Artist: Snoop Dogg/ Snoop Lion
Date: Thursday 5th June 2014
Location: 02 Academy Brixton
I usually love concerts at Brixton academy because there is a lot of space and an AMAZING decline towards the stage so you can see better the further away you are. This was not the case tonight! Once I was scanned in, I was met by a crowd of people that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was good for the artist of course as he could see the amount of support. Little moi had to retreat to a corner with my notepad and make do with what I could!!
I came in during Wretch 32′s set, wish I could have seen more but from what I could get he is a great UK artist as you can see that he;s truly grateful for the chance he has been given in music. He performed his first UK number ‘Don’t Go’ later recalling that he wrote the hit while living in Tottenham before he was famous and never imagined it would have made it this far. The Grime and UK Rapper raised in East London has worked his was up from underground to the mainstream, holding onto the respect he deserves. He closed his set with ‘Traktor’ in which he featured a Drum and Bass mix for good measure
Just after 10pm, the DJ started playing songs to get us in the mood for Mr Doggy Dogg himself and the vibe so was nice in there it didn’t take long. Fans young and old, hardcore or newbies spanning across all races in random clouds of ‘wacky baccy,’ it was clear to see Snoop had the love. Greeting with an image representing his new found Rastafarian preference, he tall, lean presence soon graced us to the beat of ‘Here comes the King’ taken from his latest album ‘Reincarnated’. Over the past few years Snoop has got his touch with his spiritual side and found comfort and understand as a Rasta. Documented in a short film by the same name, we see Snoop Lion as he has been renamed, venture deep into the Jamaican hills seeking acceptance into the faith and embracing the culture.
On a whole I was intrigued to see how this new found religious aura would fit with the Gangster we all know and love and to my surprise it works well. Of course I can’t say the depth of the changes but from the outset, he is still true to himself as a musician yet never forgets to spread the knowledge of Rastafari. Even though he has received criticism since becoming a Rastafarian, I’m happy to see Snoop mature as a person and try to promote positivity in such a violent world but it would be sad to see him take advantage due to his inhaling preferences.
Before long we were taken on a musical journey back in time where Snoop made sure we were given all sides of the artist. With tracks like ‘The Next Episode’, ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, ‘P.I.M.P’ , ‘Signs’ and ‘California Girls’ he catered to the mainstream audience and gave the hardcore fans songs like ‘Mary Jane’ , Gin And Juice’ , ’2 Of Amerika’s Most Wanted’, ‘ Who Am I’ and ‘Murder Was the Case’.
With a career spanning back to the 1990′s Snoop Dogg is a veteran in the entire HipHop world. Born Calvin Broadus Jnr, he has a love for American Football (he also coaches Little League teams now) but as many others growing up in Long Beach at that time, the call of the streets was louder. After brushes with the law in his teens years, Snoop and his close friends formed the group ’213′ and began to make history. Other 213 members were his cousin the late Nate Dogg and rapper Warren G.
Affliations with the Crips gang and close ties with rappers such as Dr Dre and the Late Tupac Shakur, Snoop kept his love for music out there, connecting with the reality of street life as well as his love for women and marijuana. The past 20 years have seen Mr Doggy Dogg go from strength to strength with numerous collaborations yet still trying to battle through encounters with the law. Snoop was famously banned from entering the UK following an incident at Heathrow Airport from 2006 until 2010. Matters were resolved and in 2011 Snoop Dogg played a concert in celebration at Brixton Academy (WHICH I WAS AT!!)
Fast forward to tonight, the concert was full of positive energy and good vibes as we began to see the ‘reincarnation’ of Snoop Dogg as he progressed into Snoop Lion. He closed the show with his happy go lucky anthem ‘Young, Wild and Free’ before reminding us ‘to smoke weed’, as you do!!( Each to their own!)
It will not be a quick change as he has 20 years of archives to bring with him. The man we saw tonight, with his neat dreads and smooth dance moves, whether you refer to him as the Dog or the Lion, Snoop is still the man!!!
I would be shocked if you didn’t know at least 1 of these songs but here is your homework!