BY RYAN RITCHIE
Last Night: Snoop Dogg at the Glass House in Pomona, Dec. 26, 2008.
Wanna know if you're old? Go see Snoop Dogg and ask
yourself which category of fans you fall in to. You're either in a) the
group of shaggy-haired teenagers who wouldn't mind if he played
“Sensual Seduction” twice, or b) the group of 30-somethings who've been
listening to tha Doggfather since his “Deep Cover” debut and want
nothing more than to hear that song, a few verses from Dr. Dre's “The
Chronic” and all of “Doggystyle” front to back.
fall into the latter. Not that I mind Snoop's later work, but I can't
lie and say I wasn't hoping to hear all 12 tracks from the 1993 disc.
But what I–along with a slew of younger people–got was a set that
catered to both types, which left everyone feeling like they heard
enough hits from all eras to walk away satisfied. Or was that the
incessant cloud of happy smoke hovering about since opening act the
Twins took the stage? Whatever the case, heads bopped, booties shook,
hands waved in the air like they just didn't care and lighters were
raised. In hip-hop, that's called a success.
in line, I wondered what I was doing in Pomona. The temperature read 39
degrees and there isn't much to get me out of the house when it's that
cold. Plus, I had just spent two days in Las Vegas escaping Christmas
(which, by the way, I did) and would have loved nothing more than a
night in with my pajamas and my cats. “But it's the S-N-doubleO-P,” I
told myself. After not much deliberation, I decided the perfect way to
end my anti-Christmas was with Long Beach's most famous emcee. I knew
the right decision had been made after reading the lineup: the
aforementioned Twins, the Lady of Rage (who did in fact rock rough 'n
stuff with just one Afro puff), tha Dogg Pound (Daz and Kurupt), Warren
G and Snoop. Approaching the front door and seeing that piece of paper
with all those names on one bill made me feel like I was going through
some sort of trippy acid flashback to my mid-'90s high school days,
except I've never dropped acid. But it was something like that.
I said, I'm old and hadn't been to the Glass House in years, but I
didn't remember that much police presence when I used to see indie
bands. Maybe that's changed. I don't know. What I do know is the woman
with the metal detector told me the person before me in line “reeked of
weed.” Stepping through that doorway from front room to main entrance,
I was hit with such a strong stench I thought I was at a Grateful Dead
Twins were solid openers, but I, like much of the crowd, didn't know
their music as well as we should have. My fault. Not theirs. Rage was
next. I know lots of people in hip-hop are still weary of female
emcees, but the Lady of Rage is not someone I'd want to battle.
Straight up, she can flow. She fought through a malfunctioning mic on
the live debut of “Unfuckwitable” and did a new song about a woman
finding out her man cheated. The rhymes were nice, but the twist at the
end made the song and I don't want to give that part away.
Tha Dogg Pound came out
for the end of Rage's time and segued into their set. This duo has
always got me: Both emcees are tight as individuals and I can't see why
their work together isn't more popular. But what do I know? I'm a nerdy
white guy with glasses.
Warren G began his set
with “This D.J.” Opening with a hit is always a good idea, except when
the crowd knows only one of your songs and this wasn't it. Note to Warren G: Your flow is tight, your production skills killer. That crowd
didn't know your songs, but I did. You were good.
The solo snafu of Warren's
set was when he told the crowd that taking a sobriety break was a good
idea. I agree, but once again, I'm old. The rest of the audience gave
him a weird response, kinda like, “what did this guy just tell us, pot
smoking Snoop Dogg fans?” But when that hit is in your back pocket, you
can win back a crowd. The opening notes of “Regulate” got things back
After the unveiling of a
banner that read “Tales from the Crip,” we thought we were getting
Snoop. Instead, Suga Free performed for what felt like a half hour.
Other than the fact that no one could hear Suga Free's voice as it came
from his mouth (in its place was a pre-recorded vocal that was much too
loud), the set was fun but kinda long considering we were pumped for
Snoop and didn't even know Suga Free was playing.
won't go into how much I dig Snoop. You should already know all about
that. Opening with his verse from “The Next Episode,” us old farts
got what we wanted once “Tha Shiznit” hit. From there we got “Drop It
Like It's Hot,” “Gin and Juice,” “Snoop's Upside Ya Head” and verses
from “Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang,” “I Wanna Fuck You” and “2 of Amerikaz
Most Wanted.” The latter came off the heels of a Tupac tribute which
featured a few verses and choruses from the late rapper.
My two favorite
non-musical aspects of Snoop's show were the guy on stage waiving a
still-in-the-box Snoop Dogg doll and a jacket worn by Archbishop Don
“Magic” Juan. The world's most loveable pimp was rocking a green and
yellow suit with an airbrushed picture of himself on it. Do yourself a
favor and Google this.
Regardless of what song he
was playing, Snoop was energetic and showed he can still rock a mic
like no other. But maybe next time he'll play “Gz and Hustlas.”