An Open Letter to Snoop Lion About Ultra 2013, Weekend Two: That Shit Was Weak
Photo by Jacob Katel
Snoop Dogg, for getting high on stage at Ultra Music Festival, tossing blunts into the crowd, and almost maxing out the capacity of Klipsch Amphitheater, I salute you. For bringing your crew, running through the hits, testing new material, and throwing in a couple of covers, I salute you. For rockin' with the Snoopettes, doing that awesome anti-gun song, and getting thousands of girls to sing out loud about wanting to fuck, I salute you. Much respect to you, man.
But there's a lot of shit that pissed me off about your show during weekend two of Ultra 2013. For starters it was almost all old Dogg shit, and there was no bass. A lot of the tracks dropped with about as much power as leg lifts at a nursing home. Where was the Lion's roar?
Check out last week's review: "Snoop Dogg Goes From Rasta to Gangsta to Raver, Debuts "No Guns Allowed."
TicketsFri., Jan. 20, 7:00pm
Side by Side: A Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme Tribute
TicketsFri., Jan. 20, 8:00pm
TicketsSat., Jan. 21, 6:30pm
TicketsSat., Jan. 21, 7:00pm
The Last Waltz 40 Tour: The 40th Anniversary of The Last Waltz
TicketsSat., Jan. 21, 7:30pm
It all started out well and good, with a nice dusk settling behind the crowd.
The air was charged up with the living breath of a quarter-million party animals.
You had a crowd, and they were patiently waiting for the man, the myth, the legend, the great Snoop Dogg, California OG pimp, king of kush... Wait, patiently waiting? Your crowd was patiently waiting? What in the hell?
Woody Graber, a cool dude
Damn, yo. Sure, it was nice and beautiful and relaxing to chill by the bay. But if there's one thing I've learned about the people of Ultra, it's that they're looking for any excuse to rage. And they are fluent in the language of buildups and drops.
Instead of being a bunch of nice respectful youths from 'round the world, just sitting around
They could have been a wild pack of snarling, and out-of-control, bass-driven animals. Damn, Snoop, I know you been doing those big South Beach bottleworld VIP shows for grownups while you here too, but
Your DJ should have came out earlier and got the people riled up. Instead, he came out and played Bob Marley, which you can never go wrong with -- hell, it made the people sing, light up, and get ready for the fiyah, but it sure as shit didn't unleash the beast, and it was only one song. The crowd was colder than a dead fish on ice. So, then finally, somebody said something 'bout "And now, Snoooooooppppppp DDDDDoooooooogggggg." And it brought a smile to the audience.
A smile. They could have been screaming at the top of their lungs. They should have. It's true, you're somewhere along the lines of a Michael Jordan to hip-hop. A veteran of more live shows than I could ever possibly fucking imagine.
And 95 percent of anybody who was there might have thought it was the greatest thing they ever might have saw. But it was boring, not cause of you, cause of the way you did it. And no matter what, you and I both know you didn't really turn that bitch out. Right, Snoop? Not 'cause you couldn't, 'cause we all know you can.
For whatever reason, you didn't let it rip. You did all old formula in a place where you could have done and gotten away with anything, but you did the same old shit that you're supposedly so tired of that you had to change your name and get reincarnated.
When you started your set off with that new track, it got about as much reaction as a bowling ball in the Everglades. It bombed like C4 at a propane tank factory. It stunk like a skunk. It fell on deaf ears. It went down like the titanic. It got less than no reaction. Even the crickets had to stop and look around. And I agree with you, Snoop, critics are fucking lame. I just figure, I'll give you my biased perspective on why it didn't go over.
Delivery, bro. There was no torque in your punch. There was no reaction because there was no action. All the people needed was some motivation to lose their shit. Where was the volume, the aggression, the performance, the showmanship? Where was the new Snoop Lion?
Sure, Ultra is a weird sort of scene, but, I was feeling lost on your show itself
Matter fact, where was I at? Some dude passed a joint, I hit it, and within minutes, I didn't wanna be down front by the stage no more. I thought a billion electronic eyes were staring me down, I thought I was fucking up your show, I thought I was even making YOU nervous. I thought, fuck this shit, I'ma get the fuck out of this area and go see the show with the people and see how they're reacting everywhere else.
Damn, yo, this was during one of your hits too. Shit was getting surreal. The crowd could hear you, this is from the walkway, but they weren't feeling you, 'cause you weren't feeling them. Fuck the stupid industry shit; all you gotta do make an Ultra crowd lose their mind is drop bass, be loud as fuck, and say simple shit aggressively. Your speakers had no boom Snoop. They had your volume turned down and you didn't even seem to care.
All these people here are fans. They're just looking to you to give them an excuse to lose their minds. Why your hype men weren't hype, why you didn't joke around onstage that much, why you didn't do more call and response, why there wasn't more jumping around, why did one of the biggest reactions you got all night come from playing House of Pain's "Jump Around"?
I get it, white people love "Jump Around"; it's a tool you use to get them hype, but that shit was lame, dude. There are other newer, more exciting ways to do the same thing, and you took the easy way out. You could have rapped your old shit over trap, or house, or dancehall, or dubstep. Where the fuck was Snoop Lion at Dogg? Almost all I heard was the old shit done the same old way.
Here's a people sample from over by the far side of the stage, to your left Snoop. They were having more fun taking pictures than going with the music.
When the sun went down, you got better, though.
During some of that new Snoop Lion shit yo, you were flowing like a motherfucker, really rapping for real tho, really pushing yourself and the new material and selling it through skill and performance and charisma.
That's when you were at your best. When you were just your self. And having some fun with it.
When you had Boys Noize up there with you, it's like you had a confidence boost. But didn't nobody give a shit about him; they didn't even barely cheer when you said his name.
And from then on, it was easy for you. The show was smooth sailing.
Nasty Dogg whooped his dick out, and it was hilarious.
The crowd was a hot, wet pussy ready to fuck.
You gave the people what they wanted.
And they cheered and smoked and had a great time. Even low-carb-used-to-be-Fat Joe (props on that) was there chilling behind you, and his lady in the red top was shaking her ass.
The light show was trippy.
There were all kind of lasers and shit.
It sounded like you were speaking from your heart to the people.
And they were ridin' with you.
But, I'll tell you what. I know you've done this shit a million times, and it's easy for you to do what you did, the way you did it, but I was waiting for that next-level Lion shit, and it didn't happen, 'cause you coasted.
And maybe it is too much to ask for someone to do what you expect them to do whenever you expect them to do it. Maybe that new Snoop Lion shit I was all fired up about really is just a gimmick.
Maybe you go right on ahead doin' what you're doin' the way you're doin' it and havin' people love you for it. But for me, knowing what you're capable of, that shit was weak. So maybe next time you're in Miami, you bring the mothefuckin' bass, Dogg, and roar, 'cause otherwise, you're Snoop lyin'.
P.S. the single best part of your set was the last three words, spoken with 500 percent more conviction and energy than anything else you said all night. "Smoke weed, mothafucka!"
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.