Deaf Rappers to Perform With Dr. Dre, Eminem and Others at 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show
According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, published last Friday (Feb. 4), deaf rappers Sean Forbes and Warren "WaWa" Snipe have been tapped to perform at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show, which will take place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Feb. 13. This will be the first time the NFL has added American Sign Language (ASL) performances to their halftime program.
"The doors to accessibility are busted wide open with something like this," Forbes told the newspaper. The 40-year-old ASL rhymer wouldn't divulge what his performance will entail, but he did reveal that he'll be accompanying Em and Snoop on stage.
Meanwhile, this will be Warren's second Super Bowl performance. At Super Bowl LV in February of 2021, he delivered a spirited rendition of the national anthem with R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan and country singer Eric Church, along with a performance of "America the Beautiful."
For Forbes, who helped launch the Deaf Performing Arts Network (DPAN) for sign-language performers, his specific connection with Eminem goes way back. The Detroit native would always see Em working on music at his father’s local 54 Sound studio. In 2005, Forbes had a chance to show Em a video of his ASL rendition of "Lose Yourself" and it left the Oscar-winning rapper dumbfounded. "Deaf people like music?" was Slim Shady's response, Forbes recalled.
"My goal is to get out there, show what we can do, and have fun," added Forbes. "And I want to open the door for other deaf performers."
The Super Bowl LVI matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will air live on NBC at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday. The halftime show will likely start just after 8 p.m. EST.