When we heard that Snoop Lion was on his way to South Africa we immediately put on our “OG” playlist and started screaming things like “drop it like it’s hot” and “smoke weed every day” in the MyCityByNight HQ – you should have been there… it was rad. Our excitement aside, there were tons of you that were also as amped to see the reincarnated star live in the most beautiful country on Earth.
In the bit leading up to the Cape Town concert (we’re based in this tasty city, just in case you didn’t already know) there had been some reports of less than full concert arenas at the previous shows, which had us stressing that one of the most respected artists in the World would have to perform to an empty house, given that it was a Tuesday night and all. Luckily, we had nothing to worry about as Cape Town rallied their forces to give Snoop Lion a crowd worthy of someone who had outlived many of the hip hop greats like Tupac and Nate Dogg.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing Snoop Dogg live a few times and if I had to be honest, I was a little worried that his reincarnation as Snoop Lion would have a serious effect on how much love he was going to get from crowds that hadn’t necessarily had that much exposure to his new music and album (which includes a Miley Cyrus duet). Thankfully, Snoop gave the Cape Town audience the opportunity to hear a musical journey of an artist that has spanned over 20 years and counting… it was magical. It is a pretty big deal to re-invent yourself, ala Kylie Minogue or Madonna but to completely change up your lifestyle and a formula that has brought you so much success over the years without losing a large portion of your fans is really something else. The guy was as cool as you would think we would be and knows just how to tell a story through rap, while making sure everyone there has a good time. Apart from covering a couple of his newer tracks he sang every song that I could’ve hoped to hear, Gin n Juice, Aint nothing but a G thang and even did Gangster Party with the verse of legendary deceased rapper Tupac, which literally had the crowd frothing as Snoop dropped the Westside sign and crip walked all the way across the stage.
Mention also has to be made of the supporting act for the night, Jack Parow who properly ripped up the Grand Arena with his live band. The dude who was refused entry to Grand West because of a ridiculous outfit (and probably smelling like a case of brandy) was now performing live on stage just a few years later much to his own enjoyment, which showed through the energetic set that he delivered to the Cape Town crowd. Jack Parow rocked the crowd with an x-rated performance (not saying this because of the band drummer who was only wearing a bikini during the whole set) and showed why he is one of the biggest local talents in South Africa right now. Jack has the type of mouth that a mother would love to wash out with soap – I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word POESE in one concert that much, it was the best! He even did one track that he wrote with South African music legend David Kramer (who according to Jack is “poes cool”) where he uses a harmonica inbetween verses, providing evidence that he’s grown into much more than a flash in the pan Afrikaans musician. Respect.
Having a concert like this inside a casino was always going to be an interesting choice. It always adds a nice brand of apartheid style terror when the entire venue is being patrolled by sniffer-dogs and undercover security and cops. However, there were still tons of people who were arrested and detained for blazing the whacky tabaccy in and around Grand West, now that’s dedication. Now, I’m not saying it’s ok to smoke weed (actually I am) but it would’ve been nice to have the concert somewhere slightly more accepting of Rastafarian behaviours. Aside from that, I had the best time getting to see a legend like Snoop perform in my own backyard on a Tuesday night (like we were in Vegas or something).
G&G has always been a strong contributer to the local entertainment industry and have now started becoming more of a force with events like this and the upcoming Sensation party. I hope for more of the same from these guys… the industry sure needs a breath of fresh air.