Arts & Entertainment, The Muse

A Method To This Snoopness

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Snoop Dogg lit up the stage Sunday night in the midst of his Wonderland High School mini tour at the House of Blues yet had to settle for a split of the plaudits as he was nearly overshadowed by his opener.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ In a pairing that came down, as so many things in rap music seem to do, to East Coast v. West Coast, the raw energy of New York hip hop giants Method Man and Redman more than matched the classic funk of Snoop’s live band, making for three plus hours of impressive flows and outstanding showmanship.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Method Man, one of the nine original members of the Wu-Tang Clan, and Redman took the stage to the deafening sound of ‘Wu’ being yelled continuously from every part of the crowd.’ While Redman was never involved in Wu-Tang, the community has certainly embraced him as part of the group’s mythology and, as a childhood friend of Method Man from Staten Island, his association with the group extends back a long time.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ The two benefitted from the often fanatical devotion of the Clan’s followers, and genuinely seemed to be having a great time interacting both with the fans and with each other.’ Their act was tight and well-rehearsed as they performed songs such as ‘A-Yo’ and ‘Errbody Scream’ off their latest album, 2009’s Blackout 2 (Def Jam) which was released in May.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ As the duo riffed off each other, Redman asked the crowd if they were ‘ready to take it back to 1994,’ before launching into ‘Method Man” from Wu-Tang’s debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (Loud) and ‘Time 4 Sum Aksion’ from Redman’s 1992 debut record Whut? Thee Album (Def Jam).

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Method and Red took it all the way back to 1979 with a cover of the Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ before hitting upon the main reason they are touring right now ‘- to gather buzz for the upcoming major motion picture How High 2 which is currently being written.’ The two rappers then performed the theme song from their popular 2001 comedy about two stoners getting into Harvard.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ In a touching tribute to deceased Wu-Tang co-founder Ol’ Dirty Bastard (the man who jumped on stage at the 1998 Grammy’s to tell the world ‘Wu-Tang is for the children’ in response to losing best rap album to Puff Daddy), Method Man told the crowd to put away their lighters and their cell phones, as the only way to celebrate O.D.B. would be to party.’ Later in the show, however, Method and Red asked the crowd to hold up peace signs and threw shout-outs to O.D.B., Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. (as well as a half-forgotten shout-out to DJ A.M., who they had apparently not remembered having died).

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ As electric as the East Coast hip-hop was, the buzz for Snoop Dogg was overwhelming.’ Arriving on-stage in front of his 5 piece live band, The Snoopadelics, to an epic orchestral chorus announcing his appearance, he immediately launched into ‘The Next Episode’ off Dr. Dre’s 1999 album 2001 (Aftermath), dictating the mood of the crowd (and himself) by extending the song’s final lyric ‘smoke weed every day.’

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ What Snoop’s performance lacked in intensity (and let’s face it, Snoop and ‘intensity’ have never really seen eye to eye) it made up for in the quality of his song selection.’ Taking almost all his material from his 1993 debut album Doggystyle (Death Row) and Dr. Dre’s two iconic albums The Chronic (Death Row) and 2001, both of which he was prominently featured on, he carved through party classics like ‘Gin and Juice’ and ‘Nuthin’ But A G Thang’ in his signature west coast drawl.’ A slower, funkified intro to ‘Gz and Hustlas’ showcased his band’s ability and brought a new element to one of his best songs.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Snoop also rolled out some fantastic covers such as House of Pain’s’ ‘Jump Around,’ which lifted the crowd up and sent them into a frenzy, and ‘P.I.M.P,’ which the Doggfather turned from the almost unlistenable version by 50 Cent to downright funky.’ He also pulled out his #1 single ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ which the band expanded from the simplistic and frankly uninteresting original and made into one of his best songs of the night.’ Not to be outdone by his opening counterparts, Snoop included his own tribute in his show, busting out the lighters to honor Tupac.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Ending the show with his signature ‘What’s My Name,’ Snoop brought a close to a night that was full of some of the best mainstream hip-hop of all time, featured some of the best hip-hop that each coast has ever offered, and one of the most entertaining shows this House of Blues has ever seen.

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