Tam’s Burgers forever: For locals, Compton landmarks steal the Super Bowl halftime show

Performers, dancers and lowrider cars on the field for the halftime show at SoFi Stadium.
Mary J. Blige performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium.
(Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

The Super Bowl halftime show with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar had an unexpected star Sunday: a stage design that went to impressive lengths to highlight landmarks in South L.A.

Locals were thrilled to see a marquee of the legendary Compton dance club Eve After Dark, where the DNA of Dre’s sound first gathered steam before turning into G-Funk.

Tam’s Burgers No. 21 on West Rosecrans Avenue got lovingly represented, as did the giant doughnut sign of Dale’s in Compton. The sweeping panels of the Martin Luther King memorial in Compton bookended one side of the stage.

Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent perform during the Super Bowl halftime show at SoFi Stadium.
Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent perform near the halftime show set’s Tam’s Burgers sign.
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

Dre was joined by Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and guest 50 Cent in one of the great halftime shows of all time.

Feb. 13, 2022

Locations like these have long figured into the lore of L.A. hip-hop. But as the area gentrifies — driven, in a major way, by the opening of SoFi Stadium — there’s concern that the city, as remembered through its classic rap lyrics, is disappearing. For its residents and rap fans, these landmarks remain a connection to musical history.

As Kendrick Lamar raps on “Element,” “I be hangin’ out at Tam’s, I be on Stockton / I don’t do it for the ‘Gram, I do it for Compton.” Even if the area’s skyline is now dominated by a multibillion-dollar stadium, a little burger joint like Tam’s keeps a sense of place.

The Super Bowl halftime show set, with its representation of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in the foreground.
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)