As part of his ‘Doggumentary’ world tour, Snoop Dogg landed in Glasgow on Sunday to sprinkle some old school hip hop magic on a very different West Coast to the one he is used to. Support lined up in the form of Canadian duo The Airplane Boys and ‘Team UK’ stalwart Chipmunk. The Toronto based pair gave an energetic, yet curiously soulless performance, their repetitive questioning of whether we were indeed ready for Snoop Dogg rapidly becoming tiresome. Chipmunk, unsurprisingly, was much more assured, obviously more at ease performing in the U.K. Curiously, his 30 minute set did not include ‘Oopsy Daisy’, the only number one single of his career.
After the support had concluded, the crowd was treated to a DJ set from Mistajam, the BBC 1Extra dub-step king. This would have been tolerable if he would have ceased screaming banal sentiments in an attempt to drum up interaction with an audience becoming slightly terse in waiting for the main event. Mercifully, he eventually left, leaving half an hour or so of blissful silence.
At approximately 10 o’ clock, the Big Dogg finally arrived, taking to the stage to be greeted by a hysterical, herb induced crowd. Flanked by three scantily-clad dancers, Snoop launched into ‘I Wanna Rock’, a personal favourite from 2009’s Malice n Wonderland. It didn’t seem to matter that the vast majority of the audience seemed to be unaware of the track, as the rapper soon moved into more familiar territory. Classics such as ‘Gin and Juice’ and ‘Tha Shiznit’ had the room bouncing, the set list wisely including the vast majority of classic debut Doggystyle. More recent fare was also included, mega hit ‘Beautiful’ and the R Kelly assisted ‘That’s That Shit’ showcasing the more laid back approach his music has taken since the turn of the century.
The festivities were halted at the halfway mark for a heartfelt tribute to Nate Dogg. The late singer’s soulful voice floated across the room as Snoop bowed his head. The rapper then, somewhat fittingly, introduced ‘Aint No Fun’ to a rapturous reception. Indeed, his performance felt at it’s most natural when sticking to material from his legendary first album, ‘Serial Killa’ containing an impassioned “F*** Death Row” as well as Snoop growling “Pump Pump” menacingly from the side of the stage.
Unfortunately, there were also many negatives to the performance. The sensual ‘I Wanna Love You’ felt awkward as the West Coast legend sat and watched his aforementioned dancers, the scene being reminiscent of a lecherous grandfather rather than the ‘Pimpin’ image he was trying to create. In addition, the gig lasted exactly an hour, hardly fantastic value for money at £30 a ticket. After a rousing rendition of ‘Wet’, Snoop wondered aloud how he could get the crowd to “jump some more?” The answer came in the form of a cover of House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’. While acceptable as a cheap gimmick for DJ’s on ‘urban’ nights, it was hardly a tactic befitting of a true hip hop godfather. This becomes almost criminal if taking account the multitude of hit singles omitted from the set list. ‘Lodi Dodi’, ‘From Tha Chuuch to the Palace’ and ‘What’s My Name Pt.2′ didn’t get a look-in, and for a tour that was intended to promote new album Doggumentary, it was somewhat strange that only one song from that album was performed.
The set ended with the thumping ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, followed by a storming rendition of ‘Who Am I (What’s My Name)?’, leaving the crowd on a high. This did not, however, disguise the slightly lethargic general performance, or the awkward “Pimpin'” image that is beginning to creak under the weight of his 39 years. In conclusion, Snoop Dogg just about provided what was expected of him. But only just.