am. I think it’s much more important for my sons to see me build something that means something. And the fact that I’ve been a part of two or three other of those kinds of something that had the potential to be everything only means that I can do this shit again if I want.”

The D.O.C.
The D.O.C.
CREDIT: Courtesy

What does your footwear collection look like?

“I’m a humble guy, I’ve got one of anything that I like. I’m an old country boy, so I don’t need all of that stuff. I’m a Jordan guy. The patent leather 11s, the light blue and the black and white ones, and all of those schools I’ve got all of those, and any other Jordan Brand shoe that’s comfortable. Jordan was the guy. Once you get stuck on something, that’s pretty much it — and I’m a 1989 Jordan guy, that’s why I stick to the old schools. They need to make those old warmup suits like a wore in my ‘It’s Funky Enough’ video. But I’m a country boy so I do have some boots and a cowboy hat. I got some black alligators, I love my boots.”

As someone whose star was on the rise as Michael Jordan’s was as well, what has MJ meant to you throughout your life?

“He’s a legend. Before anybody understood what his greatness really was, we were just in awe that someone could be so gifted at this sport. I have yet to see another individual play the game of basketball at that level since. It was just pure artistry, and I’m an artist so I latched on to that. And the guy had so much style, he had so much flair and he’s an African American icon. I read so much of the things that Jordan did behind the scenes to uplift and help people that didn’t get described in the press a lot, so I’ve always maintained such a huge amount of respect for him. During that period of time, it was after my accident when he was really skyrocketing, and I was lost in the drugs and alcohol and I never got a chance to meet the guy, I never had a chance to be in his presence. If there’s one regret, that would be it, never having the chance to bump into that guy.”

We all know how revered MJ is today, but what was the buzz like surrounding him in 1989?

“Jordan has always been Jordan. He’s been Jordan since [his college basketball days at] North Carolina, he was the same guy, he just grew and just grew and grew, and when he got the cast that he needed [with the Chicago Bulls], he showed you what he was capable of. If you have a bag of microwave popcorn, you don’t have to cook it to know what it’s going to be. You’ve already seen it 1,000 times. Jordan, once you saw what he’d done over and over again, you knew the heart and the desire of this guy. You just never saw a basketball player with that kind of determined mind.”

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