Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Dogg has got his 11th album “Doggumentary” out, so this tour is essentially in support of that. I knew this would be a bit of a hit and miss gig as people like Snoop are symptomatic of the lazy hip hop show that has plagued the genre for years now.
He gets on stage 15 minutes later than scheduled to a massive welcome from the packed Dome, and looks the epitome of West Coast cool in shades, baggy black shirt and trousers and a huge diamond encrusted ring bearing his name. It’s probably overkill to have three back up MCs, but he’s got Dogg Pound members Daz and Kurupt plus a third member who I don’t recognise. To be honest, I don’t think they add much to the proceedings, and he’s also brought along three female dancers throwing standard “vide-ho” moves, to be expected I suppose and also not adding a great deal to the show. There’s a couple of big bouncer dudes in suits on either side of the stage, one of whom is carrying a holdall for the length of the gig and looks like he’s waiting for a bus to Brighton station.
There’s a great athmosphere in the Dome though, I guess the fact that Snoop Dogg is playing a venue in Brighton is enough of a draw, but the original billing said Lady of Rage PLUS Warren G were on the bill, neither of whom are here and no explanation as to why not. Their inclusion would have justified the ticket price but it was an overpriced, unsatisfactory show for just Snoop on his own.
He gets a great reception when he does appear and proceeds to go through a mix of old songs and stuff off his new album. There’s a noticeable lull in the party atmosphere of the crowd when he does the newer stuff, maybe due to the unfamiliarity of the new songs. It’s when he does the classics that he really gets the crowd going. “Gin ‘n’Juice”, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and his verses from 1992’s “Deep cover” go down really well.
He does a tribute section to Tupac and Biggie by dropping a song by each artist and rhyming over it. He also gives a moments silence and shout out to recently deceased Nate Dogg, who recorded with Snoop as far back as 1991. The crowd also get hyped up to that hip hop jump up favourite “Jump around” by House of Pain. I thought that one was a bit unnecessary though, as Snoop has 11 albums worth of stuff he could do so there’s really no need to do anyone else’s classics.
He finishes with “Who am I (what’s my name?)” and gets a great crowd response as it’s a good tune, then he promptly leaves the stage to some Housey sounding music that may or may not be off the new album. There’s no indication that he’s coming back, and when the house lights go up it’s clear that he isn’t. So he’s played for about an hour then disappeared, presumably his bong was going out and needed firing up again.
The type of MC who is late to get on stage but manages to get off it promptly enough, I’ve seen enough of these kind of lazy hip hop shows to know what to expect from artists like Snoop. Then again, I’m not a huge fan of his so I wasn’t disappointed, I’m sure some of his genuine fans were though.
Still, Public Enemy are over here in September. A real hip hop act with a proper live show who could teach Snoop and many other hip hop artists a lesson in showmanship.