Ask any 90s kids, a chunk of our formative years would have been spent listening to or trying to get into hip-hop, rap and R&B before some of us discovered alternative rock. Then ask any club-going hipster, and electro would still rank high on their list even with the more recent invasions of dubstep and trap.
Snoop Dogg got the crowd on their feet.
So when the Together Festival, organised by AG Productions and Retox Sessions, put Snoop Dogg and Justice on the same bill, an overload of fun carnage was sure to ensue.
That's exactly what happened on Saturday at Together Festival, which also boasted Thaitanium, Southside, Bangkok Invaders, Superrrzaaap deejays, Quintino and deejays AN21 and Max Vangeli, who rounded up a highly charged night.
Getting Thai fans amped even before his performance, Snoop constantly posted on all his social media accounts pictures of him enjoying Thai hospitality while holidaying in Phuket.
To be completely honest here, I was in panic mode when I walked into the venue and saw no musical instruments on stage as I wrongfully thought he would come with a full live band. But this is The Doggfather we're dealing with here, and he did not disappoint even without a live band. Snoop and his crew were more than enough to put wide smiles on everyone's intoxicated faces.
Thaitanium, Southside and Bangkok Invaders did a good job in getting the crowd going and flaunting the Thai hip-hop flag. The excitement, however, skyrocketed when Snoop Dogg strutted on stage. The hiccup over The Boss' microphone and monitors proved to be an annoyance for him and the crowd, but when everything was rectified, it was on from I Wanna Rock until Young, Wild And Free which majestically ended his part of the night.
Snoop himself is an enigma who has outlasted a gazillion rappers before and after his debut two decades ago, managing to stay relevant and establishing himself as a cultural icon. The strong presence he oozed definitely couldn't be taught in any charm school. The stage movements might not be as spunky as they once were, but Snoop did enough to entice, and while his voice could have been clearer, his laconic, laid-back delivery and stage banter proved why he has such legendary status.
Justice in action.
The genius of Snoop Dogg also lay in the way he arranged his set list, mixing the classic favourites like What's My Name?, Gin And Juice and Snoop Upside Ya Head with more recent smash hits such as Drop It Like It's Hot, Signs and Sexual Eruption. Borrowed tracks, and songs he featured on, from Tupac's California Love, Dr Dre's Next Episode, Naughty by Nature's Hip Hop Hooray to Akon's I Want To Love You, also worked like a charm. The entire show rode like a rollercoaster that keeps on going up, with a slight pause here and there for our hearts to stop palpitating, before taking us up one more notch or two. There really wasn't a dull moment.
Switching to Justice, who stayed in Bangkok just a little over 12 hours before jetting back to Paris, Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay are beasts of a different nature from Snoop, revered as deejays and an electronic band. Justice blew away those who didn't leave right after Snoop finished with their mixture of electro, techno and cheeky indie dance tunes as well as their own tracks to keep our ears and dancing feet interested. It must have been another working day in the life of Justice, but they certainly kept the crowd entertained until the very end. Fortunately, Justice brought their own lighting designer who sprinkled magic over every strobe and bulb, recreating a proper Justice night that won't be forgotten for many days to come.
Hopefully, Bangkok will welcome Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion) back with a full band next time, and a Justice full live set is definitely a must.
A small chronic break
Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. was supposed to send his questions back prior to his Bangkok show. Well, technically Snoop Dogg did just that. His management emailed them back on Saturday, the day of his performance.
Before his debut show in the Big Mango, Snoop and some of his crew were kicking back in Phuket where he took times off to handle Life's pesky questions. What follows below is his near-verbatim answer, when English seems to acquire a totally new tonal lanscape, ya dig? Meet The Doggfather.
Hello, how are you doing?
Slow motion with tha potion. Stay ready so I ain't gotta get ready, ya dig?!?
You were recently in India, how was the experience?
It was dope. Glad I could finally make it over there and bless all my fans. Beautiful country that was real live jacc! Looking forward to getting back there asap. Be on da lookout for a Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion tour of India coming soon to a hood near you.
Can you tell us a bit about Snoop Lion? How did the reincarnation come about?
That's something you gotta watch tha movie and see for yourself. I can't explain it in an interview. It's a documentary that accompanies tha music for a reason. It's like no other project that I have worked on in tha past. When you see tha movie you will see that for yourself.
What are the differences between Snoop Dogg and Snoop Lion?
Hahaha. I bet u would like to know. U will know n understand after seein Reincarnated. That's like asking what's the difference between Michael Jordan on tha Wizards and Michael Jordan on tha Bulls. Take tha titles and players away, what is the difference? You gotta judge that for yaself and be the person to answer that.
Have you shared the bill with Justice before? What can we expect from your show in Bangkok?
We shared the bill at Coachella! Dope music. Dope show. Fans that are there to party. Tha Dogg and tha Lion in Bangkok definitely gonna be off tha chain. Classic hits. New hits. I got something special for tha fans in Bangkok.
What is the secret in maintaining your success throughout the years?
You gotta stay relevant and keep making hits. If you don't have hits, tha fans aint checkin for ya. You're one song away from a hit, and I keep hittin grand slams. That's all I know how to do is win.
Been doing it for 20 years I can't stop breaking tha formula that has worked so well.
You seem to be engaged in social media quite a bit. What is your take on social media? Is it crucial for entertainers to be on social media?
I believe that it's an absolute must to be in engaging on a daily basis with your fans because your fans are the ones that keep you relevant, ya dig?!?
Have you heard any Thai hip-hop music?
I have not but I would love to.
Why do you think rap music can cross communicate internationally?
It's come a long way and it still has more to go. It's an international way of life that knows no barrier. It's a movement that can't stop and damn sure won't stop any time soon.
We miss Snoop Dogg's Father Hood. Any chance that you and your family will be back on the reality show again?
Neva say neva, break bread or fake dead and then we can talk. Jah.
Snoop Dogg with Thai rappers Thaitanium.
About the author
- Writer: Onsiri Pravattiyagul
Position: Entertainment Editor