Celebrating his 22 year long career with a greatest hits tour, Snoop Dogg is at a stage where he has nothing to prove to anybody. He has sold countless albums, played to thousands of people around the world, starred in films, reality television and even his own documentary, Reincarnated. Shedding the possibility of a big money making venue for the intimate settings of the Academy proves that no matter how Money Supermarket he may be at times, he is still the people’s champion.
Throughout the gig, we get glimpses of all the different personas he has introduced throughout the years. There’s the lion, the pimp, the pop star and the classic Doggy Dogg, which made him the superstar that he is today. Many may have thought that we would just see the latter since he is touring with his old cohorts, The Dogg Pound, but this is not the case. We hear just about everything from 1993’s ‘Ain’t Nothin but a G Thang’ to 2013’s ‘Here Comes the King’.
Being the showman that he is, we’re treated to hits from other artists like Tupac, House of Pain, Notorious B.I.G & even Joan Jett is thrown in for good measure. It may seem a bit bizarre to initiate a chant of ‘I Love Rock N Roll’ at one of the most talked about hip-hop gigs of the year but like a lot the things Snoop does, it is all in the name of having a good time.
Some rap artists can tend to fall flat or sound diluted when playing with a backing band but Snoop’s vast discography is given a new lease of life with their addition to the show. Classic tracks like ‘Who Am I?’ and ‘Tha Shiznit’ have never sounded better, as the somewhat now dated production is being recreated with new vitality and energy. It may seem odd for an artist with such an array of singles behind him to only play for just over an hour and to also choose to fill that time with other people’s songs, but it can be hard to berate Snoop’s performance. He defies the larger than life persona of being a worldwide icon with such a small show that reeks only of nostalgia, marijuana and positivity.
Photo: Olga Kuzmenko