Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Snoop Dogg, Paradiso, 17 August, 2012

Imagine my surprise, and twinge of disappointment, when the artist formally known as Snoop Dogg announced that he was through with his gangster lifestyle? That he was embracing the Rastafarian way of life, that he had recorded a reggae album and was that he was now going by the name of Snoop Lion?

All this when I had a moderately expensive ticket in my hand that clearly said Snoop Dogg @ Paradiso!

What followed in the lead up to the concert was what any normal person would do; fact checking on the internet and more specifically You Tube as to what this really meant. I had convinced myself that the evenings concert would be totally reggae, and to be honest in Amsterdam that is not a long bow to draw. I am sure the amount of drug usage would still be the same, the main difference might be that instead of knowing a few songs pretty well, now I would know none. But that’s okay, I am a lover of music and I also love an artist who can reinvent themselves and go forward into the next stage of their lives. That’s if they do actually reinvent themselves.

So into the MC crib we headed surrounded by a lot more white people then I had expected and not nearly as many baseball caps in sight.

We were greeted by some Dutch gangster wannabes rapping about all the usual stuff and they also came with their own posse standing on the side of the stage knocking back shots of Jim Beam. Their rapping was average at best and try as they might to get some crowd involvement, it was falling on deaf ears. People have got to want to participate, just barking at them might not be the best motivational tool at your disposal, I am just saying.

Snoop’s crew then took the stage and the hype men started to get the crowd ready for the eminent arrival of the Dogg. At this point a very loud version of Carmina Burana blared out (not the first time I have seen this for a band entrance mind you) and then he appeared through a haze of smoke and adorned with marijuana leafed sunglasses, loose fitting tracksuit pants, bling on his hands and a t-shirt. It became extremely apparent right then that this was not going to be an evening involving a reproduction of reggae songs.

By the second song Snoops two female “dancers” had joined him onstage and were grinding equal to any stripper I have ever seen. The other two dancers that took the stage were that of an older man, possibly in his seventies and secondly someone wearing a Dog costume with Nasty Dogg written across their back pretending to smoke the largest fake joint anyone had produced on stage to date. Soon after the pretend joint was passed around a real joint was produced and as you would expect it was the size of a baby’s arm and it would not be the only one to been seen on stage during the course of the evening. Actually most of the stage was in a cloud of smoke 70% machine produced and 30% homemade green style.

As a side note, it is remarkable how good Snoops rapping, timing and memory is considering marijuana’s not medically noted for its ability to increase any of these attributes.

Over the next hour or so Snoop proceeded to rap out all of his hits. In fact he covered off on any hit that he has vaguely been involved in, this included Katy Perry, 50 cent, AKON and House of Pain songs. The crowd loved it.


At the end of the day it was all gangster rap. There was much mention of Niggaz, Bitches, and smokin’ weed, not to mention the odd reference to putten two in the chest (insert enacting shooting someone here). If it wasn’t for all the white people in this beautiful old church, you could have sworn you were in Compton.
For all my Niggaz Bitches

All up it was one of the most animated crowds I have seen at Paradiso and it was a super enjoyable performance from the Dogg. Not one reggae song in sight, and not one mention of Snoop Lion….. Was that all a media beat up, one to get some publicity for a “documentary” for a film festival? I still can’t quite get my head around it.

As the final song concluded and Snoop and his entourage swaggered off stage (grown men in track suit pants) in a waft of smoke, the last piece of the performance was to occur. The 6 foot 6 inch minder/ US security member then proceeded to pick about a dozen “ladies” out of the audience and have them wait on stage (in front of the remaining crowd) before they would head back to “meet” whoever was back stage. I mused over the thought of if they understood what may or may happen back there, of course they did, they were “Bitches” they must know how this shit goes down.



1 comment: