Snoop Dogg at Mansion

If you need an argument against the idea that smoking marijuana will rob you of ambition, you need look only as far as Snoop Dogg. The continually blunted West Coast rap superstar is less a business-savvy artist than a gigantic marketing steamroller, appearing in movies and reality shows, designing clothes, and lending his likeness to everything from candy (hemp-flavored, naturally) to videogames.

It might seem odd that someone initially synonymous with gang life has morphed into one of rap's biggest crossover successes — now even Midwestern housewives know his name — but it's partially owed to Snoop's laid-back (read: baked) charisma, a quality that turned silky flows full of thuggish opulence into hugely popular singles. Is this tour an excuse to get away from the minivan and kids? Maybe, but even if this outing is part of a pimp's midlife crisis, Snoop is easily enough of a crowd-engaging showman to turn any venue into a smoky sea of swaying hands. And though rappers' billed "appearances" at clubs often provoke eye rolls, this one is billed as a full live performance at Mansion.


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