Written by Kelsea Lee • Photography by Chris Molina, Live Nation • December 13, 2016
As I entered into a hazy stadium, I could feel the bass pounding through the soles of my feet. There was no doubt about it, Snoop and Friends were in the building. Get the High Notes.
Easily one of the most influential rap artists to date, Snoop Dogg brought his crew of West Coast MCs to downtown Los Angeles for a celebration of hip hop, g-funk and of course the recent legal status of their favorite girl, Mary Jane. This 10-date series runs as the second installment of Snoop's Puff Puff Pass Tour, which first debuted back in 2001.
The stage was dressed fittingly with large cannabis leaves and a low rider on each end of the stage, framing multiple DJ booth set ups. For anyone who’s been following the West Coast rap scene and its roots, it was clear the mood was set for a trip back to the “golden age” of hip hop and rap—the 90’s.
Kicking the night off with Cleveland hip hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the iconic rappers performed some of their biggest singles like “1st of tha Month” and their collab with Biggie, “Let’s Ride.”
“Do y’all f—k with Donald Trump? I think Imma have to say a prayer,” one of the MCs joked. “We got the homies coming up, you know when we come we come deep."
Next up was rapper Hi-C— “Is Compton in the house? Is LA in the house?” he yelled out to the crowd before beginning his set. He was soon after joined by past collaborators and Compton-born friends, award-winning producer DJ Quik and rap group 2nd II None. Repping their emblem on a white shirt, 2nd II None went through their some of their best 90’s cuts like “If You Want It,” “Didn’t Mean to Turn You On,” and “Up n’ da Club,” getting the crowd up on their feet and singing along.
As the night continued on, the stadium filled up and the all-familiar haze grew thicker and thicker. Though it was a large concert with thousands of attendees, the MCs made it feel like one big house party. Luniz took the stage next, performing with so much energy and hype you could feel it in the air. Yukmouth entered the stage with a large blunt in-hand, asking the crowd if they were smoking tonight. As the room filled up with shouts of agreement, the rapper passed his blunt of OG Kush into the crowd, yelling, “It’s the Puff Puff Pass Tour, pass that s—t!”
Warren G walked onto the stage casually dressed in a white Adidas pullover, as if he knew he didn’t need to put much effort in to get the crowd pumped for his appearance. The LBC native continued with the 90’s throwbacks, performing “This D.J.” and "Do You See" from his 1994 album Regulate… G Funk Era and his 1999 lead single "I Want It All". Paying homage to his 213 brother Nate Dogg, he rapped verses from Mista Grimm’s “Indo Smoke” and Dr Dre’s “Xxplosive.”
Louie G from Big Boy’s Neighborhood on LA's Real 92.3FM, brought out Big Boy himself, who then featured surprise guest Mack 10. The rapper performed “Backyard Boogie,” one of his biggest singles that epitomizes the laid-back, cruising sound of West Coast hip hop.
The final stage guest before Snoop was Too $hort, who announced, “My name is Too $hort and I’m from East Oakland,” continuing the trend of West Coast pride. He performed a few of his own songs, including “Money on the Floor” featuring E-40 and “Don’t Fight the Feeling.” Before exiting to make way for Snoop Dogg, he announced that he would be coming out with a new album soon, titled The Pimp Tape.
Time for the main attraction, Snoop Dogg walked into the room, filling the arena with waves of overwhelming cheer. The GGN star was sporting a Rams jersey in the spirit of their Los Angeles return. Continuing with the puff puff pass theme, Snoop lit a blunt and passed it on to a birthday celebrating attendee, who also continued with the puffing and passing. The rapper went through some of his greatest songs from over the years, like “Still D.R.E.” from Dr. Dre’s 2001 and “Who I Am (What’s My Name?).”
“What’s my motherf—king name? Snoop Doggy Dog,” the crowd sang along with Snoop’s famous hook.
Featuring other collaborative hits, the rapper continued to perform 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” which got the crowd (and myself) even more charged up. He brought “Ain’t No Fun” feature artist Kurupt onstage with him, performing in what felt like an extended reunion party. Snoop paid tribute through song to other fallen heroes of hip hop like Biggie Smalls, Nate Dogg, Eazy-E and Tupac. Finishing with the 2011 party anthem “Young, Wild and Free,” he closed out the festivities with everyone on a feel-good, nostalgic high.
“Smoke weed, mothaf—ers.” And just like that, the puff puff pass party was over.