If the Snoop Dogg & Friends Tour stop in Edmonton seems a little hazy in flashback, you’re definitely forgiven.
It’s inconceivable anyone in the downtown arena — O.G.s and popo alike — didn’t have at least a minor contact high by the time Warren G was laying down his smooth beats. And that was only halfway through the ’90s buffet of West Coast hip hop, lingerie-wearing dancers spinning on poles and hilariously incessant callouts to Canadian pot legalization in between more serious nods to lost friends like Nate Dogg, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., imbibing the show with enough cultural mythology to fill another Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Where to even begin? The start, I guess.
With a bass-baritone voice on a Barry White level, Afroman came out early with great
vibes and a repeated call to “smoke marijuana smoke marijuana.” Under a gorgeous ball of hair wearing a diagonally-striped Rasta pot leaf shirt and a dangling golden earring, he was the most entertainer-ish act of the four-hour show, singing the hilarious Because I Got High behind his giant sunglasses, which includes the lyrics, “I was gonna make love to you, but then I got high.” Whoopsie!
Picture Garfield rapping, but instead of lasagna and hating Mondays, this particular cat lives for cheebs.
Loved every second of him, especially his double-necked guitar playing and dirty jokes like, “What did the bathtub say to the toilet?” (Butts and No. 2s are in the unprintable punchline.) “I want to dedicate this song to everyone who ever got good free weed,” he said ridiculously before pulling out the cheerfully poppy Enjoyed Your Bud.
The more serious Kurupt was next in a DJ-MC-rapper combo, the Philly-born 46-year-old
one of Snoop’s posse most of the way back to beginning, and indeed a rapper on Doggystyle, Snoop’s seminal work of which this showcase concert was a 25-year celebration. He would later weave in and out of Snoop’s set in most of the key moments.
“This is one of those places where they first legalized that bud,” he dutifully noted behind sunglasses, the highlight of his quick set being The Dogg Pound’s punchy and very GTA San Andreas What Would You Do. Already, two acts in, this was a fantastic and impressively varied show.
Switching gears again, the likeable and thoughtful Warren G opened his set with the relaxed This D.J., following it with Do You See, where he notably changed the word “hookas” to women live, a tiny but meaningful gesture.
“I’m in mf Edmonton, man,” he said with a big grin below those bigger Brainy Smurf glasses, calling out for any hustlers in the crowd of, according to one police officer, about 13,000. On the way out we heard the catchy, horn-brightened I Want it All where the 48-year-old infectiously encouraged us to “make money money, make money money, take money money, take money money.”
By now, most of the bouncy crowd had rolled in and security, slightly stoned unless they weren’t breathing, got a bit looser as mini mushroom clouds kept shooting up like translucent groundhogs up to hazy ceiling — finally joining the $21 jars of gin and juice out of pariah status.
The penultimate Bone Thugs-N-Harmony followed just before 9 p.m., vocally layered, sexy and bumpin’ — three women behind me spent no joke half of this 45-minute set trying to get a perfect group selfie (a we-fie?) as that other, five-letter word for cat kept dropping.
Overheard at the concert: “I probably will be high,” from a gentleman security guard — and all this weed talk may seem like overkill, but it was just so constantly, uh, in the air.
Their staccato, shared-duty rapping hit its height during the Biggie Smalls’ Notorious Thugs, Bizzy Bone playing to the camera, Wish Bone keeping things grounded and the crowd dancing on its feet and waving circles into the giant smoky exhale whale swimming above us. The slow-dance Weed Song eased the vibe as couples felt around other like Velma Dinkley in the dark of some haunted house after she dropped her glasses again.
After a bit of a breather — cough cough — Snoop emerged in a No. 19 Oilers jersey and toque, alleycat thin and grinning. The 47-year-old chronic legend was accompanied by dancers, the night’s first onstage women (shame none of these were rappers), quickly getting into DJ Khalid’s confident All I Do Is Win, the psychedelic video display really getting going form now on.
Throughout his set, he’d switch from solo rapping to being joined by mixes of the earlier artists, doing covers as wide-ranging as House of Pain’s Jump Around and Katy Perry’s California Gurls, shooting a money gun at his six dancers up on their poles, who if we’re going to accept the assertions of local burlesque dancers, were adults in control of their own decisions to be there — but you could certainly talk about misogyny and the male gaze here, the whole strip club aesthetic feeling a bit yabba dabba don’t stone age.
But more antics: At one point Snoop fake-scolded the furry mascot Nasty Dogg for waving around a long, fuzzy wiener, at another, the rapper defiantly lighting up a huge cone onstage.
“Edmonton, what’s happening? Give me something to smile about,” he purred before pushing into the chipper Signs, his upbeat hit with Charlie Wilson and Justin Timberlake.
“All the ladies, be quiet,” he yelled a couple times, which of course got him waves of huge screams in response.
He danced and occasionally joined in as the sound system played Easy E’s Boyz-n-the-Hood, Biggie’s Hypnotize and Tupac’s 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.
Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None) saw the full crew, the dancers, everyone get in on the action, and this was peak selfie time for the writhing audience, all blinged up for the night. As we closed in, both Gin and Juice and Who Am I? What’s My Name? tore the place apart, and, after Jump Around, Snoop said, “Now that I got you jumping around, I really want you to …” Drop It Like It’s Hot instantly doing its magic in a snap.
“Thank y’all for letting me be me,” Snoop said at the end, his toque and shades gone, staring into the camera, his final words being, “It don’t stop.”
Can a thing be nostalgic if it never stopped? Either way, we all plugged into something familiar and unfettered, and it felt like an antidote to some of that poison out there, even if extremely 20th century in its methods and trappings.
Source – https://edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/music/weed-was-the-word-at-snoop-doggs-rogers-place-hip-hop-buffet