Snoop Dogg - The Observatory - January 10, 2014
Being able to see a Snoop Dogg show is damn near as epic as seeing Paul McCartney perform. They both have survived the most monumental events in recent music history and it wouldn't be a surprise if they brought along with them a few of those, lesser known but nevertheless, living legends to play alongside with them. On Friday, Snoop tore down the Observatory with the help of Tha Dogg Pound (Daz and Kurupt) while a few of the culture's other reputables looked on.
After much delay, Daz got the concert started, sporting some fresh cornrows, a Darren McFadden, and a blunt stepped as he stepped on stage with his longtime partner in rhyme, Kurupt. Quickly, they ran through Daz' solo hits, while Kurupt played hype man until it was time for Dogg Pound faves "What Would You Do" and "Cali Iz Active."
IT was about an hour later that the Rastafari colored canvas bearing Snoop's Rastafari colored, beanie-wearing, smiling face could be seen lying behind the instruments set up on stage. It could have easily doubled as the décor on the side of your local Reggae bar. Moments later, the DJ, a young drummer finishing the last of a doobie, a bassist, guitarist, and keyboardist -and acclaimed producer, Terrace Martin approached the stage and armed themselves with their weapon of choice.
Snoop, with Tha Dogg Pound, Soopafly, and his mascot Nasty Dogg in the background, began with the 2009 hit "I Wanna Rock."
As Snoop got into the groove, his sly footwork and hand movements were reminiscent of something his Uncle Charlie Wilson might do during his equally funky set. Along with the Dogg, was Nasty Dogg, a man in neighborhood attire -a black long sleeve with his name on the back, Dickie shorts, and Nike- under a dog head with a cap on doing his two-step. Later in the set, Nasty Dogg and Kurupt would faced each other in a Cripwalk-off, which Kurupt, who still bounced on his heels like a 20 year, old, easily won the battle.
With everyone on stage doing some kind of jig or another, one couldn't help but look down at the performers feet and notice pretty much everyone had on a fresh pair of Adidas. What a dope sponsorship!
One swashbuckler of a man who'd take the stage, would not be seen wearing three stripes that night though. As the "P.I.M.P." beat started, none other than GGN co-host and worldwide player Archbishop Magic Don Juan strutted out from backstage in a dazzling, betta fish colored suit for a short cameo.
Snoop carried on playing the hits--even his verses on "California Girls" by Katy Perry--that have cemented his place in music history, while accompanied by the band. When it came time for his verse on Akon's "I Wanna Fuck You," musical mastermind Terrace Martin stepped away from the keys and picked up an alto sax for a version of the song that should definitely be getting play on 94.7 The Wave.
In a voice starkly similar to his tone during the 1995 Source awards speech in New York when a young Snoop chastised the crowd with the famous line "The East Coast ain't got no love for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg?" Snoop asked the crowd if they had love for Biggie before going in a cover of "Hypnotize," which the crowd sung along to.
As his set concluded, there had been no hint of a Snoop Lion appearance, which seemed weird considering he'd been billed as "aka Snoop Lion" for this show (unless you count him him giving blessings to Selassie I and thanking "Jah" before walking off the stage). His final words were brief, but intoxicating: "Smoke weed muthafuckas!"
The Crowd: Young, Wild, Free
Critic's Bias: My night would have been made had Snoop put the synthesizer straw in his mouth and performed "Sexual Eruption" in that ridiculous sequined outfit from the video
Random Notebook Dump: Fuck 50-minute intervals between sets!!! Venues and artists really need to start coordinating better.
Overheard: Upon leaving the venue, several people said that was the best show they'd ever been to with no reluctance