A bona fide legend he may be, but the rap icon struggles to stop the crowd from yawning. Nokia Theatre, New York city, Thursday, October 29
You have to hand it to Snoop Dogg – he’s definitely no slacker when it comes to making music. His upcoming ‘Malice N Wonderland’ album is his 10th since 1993’s chronic-infused ‘Doggystyle’ both reshaped the gangsta rap mould and created a boom for late-night snack retailers. But what, after all this time, has his music taught us about the man himself? Well, he likes weed, obviously. A bit of booze never goes amiss in the Dogg Pound, as he’s prone to mentioning. Having rampant sex with well-endowed hot girls is pretty important to ol’ Snoopy Doopy too. And let’s not forget how much he’s into making as much money as possible and then telling everyone how loaded he is. And… that’s about it.
Of course, it’s hard to deny that he’s earned his bragging rights to some degree. Still shamelessly flash (to the point of having a blinged-out microphone), his smooth and slick-sounding rhymes remain undoubtedly some of the most instantly recognisable in rap and, with a full band in tow, classics such as ‘Gin And Juice’ sound unassailable. But fatigue sets in disappointingly quickly when watching Snoop. Gangsta royalty though he may be, one 30-minute cycle of songs about sex/weed/money is all anyone needs. Indeed, it’s a telling state of affairs when a punter turns to NME midway through the show and asks us, “Wait, didn’t he already do this song?”
As attention levels visibly start to wane, Snoop attempts to get the show boiling over by throwing in a cover of House Of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’. But it feels like a desperate measure, and by the time he finally brings out the big guns in the shape of ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ and ‘What’s My Name?’ it seems that at least half of the spliff-toking massive are more concerned with scoring a six-pack of Boston Kremes at the Dunkin’ Donuts around the corner. Living in this kind of ultra-decadent groundhog day must be great fun for Snoop Dogg, but hearing him constantly rap about it is becoming a chore for everyone else.