Snoop Dogg delivers Wonderland tour at HOB on Halloween
Halloween was all treats for ticket holders for Snoop Dogg’s latest tour, Wonderland High, which stopped at Atlantic City’s House of Blues Oct. 31. By the time he left the stage after 1am (just before daylight savings kicked in) the superstar had transformed the popular concert venue into his personal “Dogg House of Blues.”
The treats however started more than an hour and a half before Snoop took the stage with veteran hip-hop artists Redman and Method Man. Both Red and Meth have enjoyed success as solo artists and as part of hip-hop super groups. Redman has been a key member of The Hit Squad and Method Man as part of the world famous Wu-Tang Clan.
Individually Method Man has made classic street music since his solo performance on the first Wu-Tang record (Enter The Wu-Tang 36 Chambers). Since then he’s also been a part of classic singles with his fellow Wu-Tang member Raekwon, as well as D’angelo and LL Cool J to name a few. Method Man has even shown that music from the streets includes love songs — doing several songs with Mary J. Blige.
Redman himself has built a great career as a solo artist since being featured on the track “Rampage,” and quickly following with the record Whut? Thee Album.
Halloween night, Redman and Method Man together, put on one of the best hip-hop performances ever to hit Atlantic City’s HOB. Red and Meth, as they are called by their fans, have been serving up a unique energy that comes from their performing together since their 1995 release How High?
Their performance was a treat indeed as they started off doing about 20 minutes of brand new music from their latest CD, The Black Out 2. All over the HOB venue you could see hands waving and people yelling in support of the two. Meth and Red kicked it up another four notches as they asked the crowd if they wanted to hear the classic material?
Red started the higher frenzy by going all the way back to his second single, which is a true hip-hop classic “Time 4 Sum Aksion.” Not to be ever out done, Method Man stepped up and gave the crowd pure, uncut 1993 hip-hop with his monster hit “METHOD MAN” (from Enter The Wu Tang). From there the two went back to back hit for hit.
Before leaving the stage, Redman and Method Man had paid tribute to the groups they came from, thanked their fans for more than a decade of true support (sold-out concerts and record sales), and gave a fitting tribute to the late rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
They ended the night by telling the crowd to enjoy the moment and the people who make life special and by telling the crowd to make noise in remembrance of artists who have passed away like Michael Jackson, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Aaliyah. Before leaving altogether Method jumped into the crowd for some body surfing.
Right after Meth and Red left the stage, a large movie screen came down.
On the screen were clips of movies such as Up in Smoke and The Blues Brothers, Blackula, and Being John Malkovich. In each case editing technology was used to place Snoop into the movie roles, with Snoop inserting his own dialogue and re-naming the movies after himself.
When the star of stage, screen and, of course, music took the stage in the flesh it was a “Dogg House of Blues” that was all treats and no tricks.
Snoop came out with his crew, which included Delvin the Dude and they performed about 20 minutes of brand new material. Armed with what could be called a pimped out microphone (think a pimp cup with bling as a microphone) Snoop yelled out repeatedly ever reference imaginable (and most likely a few I missed) about smoking marijuana.
What was a personal treat for me was when Snoop brought out his fellow West Coast rapper, The Lady of Rage. The two performed one of the best songs from his debut LP Doggy Style (though never released as a single) “G-Funk Intro.” Then we were treated to Rage’s hit single “Afro Puffs.” For the time Rage was on stage she brought and energy that was electric and was given back by a crowd excited to see an hear her.
Throughout the rest of the night Snoop performed the hits that have made him a music superstar from his early days with Dr. Dre to his singles with artists like Akon and Charlie Wilson. Snoop also lead the crowd in a 15-minute tribute to Tupac, which included Tupac’s song’s “Hail Mary” and “2 of America’s Most Wanted.”
The night was reminiscent of old-school hip-hop shows with great songs everybody knows, brand new songs and free styles, high energy and a few surprises that made the concert more than worth the money and the time.
Although very few people attended the Halloween show in costume, it was a sweet night for the musical art form known as hip-hop. n
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