Snoop Dogg: The G Classics Come to Atlanta (Concert Review)

What the last 18 years have shown us is that Snoop Dogg is one of the most enduring artists in Hip-Hop. Through 10 solo albums, he’s maintained a crossover appeal even when not straying too far from his G-Funk roots. That trait has allowed him to transcend the regional confinements that hold back many talented West Coast emcees, but still remain an ambassador for the area. For the first time in several years, Snoop made a rare stop in Atlanta last night (February 10) courtesy of Rival Entertainment, bringing down the house as part of his Malice N Wonderland tour.

Despite it being a Wednesday evening, the crowd’s energy was electric the entire night. It was hard not to be, as Snoop wisely revolved his set around his classic work. A bombastic operatic intro preceded him before music he hit the stage and immediately launched into “Tha Next Episode.” Dressed in all blue, creased jeans, and a style-out jeweled incrusted mic, Snoop was all business with Tha Dogg Pound and Soopafly joining him once the bass hit for “Tha Shiznit.”

Even though the beef with Luke has long been squashed, the Doggfather had no qualms about reciting the original lyrics which harshly ridiculed Death Row’s early Miami rival.

I’m fin’ to fuck a bitch, what's her name it's Luke/You tried to see me, on the TV, yous a B.G./D-O-double-G, yes I'm a O.G./You can't see my homey Dr. Dre/So what the fuck a nigga like you gotta say?/Gotta take a trip to the MIA And serve your ass with a motherfuckin’ AK” )

There were many critics at the time of Snoop’s defection to No Limit, but the Long Beach native’s brief foray down South did yield some good music. C-Murder's “Down 4 Niggas” is the quintessential club-clearing record. In this case it was a perfect beatdown theme, resulting in a fan (deserving or not) getting stomped out right as the song began. This was a seasoned Hip-Hop crowd composed of dozens of ethnic groups and ages’ ranging from 18 to the mid 60s, so the stomp out was viewed as an opportunity to bop closer to the front.

When legends perform, one of the best experiences is realizing just how many hits and memorable Hip-Hop tracks they have. Kurupt chimed in his verses from “Let’s Get High” and “We Can Freak It” before Atlanta was treated to a slew of consecutive classics in “Deep Cover,” “Nuthin’ But a G Thang,” and “Bitch Please.”

It’s common knowledge that Snoop is well-versed in the history of Funk and Soul music. He gave an easy pop quiz on the lyrics to Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” and acknowledged Cameo frontman Larry Blackmon’s appearance. This was all a sedway into his own crooning track for the ladies in “Sexual Seduction,” and his verse on Akon’s “I Wanna Fuck You.”

Say what you will about Snoop’s “role” in the shameful 90s East-West beef (Source Awards Incident, “New York, New York” video), but you can never accuse him of not knowing the East Coast roots of Hip-Hop, and honoring the pioneers. In fact, Snoop probably knows more than many of East Coast peers, as seen in the fact he’s consistently sampled or covered those seminal tracks throughout his career (Grandmaster Flash’s “New York, New York,” KRS-One’s “Love’s Gonna Get Cha,” Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di”). For this show, he acknowledged House of Pain for “Jump Around” before smoothing out the show with the Laid Back-sampling “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

The night ended with Snoop Dogg giving a heartfelt appreciation to all his fans for the years of support before performing his latest single, “I Wanna Rock.”

Throughout all the beef, label drama, and trend changes, Snoop Dogg has continued to thrive in the unpredictable machine that is the music industry. Don’t be surprised if 30 years from now, he’s still rocking the stage like many of the Funk and Soul legends that inspired him.

Snoop Dogg-"Jump Around" "Drop It Like It's Hot"

Snoop Dogg- "4 My Niggas"

Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound-"Ain't No Fun"