Snoop Dogg: The State of the Rap Show Experience

by | May 18, 2009 | HIP HOP & RAP

Even though I’d sworn off going to a hip hop/ rap show ever again, I went to go see Snoop Dogg perform at the National for a few reasons. One, to hang out with an old friend. Two, the tickets were free. Three, I didn’t have anything else to do. But I couldn’t say I was excited about it.

Even though I’d sworn off going to a hip hop/ rap show ever again, I went to go see Snoop Dogg perform at the National for a few reasons. One, to hang out with an old friend. Two, the tickets were free. Three, I didn’t have anything else to do. But I couldn’t say I was excited about it.

Typically, rap shows are a terrible bust. I don’t want to pay $40+ bucks to see someone get on stage four hours late, they’re high as shit, they got two to three other jackasses on stage with them walking around passing blunts, occasionally adding some back vocals or in some cases doing more of the rapping than the dude you came to see, all the while mean mugging the crowd, and in turn, you got about four fights in the course of the whole show. See, that to me just isn’t a jovial experience.

So I go to rock shows and watch bands slay. Truthfully, I can’t mess with most of the stuff that comes out under the category of rap or hip-hop these days anyway. Asher Roth? Are you fucking serious?

But I was in store for something different when I went to see Snoop. He had a band playing with him. And you know what? They kinda killed it.

Having live music played adds so much more to the magic of the performance. Hence the likeability of the Roots. Simply, it allows for more of a connection to the audience.

Don’t get me wrong; Snoop’s been doing this for a hot minute. He knew how to get the crowd into it. Seeing him up there shaking a leg and asking the ladies if he could give them a sexual eruption, that’s top notch.

But honestly, it gets boring watching a guy on stage, walking around grabbing his crotch, just rhyming. Sweet, dude. I’ll catch you on YouTube if I really care.

Snoop’s drummer came up there looking like a little thug, and after just watching The Hustle Boys open, I was like “Great. Who’s this supposed to be? Lil Ray Ray? Pusha XXL?” But main man took off his long white tee and Dodgers fitted, revealed his mohawk and a slue of tatts, and proceeded to beat the shit out of those drums the duration of the show. And I mean he was banging them joints! The bass player had a ‘fro comparable to Questlove, his tongue out half the night, providing a lovely back rhythm, just getting nasty. Even Uncle Junebug was out there, twisting and jiving, rolling his eyes in the back of his head. Looking like a blinged out Bill Cosby.

This was a concert. This was a show. This was a lot of white people dancing without rhythm, but this was a show. If Snoop can deal with it, so can I.

I don’t see why more rappers don’t do this. O.K. It’s kind of hard to envision Rick Ross up there with a full band breaking down “Everyday I’m Hustlin.” Or is it? When Jay-Z did his thing on MTV’s Unplugged, it was the jump off! Sure, he had the Roots backing him, but don’t tell me there isn’t enough musicians out there just as willing and able. Certainly don’t tell that to the Snoopadelics. (Haha!)

I’m telling you, if Weezy F. Baby had a band backing him, I would pay big bucks. It just might, and that’s a super shaky might, begin to restore my faith in rap and lessen the severity of disdain on my face when someone offers the suggestion of paying to see a rap act. In the meantime, I will continue to cringe when Souljah Boy hits the radio talking about “Kiss Me Through the Phone.” You can kiss my ass, is what you can kiss.

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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