Snoop Dogg Included Gang References In His Super Bowl Halftime Show Performance

Rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg hasn’t shied away from referencing his past in his music, including his former gang affiliation. That loyalty was on full display during the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show.

Snoop Dogg performing at the Super Bowl halftime show
Snoop Dogg | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Snoop Dogg’s involvement with the Crip gang

In Southern California and around the country, two of the most prominent gang networks are the Bloods and the Crips. Crips are known for rocking the color blue — something Snoop alluded to with his outfit during the Super Bowl. He wore a blue and yellow matching paisley shirt and pants, the colors likely a shoutout to the home team and eventual winners of the Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams.

When he was a teenager growing up in Long Beach, Snoop was a member of the Rolling 20s Crips set, one of the most infamous Crip groups out there. In 1990, Snoop served a stint in jail for cocaine possession, and after he got out, older members of his gang encouraged him to take up rapping.

Given the Super Bowl’s family-friendly nature, it was unclear just how much Snoop could actually overtly reference the Crips.

Snoop Dogg threw up ‘C’s and Cripwalked at the Super Bowl

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg kicked off the halftime show with a performance of their classic track “The Next Episode.” Snoop slipped right into performing the ’90s track with ease as he shared the stage with Dre in his instantly-iconic blue outfit.

In addition to his clothes, Snoop gave more overt references to the Crips during his performance. After he rapped his verse on “The Next Episode,” he threw up the “C” sign with his hands and began to Cripwalk across the stage. He even incorporated the Cripwalk into the dance routine for the number.

Even in 2022, Snoop hasn’t stopped repping his set. He released a new album B.O.D.R. just two days before the Super Bowl; the album’s title stands for Bacc on Death Row, the record label that launched artists including Snoop and Tupac Shakur to stardom. Crips often use two “C”s when spelling as a subtle nod to their gang; the album even has a track called “Crip Ya Enthusiasm.”


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Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics about gangs were censored

Snoop was proud to honor the Crips throughout his Super Bowl performance. While he never did so with his words, the group’s presence and influence was felt both on the show and in hip-hop culture as a whole.

Fellow halftime show performer Kendrick Lamar, however, wasn’t able to include references to gangs during his performance. In the aftermath of the show, Dr. Dre revealed to TMZ that the NFL made Lamar censor a lyric about “Pirus [Bloods] and Crips” in the beginning of his song “m.A.A.d. city.”

Unlike Snoop, however, Lamar has never been affiliated with a gang, including the Bloods or the Crips. However, some of his closest friends were a part of the Westside Piru Bloods, and he was largely steeped in the gang lifestyle as a young person.