The city of Atlanta was fortunate to host West Coast Royalty Saturday Night as Snoop Dogg and friends filled State Farm Arena with rap classics laced with the scents of epic nostalgia and “Buddah Love.”
Openers Phresh Ali (best known for “Lightning Round”), RJ, and Tray Chaney (formerly of HBO’s “The Wire”) were tasked with preparing the crowd for an all-out onslaught of great music from rap’s greatest generation.
There’s really nothing to argue because it’s pure fact. The best era of rap music came in the ’90s and the soldout arena would definitely agree. Before the days of mumble rap, the intuitive desire to start your rap name with “Lil”, colored dreadlocks, and skin-tight jeans, there was gangster rap. Names like Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur were a part of the contingent responsible for putting California on the map via Deathrow Records. Another name in that circle was none other than Snoop Dogg, known then as Snoop Doggy Dogg.
The Gin and Juice rapper brought the Best of the West with him on tour, including big names like Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Seeing Daz & Kurupt perform brought back epic memories of barbecues and six-fours (and it helped I was living in California). They even entertained the ATL crowd by bringing out Bigg Gipp of Goodie Mobb to perform “Black Ice.” The only downer of the night was the absence of Warren G. I was fully prepared to take it back to the “G Funk Era.” But aside from Snoop Dogg, the highlight of the night for me was seeing Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (again).
The best rap group ever took the stage and the crowd erupted. No need to second guess if you read that correctly, I did say best rap group ever. If you can name another rap group that has songs with Notorious B.I.G., 2 Pac, Mariah Carey, Akon, Eazy E, and Phil Collins then let me know. But I can tell you right now it’s not going to happen.
The Cleveland natives make music that transcends genre barriers hence the legendary features I mentioned before. The rappers are known for their two-part harmonies and most notably the speed of their delivery. Although they’re from the Midwest region, they have always been given a West Coast pass thanks to their style being influenced so much by the man who discovered them, Eazy E. Their discography is so extensive that they could’ve performed well into next week, but their two most popular albums containing the most hits came from “E.1999 Eternal” and “The Art of War.” So naturally, everyone was dancing and feeling good to “1st of tha Month” but swayed back-and-forth for the more somber “Crossroads.” They also paid homage to Eazy E and Biggie Smalls.
The man of the hour, the Long Beach legend himself, Snoop Dogg, performed old hits, new hits, and a batch of tracks from his recently released gospel album “Bible of Love.”
The vibe changed from a concert to a straight up party after songs like “Best Life” “Beautiful” “What’s My Name?” and his verse from DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.” The “Gin and Juice” rapper continued through the night playing hit after hit, even bringing out Lil Duval and Ball Greezy to perform their viral hit “Living My Best Life.”
So overall, I give the “Puff Puff Pass Tour” Part 2 an 8.5 out of 10. It felt great to spend a few hours in a time machine and go back to a time when rap music was littered with West Coast beats. That’s why I was disappointed when one of Cali’s biggest trailblazers, Warren G, was nowhere to be found. The same went for Bizzie Bone when I noticed he was the sole member missing from Bone Thugs but at least with them, people know it’s a miracle when all five can perform together (plus their set wasn’t long enough). Also, if you want to see Snoop on tour and you’re not a smoker, go at your own risk. The tour isn’t called ‘Puff Puff Pass’ for nothing.