The performance saw Dre joined by Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and even 50 Cent on stage at the interval.
Given that the show featured Dre and Snoop, and took place in southern California, there had been much speculation about whether Tupac would be remembered.
There were even rumours that he might feature on the song ‘California Love’ in hologram form.
It’s happened before, and the Super Bowl half-time show is known for elaborate performances and high production values, so it wouldn’t have been an issue.
In the end, the tribute that Dre chose to pay to his fallen comrade – who died in 1996 – was much more subtle and heartfelt than that.
During a slower moment in the performance that saw the cavalcade of artists rattle through a parade of hits at breakneck speed, Dre sat down at a piano and played the first few bars of Tupac’s hit ‘I Ain’t Mad At Cha’.
Fans have already been heralding the show as the greatest half-time in the history of the NFL’s flagship game, and the little nod to 2Pac hasn’t passed them by either.
One person said: “Dre went from teasing Tupac's remarkable classic 𝐼 𝐴𝑖𝑛'𝑡 𝑀𝑎𝑑 𝐴𝑡𝑐ℎ𝑎 to closing the curtains with Still D.R.E. and bruh, I stood up in my living room and gave him an ovation:
“Because every minute of their collaborative effort was amazing.”
Another person wrote: “For a split second, when DRE started playing the I aint Mad at Ya melody, I thought the Tupac Hologram was bout to start performing. F***.”
They added: “I was finna start cryin lol”
A third person said: “Heard that tribute to #Tupac #2Pac on the piano. Hell ya Dre”
It’s probably for the best that they paid tribute in this fashion, as not everyone was so happy when Dre was joined on stage by the hologram of Tupac at Coachella a few years ago.
After all, the guy is dead and is unable to consent to appearing in the performance.
When he was announced as the leading star for the performance in his own back yard, Dre said: "The opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and to do it in my own backyard, will be one of the biggest thrills of my career,
"I'm grateful to JAY-Z, Roc Nation, the NFL, and Pepsi as well as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar for joining me in what will be an unforgettable cultural moment."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy