Snoop Dogg at House of Blues, 2/13/2014
Photos by Jim Bricker
"So what we get drunk? So what we smoke weed? We're just having fun, We don't care who sees. So what we go out? That's how it's supposed to be... Living young and wild and free!"
Snoop Dogg House of Blues February 13, 2014
Whether the poster says Doggy Dogg, Dogg, or Lion, the one named Snoop has been making his fans c-walk for more than 20 years now. With an attitude that exudes a careful balance between menacing gangsta and smoked-out class clown, Snoop is a natural superstar, likable, energetic and supremely talented.
His honesty and charisma elevates him into OG status, able to mix and mingle with a wide spectrum of music fans. Even with the multiple reincarnations between gangbanger, pimp, reality TV star and Rastafarian, the Snoop we love never changes.
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As we walked into a surprisingly smoke-free House of Blues Thursday night, the sold-out show was packed wall to wall. DJ Ill-Set kept the massive crowd entertained as she opened up the show with a medley of classic H-Town bangers, everythng from Lil Keke, DJ Screw and Fat Pat to UGK.
But soon it was time for the West Coast Sound take over. DJ Daz Dillinger of Tha Dogg Pound took control of the turntables and released a fury of gangsta rap, from Ice Cube to Tupac, Dr Dre and more. The mood of the crowd shifted to one of excited anticipation, and once the DJ led countdown ended, a tall, slim, and eternally cool shadow of a rapper crept onto the stage.
Dressed in red and black quilted leather sweater, gold shades, and his braids pulled back, Snoop enticed the crowd to "make some muthafuckin noise!" and say "ho! ho!" as they waved their hands in the air, as if they didn't care. This show was very much a bare-bones set. No dancers, no pyrotechnics, no dude in the Nasty Dogg costume roaming the stage. Just a man with a mike and a whole lot to say.
In fact, this felt much more like a house party than a major venue gig. And as much as we love his festival sets or arena shows, Snoop playing to an intimate venue is the best way to experience him. The way he corresponds with the crowd ("I see you, baby!") and totally takes control of the room is unrivaled.
His music catalogue is lengthy and diverse, from G-funk to pop, hardcore gangsta to smooth R&B. True Snoop fans in the audience were treated to a couple of cuts by 213, his collaboration with Warren G and the late, great Nate Dogg. He paid homage to the Notorious BIG and Tupac, then took to the next episode of his Dr. Dre days.
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Trae Tha Truth was invited out to showcase the tracks "Hold Up" and "Old School" from the new album I Am King. "Let's give it up for a true muthafuckin OG" ordered Trae. "You know we do that gangsta shit, but we also like to take it back to that smooth shit". That pretty much sums up the entire show right there. Thanks Trae.
The night ended with a few words advocating the legalization of marijuana, to which he dedicated the track "Young, Wild, & Free." Snoop may have a few more gray hairs on his head, but the Dogg has a young and free spirit who cares for his fans and strives to perform at his best each time he hits the stage.
"Y'all drive home safe now!" he said as he walked offstage. Bob Marley's "Jamming" was cued up, and we left feeling "irie."
Personal Bias: I love Doggystyle! *wink*
The Crowd: Not as many 420 hippies as expected. Plenty of ladies in miniskirts and stilettos, a couple of brothers in cowboy hats, and all lovers of West Coast hip-hop. Oh, and Devin The Dude was chillin' in the crowd. Always good to see that guy.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Wow. Bitches and blunts don't mix!" -- in response to all of the intoxicated ladies and dudes who had to be picked up off the floor and escorted out of the venue.
Random Notebook Dump: If you have never seen Snoop's GGN interview/variety show on YouTube, do yourself a favor and go there now!
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