Snoop Dogg - Opera, Hollywood
Thu, 20 Mar 2008 07:21:50
Past the glitzy, red carpet and line of photographers at the entrance of Opera in Hollywood, Snoop Dogg turned the normally chichi club straight hood. Opera is one of the more upscale party destinations to open in the area recently. Nestled on Schrader Blvd, blocks east of Highland Ave, the chic nightspot symbolizes Hollywood's evolution from "gutter" to Glamour. It's not the spot you'd necessarily expect for a raucous, O.G. party in celebration of Snoop Dogg's new masterpiece Ego Trippin'. However, with its demure decor and sexy lighting, Opera provided the perfect setting for Snoop Dogg to prove why he's still king of the game.
Since it was a not-so-secret record release party presented by MySpace, the glitteratti turned out in full form. Among the celebs in attendance were Bill Maher and Kendra from The Girls Next Door. They both witnessed an hour-plus set of pure hip hop mastery courtesy of the Doggfather. Not one person in the crowd stopped moving from the moment Snoop hit the stage, until well into the night.
Snoop's set couldn't have been more perfect for the packed house. He lit the party up immediately with a flow that shifted from "Lodi Dodi" to a freestyle over The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize." Launching into another classic, "Next Episode," Snoop took command. His signature smooth rap has never sounded better. Over the beat spun by Battlecat, Snoop took the audience right back to the days when LA was dangerous, fresh and alive. Clad in a black and gold hoodie with bling to spare, he rocked a microphone bearing his moniker in diamonds. Snoop became a rap god, standing elevated above the crowd in the club's center. The crowd ate it up.
Early in the set, Snoop joked, "They said you're only supposed to come here and do like three songs. I can't just do that! You know me. I've always got my bag of tricks. So here's my O.G. homey from the Bay Area, Too $hort!" With that intro, the legendary NorCal rapper took center stage and did a crowd favorite, "Blow the Whistle." Snoop took a step back, dancing crip-style and vibing with the plethora of people around him on the makeshift stage in the middle of the club. Those homeys included Archbishop Don Magic Juan, a.k.a. "the dude with the green hat from Old School" and other friends and family. Once "Whistle" finished, Snoop and Too $hort pulled off an incredible rendition of "Life of Da Party," Ego Trippin's latest single.
Droppin lines from "Fuck tha Police," Snoop hit the time warp button and brought everyone back to West Coast hip hop's golden age. Of course "Gin and Juice" and "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" kicked that shift into full gear as both erupted in massive sing-a-longs. Snoop aimed to "keep it old school as a muthafucka," and he more than delivered on that promise. New joint, "Staxxx in My Jeans" kept the energy at the same level the old cuts did, and Snoop blazed through anthem after anthem.
"Sensual Seduction" showed Snoop's diversity as the grinding kept up on the dance floor, and he crooned the hit's chorus. "Drop It Likes It's Hot" paid a nod to modern hip hop's tripped-out textures and stylish, synth beats. In the end, "What's My Name" had everyone chanting and dancing with a palpable energy. Opera may usually be happening for the Hollywood crowd, but this night was one no one will forget. One thing's clear. "There ain't no party like a Snoop Dogg party."