Show Thoughts & Shots // Snoop Dogg @ Scotiabank Centre – 03.06.24

It’s interesting how over the course of three decades, the way in which an artist is viewed can shift so dramatically. Calvin Broadus Jr. (aka Snoop Doggy Dogg) dropped his debut album over 30 years ago, and with it came the breakout single “Who Am I? (What’s My Name)” and hot on its heels was “Gin and Juice”, two instantly recognizable and iconic tracks which would kickstart the young rapper’s career. In those early days, his music wasn’t something our parents were listening to. It was edgy and exciting; but now, 30 years later, those young folks are the parents now, and it is their kids who listen to the new material. It’s safe to say that his fan base spans generations, genders, and everything in between.

This past Monday night the West Coast emcee made his return to Halifax, Nova Scotia, kicking off his Cali to Canada tour. A tour which will see the Doggfather wrap things up back on the Canadian West Coast in Vancouver.

In looking at the initial tour announcement, it was Snoop Dogg with Warren G and DJ Quik providing support, but as the show neared, the tour ballooned into a mini festival when Canadian rapper Merkules joined alongside Daz and Kurupt (better known as Tha Dogg Pound). It was poised to be a night jammed with memories and nostalgia for the legions of fans who have grown up on Snoop’s music and/or hip-hop in general, and for some of those in attendance “Regulate” was hotly anticipated.

Over the course of two hours, Merkules, DJ Quik, and Warren G had the crowd puffed and primed for the evening’s headliner. It was so hazy in the Scotiabank Centre on Monday night, that one would think we were out on the harbour the way that the dank fog rolled in (similar to Sunday afternoon during the Sail GP finals).

Snoop knows how to make an entrance, as a panel opened amidst a billow of smoke and through the smoke blazed two bright blue headlights of the Snoop-De-Ville, with the unmistakable figure seated behind the wheel. The adulation from the crowd was deafening as he emerged from the well-known whip adorned with a Snoop64 California license plate. Then things were off and running with “The Next Episode”, followed by a tribute to Eazy-E and “Boyz-n-the-hood”, and then “Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang”; it was a massive trio of tracks to kickstart the night.

Considering the number of folks in attendance who made this night a family affair, Snoop was joined onstage by a troupe of talented ladies who made great use of the poles that book-ended the stage. These onstage performers were certainly going to be a divisive point, as they showcased some impressive physicality. But they did not leave a lot to the imagination, much to the amusement of the night’s headliner as he performed the apt “Sexual Eruption”.

Shifting gears, Snoop stopped to perform a vibe check with the packed Scotiabank Centre, and then blew the roof from the rafters when he launched into the House of Pain classic “Jump Around”, uniting Gen X and Xennial factions in pure jubilation as they joyously sang their hearts out. Then Snoop headed backstage as a video played, which also served as the introduction for our half-time performers Tha Dogg Pound.

The duo of Kurupt and Daz hit the stage once the video interlude wrapped up, and they kicked off their appearance with “What Would You Do?”. The hip-hop duo was there showcasing its newly minted album W.A.W.G (We All We Got), with the track “My Favorite Colour is Blue”. It was an absolute treat to see these emcees on a Halifax stage, but once Daz and Kurupt rolled on past 5 or 6 songs, the crowd was getting a bit antsy. Kurupt and Daz overstayed their welcome with the Hali crowd, as they were stoked to blaze one up with Snoop. Shout out to the Redditor who rage quit the show partway through Tha Dogg Pound’s set, to rush home in a huff thinking Snoop was done for the night, and played keyboard warrior to let everyone know how they felt. Sorry, you missed out on the back half of the show.

Of course, Snoop made his return, and got things back on track with his Pharrell collab “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, and wouldn’t you know it, the talented emcee was joined by Snoop’s Angels who continued to make use of the poles on either side of the stage. The West Coast rapper sounded every bit as good as his superstar status would indicate, and when Snoop pulls up, he takes the crowd through a thorough lesson in West Coast hip-hop, but also peppers in other ’90s staples from a range of artists (taking a page out of LL’s playbook).

On a night when Warren G helped warm the crowd up, it is only fitting that during the back end of the evening, a tribute was paid to his well-known collaborator Nate Dogg (who passed away in 2011). At this point, Tha Dogg Pound returned to the stage, followed shortly by Warren G and the four artists paid tribute to Nate with “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)”. The packed Scotiabank Centre was then treated to a pair of fun (albeit unusual) covers of Katy Perry’s “California Girls” (during which Snoop’s bikini-clad angels playfully batted beach balls into the boisterous crowd) and 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.”. It was nice to see a tribute to both Biggie and Tupac appear during the show, with Snoop performing both “Hypnotize” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” respectively.

Then the inevitable part of the night was reached, and the Halifax crowd erupted when Mr. Broadus finally asked that age-old question of “…What’s My Name?”, it was a track that got the crowd to its feet, and the main set closed out with a low-key singalong of the Wiz Khalifa collab “Young, Wild and Free”. As the Snoop-De-Ville was still on stage, we knew there was at least one more song in the tank, and when Snoop returned, he poured one final drink, a “Gin and Juice” which was every bit as good as one could hope. By the end, Snoop hopped in his ride and disappeared into the night.

When the lights came up, it was clear that the Halifax haze had yet to burn off, and if anything, it had only gotten thicker, like a typical night on the Harbour. One thing could be certain, that it would be an interesting post-show trek home for many, having sat within the hotbox that was Scotiabank Centre. This writer definitely expected to encounter at least one RCMP or HPD spot check after departing the venue.

Snoop Dogg

 

Warren G

DJ Quik

Merkules

About the author

Trev

A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.

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