Snoop Dogg / Ice Cube / Belly Aitken University Centre, Fredericton NB - January 30
Published Feb 28, 2007It was a clear night, but the Aitken University Centre was fully engulfed in thick clouds of smoke on the Fredericton stop of Snoop Dogg and Ice Cubes West Coast Originals Tour. For what its worth, the clouds were attributed more to the sticky-icky than to anything climate-related. With only two entrances and security at its tightest, much of the crowd missed out on opening act Belly. The Ottawa MC played songs from his forthcoming debut LP, The Revolution, including its first single, "Pressure. Ice Cube and Westside Connection cohort WC then took the stage, which had been adorned with a giant inflatable "West Side hand signal. After moving through some tracks off 2006s Laugh Now, Cry Latter, Cube and WC played select Westside Connection tracks before moving into an NWA medley and some of his more memorable solo moments. Ice Cubes ability to maintain his Hollywood persona as well as his vested influence on gangsta rap is impressive, and he wore his gangsta hat this night as convincingly as he did nearly 20 years ago. Snoop Dogg is likely the most universally accessible character in hip-hop, which explains why the tour would stop in a city such as Fredericton. Snoop kicked things off with "Murder Was the Case and quickly moved onto "Gin and Juice. He then spent some time on more recent singles, a cover of 50 Cents "P.I.M.P and a few Dogg Pound tracks with Kurupt, whose skill really does warrant his own slot on the tour. Snoop largely avoided material the late 90s, focusing instead on new singles, older hits and anything with Pharrells name attached. Snoops a bona fide entertainer who brought an impressively professional approach to his show except when he demanded someone from the audience pass him a joint. But come on, one shouldnt expect anything less from the Doggfather.