There's probably not a smoother rapper in the land than Snoop Dogg, nor has there likely ever been a better local display of his sly-talking antics than his first of two sold-out shows in one night Tuesday at the Cabooze in Minneapolis.
Example No. 1: "Where all my sexy ladies at?" asked the Los Angeles rap legend, 39, a few songs into his hour-long set, before adding in the ultimate velvet-plush voice, "I wish I could touch every one of you."
Unlike everyone else in attendance, Snoop clearly didn't have to work his way through the ultra-packed crowd, where the sensation of touching a thousand fans at once was very real and very much not a pleasantry. The Cabooze was quite a step down in size from the Doggfather's last two Twin Cities gigs at Epic and Myth nightclubs. No surprise the one-night stand became a double payday with the addition of the early show.
If you could overlook the sheer discomfort, though, it was a genuine thrill seeing one of hip-hop's most successful and longevous performers doing his G-thang in such a small venue. Various aspects of the show even resembled Snoop's memorable cameo in the modern comedy classic "Old School," where he plays a campus party sponsored by Vince Vaughn's stereo company.
While highlights included "Gin and Juice" and "187," Tuesday's concert wasn't just an old-school affair. Decked out in sleek shades and a yellow/black hoodie, the forever-charismatic anti-hero opened with his 2009 rouser "I Wanna Rock" and quickly rolled into "Kush," the lead single from the forthcoming Dr. Dre album "Detox." Weirdly, he never got around to his own new single, "Wet," but he didn't need it to set a libidinous tone for the show.
Example No. 2: "I've taken off my shirt. Now let me see some of you take your shirt off."
Snoop wasn't kidding -- nor was he talking to the portly guy down front -- when he urged fans to dress down mid-show. He had returned to the stage shirtless, and proceeded to deliver some of his sultriest and most overtly horn-dog tunes, including "Sexual Eruption" and "Beautiful."
What really set off a lot of women in the crowd, however, was the surprise appearance of Warren G mid-show. Snoop's old 213 mate -- apparently enticed by Minnesota's mid-January weather and the posh accommodations at the Cabooze to join the show unannounced -- walked out and delivered his mid-'90s hits "This DJ" and "Regulate," and then he disappeared as quickly as his career did. Snoop also paid homage to another of his old cronies with a medley of Tupac Shakur tunes.
Example No. 3: "They're telling me I have to get off the stage. I wish I could play all night."
Twenty bucks says nobody actually told Snoop he had to get off the stage, but it was a smooth way to set up to his final song, "What's My Name?" without looking like the bad guy. Even after taking the stage an hour after scheduled (there was no opener), and even with the second late-show crowd to accommodate, Snoop still could have gone another hour. With all those sexy ladies to touch, though, who's to argue?
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658
SNOOP DOGG'S SET LIST:
I Wanna Rock / P.I.M.P. / Kush / Gin and Juice / I Wanna F U / That's That / 187 / snippets: Nuthin' But a G Thang, Bitch Please / 2Pac medley: Hail Mary, Gangsta Party / Warren G: This DJ, Regulate / Sexual Eruption / Beautiful / Jump Around (House of Pain cover) / Drop It Like It's Hot / P-Funk medley / What's My Name?