SNOOP DOGG with THA LIKS, DAZ DILLINGER, THA EASTSIDERS, THA ANGELS, MR SHORT KOP and more, at the Air Canada Centre, October 10. Tickets: $49.50. Attendance: 5,000. Rating: NN
the best job in hiphop has got to be the hanger-on. While the star MCs get the groupies and the DJs bounce in the back, the hangers-on do nothing but stand around, throw a couple of poses and get loaded.
Tha Alkaholiks have this down to a science. While MCs Tash and Defari tore through a fierce set of comedy hiphop in front of a giant, inflated 40-ouncer, a crew of 10 stood at the side of the stage and made a mess of the six cases of beer on the DJ stand.
Conspicuous consumption did not slow Tha Liks down, though, and their 20-minute tornado, followed by an equally furious solo set from Daz Dillinger, was exactly what makes arena hiphop shows so exhilarating.
Not so for Snoop Dogg. Hiphop's smoked-out slacker strolled through an hour-long set with his eyes half open, swaggering out in sweat pants, sipping champagne from a gold goblet and having peons, including one guy with gold chains and a cane, light his blunts for him.
Minus the bouncing low-riders that juiced up his set on last summer's Up In Smoke tour, the lanky MC's stage seemed woefully empty and matched his energy-free performance. It was as if the tour were cobbled together in a few spare minutes, an impression reinforced by the long, uncomfortable pauses between songs and Snoop's tendency to perform cuts with people who weren't there -- Tupac, Dr. Dre and Ghostface -- that left the posse wandering around on the stage while the rhymes played in the background.
Aside from Snoop's sudden pause from the talk of bitch-slapping for a surreal three seconds of silence for the September 11 victims, the most interesting moment came during a run through Down 4 My Niggaz, with its emphatic finale, "Fuck Death Row and fuck Suge Knight."
Considering that the Death Row honcho and former Snoop backer has just been released from prison and has been very vocal about teaching the Dogg a lesson in loyalty, the half-dozen beefy, turtleneck-wearing bodyguards standing at the front of the stage had good reason to look concerned.