MINNEAPOLIS, Feb 4, (AP): Snoop Dogg’s Super Bowl week is almost as busy as that of the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots players competing on Sunday. He headlined BET’s Super Bowl Gospel Celebration and debuted music from his upcoming gospel album on Thursday. He held a screening for his new Netflix series, “Coach Snoop,” on Friday. And he was to work as the DJ of Playboy’s Big Game Weekend Party in Minneapolis, where the game is being played, on Saturday.
Snoop Dogg is so popular that NFL icon Deion Sanders was extra excited when he saw the entertainer at Friday’s event.
“I can’t wait to see ‘Coach Snoop,’” Sanders exclaimed. “You know what I told them, ‘See, rapping is what he do. Coach Snoop is who he is.’”
Snoop Dogg, born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., has coached a youth football league for years. The new series, which debuted Friday, follows the former gangster rapper guiding at-risk kids and helping them focus on their goals.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the rapper, who released a reggae album under the moniker Snoop Lion in 2013, talks about coaching, his favorite mentors, his advice to young rappers and his upcoming album, “Love.”
AP: What can we expect from “Coach Snoop”?
Snoop Dogg: This show is like, it’s an emotional roller coaster. There will be tears of sympathy, tears of sadness, tears of joy. You’ll follow these kids, you’ll follow me and these coaches and the backdrop to everything, the goals we try to instill in them to want to be better people, not just better football players. And football is just the avenue that we ride down in order to get our message across.
AP: What has coaching taught you?
Snoop Dogg: It was a transformation as far as being a rapper to a football coach. All the things I couldn’t say as a rapper, I could say as a coach. So it was like another phase and step in my life as far as growing and becoming the full-grown man I became. Once football became a part of my life my manhood became different, as far as being a father, a husband, just a better man in general.
AP: Who were the mentors that helped you succeed?
Snoop Dogg: Charlie Wilson was a big mentor to me. Bootsy Collins. These guys helped me with my personal life, not just my music career. They’ve been real uncles to me — (they) tell me when I’m wrong, steer me in my direction to go back home, help me out when I’m lost. A lot of times when we become big, we don’t have nobody to check us, to get us back right because we become uncheckable. But when you got somebody in your life who don’t mind telling you when you are wrong and don’t mind standing on top of it no matter how big you are, and you respect that, that’s what I’ve been able to get out those two brothers my whole career. Charlie and Bootsy have been more uncles to me than I’ve been to the whole industry.
AP: Which team do you want to see win Sunday?
Snoop Dogg: You know, I’m a (Pittsburgh) Steelers fan. I just root for players once my team gets knocked out. I have homies on both teams, but at the same time if they win (New England Patriots owner) Mr. Kraft sure loves paying Snoop Dogg. I ain’t even going to act like I don’t like their money. Mr. Kraft sure love getting that money for me. Robert, how you doing?!
AP: What was it like performing your gospel music alongside other gospel artists?
Snoop Dogg: I don’t never be nervous to perform onstage, but I was nervous onstage to perform at that — this is gospel, this is church. These people, boy they would shoot you down if your game ain’t together … they would throw the Bible at you … ‘I can’t believe he got up there and did … .’ I said, ‘Hold on now. Let me get my thing together.’ I shook that nervousness, though.
… Donnie McClurkin (came) over to me when I finished performing, and he looked me into my eyes and said, ‘If you weren’t rapping, brother, you’d be preaching.’ I said, ‘My granny said the same thing!’ That’s cold when Donnie said it.
AP: It’s been 25 years since your debut album was released. What advice do you have for young rappers starting to find success?
Snoop Dogg: Just stay true to who you are. One thing about Snoop Dogg is he never changed, he stayed who he was despite the many albums and phases I went through. I stayed the same person. Whatever you’re going through in this industry remain who you are and stay true to who you are and respect those despite them being bigger or smaller than you because you never know when the roles will be reversed.
Jennifer Lopez raised money for Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, celebrated an anniversary with beau Alex Rodriguez and covered Prince songs at a pre-Super Bowl concert in Minneapolis.
Lopez headlined the DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night concert, working the stage with sizzling and sharp dance moves and singing hits like “I’m Real” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.”
She changed at least seven times during the nearly two-hour concert: She started in a body suit and then switched to a loose jersey that read “J LO” and the No. 13 — one of the many odes to A-Rod.
When she performed her new dance single “Us,” released on Friday, she said worked on the song a year ago — around the time she started dating the former New York Yankee player. Lopez also used a baseball bat as a prop during “Jenny from the Block.”
Though Super Bowl 52 is happening Sunday, when the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles, Lopez said “the big show is tonight.”
“You get full time, you get over time … we can do whatever we want to do. There are no censors, ain’t no time delay. We came to play,” she said.
She sported a dramatic, long fur-like coat during a dance break for “If You Had My Love,” weaving in a bit of Sheila E’s “The Glamorous Life.”
Appropriately, she sang a medley of Prince songs for the Minneapolis crowd — including “When Doves Cry” and “Darling Nikki” — and even slide across the stage on her knees while a guitarist gave his best impression of The Purple One. It earned roars from the crowd.
Lopez, 48, also covered Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”; danced to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” and Camila Cabello’s “Havana”; was joined by Ne-Yo for a duet of “All I Have”; and let DJ Khaled work the audience up while she changed outfits.
At one point she said, “We need something sexy for the sexy people from Minneapolis,” and was joined by shirtless male dancers. In a lingerie ensemble, she danced sensually on a chair as red lights shined onto the stage.
She closed the set with a festive vibe with “Let’s Get Loud,” as her dancers played congos and pyrotechnics burst in the air.
Together again? Not so much.
Janet Jackson has shut down any rumors that she will be joining Justin Timberlake during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
“To put to rest any speculation or rumors as to whether I will be performing at the Super Bowl tomorrow; I will not,” Jackson said in a statement released Saturday. “Thank you for your support and I do look forward to seeing you all very soon.”
Timberlake is returning to the halftime show 14 years after a wardrobe malfunction with Jackson caused a national controversy. Timberlake was Jackson’s special guest during her performance at that year’s game and ripped off a piece of her clothing, revealing her nipple. Timberlake later described it as an unintended “wardrobe malfunction.”
CBS, which aired that Super Bowl, was fined $550,000 by the Federal Communications Commission, but the fine later was overturned.
The hashtags #JusticeforJanet and #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay became trending topics on Twitter days before Timberlake’s record third trip to the stage at the Super Bowl, at which the Philadelphia Eagles will face the New England Patriots at the U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
At a press conference on Thursday, Timberlake mentioned Jackson’s name, along with Jay-Z and ‘NSync, when talking about rumored guests to join him onstage. He was not asked any direct questions about Jackson or the infamous wardrobe malfunction.
When the NFL announced late last year that Timberlake would be returning to the Super Bowl, the decision triggered a backlash from women, minorities and others who felt Jackson was unfairly forced to pay a far higher price than Timberlake faced. Some argued that Jackson, as a black woman, fell victim to a racist and sexist double standard and received harsher treatment than Timberlake, as a white man, did, and they said he benefited from “white male privilege.”
When asked during an interview last month if he and Jackson have since made peace, Timberlake said, “Absolutely.”
He said he and Jackson have talked privately about what happened.
“I don’t know that a lot of people know that,” Timberlake said. “I mean, I don’t think it’s my job to do that, because you value the relationships that you do have with people.”