LIVE @ REBEL - TORONTO
FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW
Review By: Fridae Mattas
Visuals By: Fridae and Alex Mattas
Transcribed/Edited/Written By: Lulu D.
On Monday, May, 20th Snoop Dogg and friends closed off the May, 24, Victoria day weekend with a bang! The Rap/Marijuana Mogul dropped by Toronto's Rebel on Polson (was The Docks, Sound Academy etc...). The minute we found out about this show, we had to cover it! When is the next time Snoop will be at an intimate venue like Rebel? Probably never! Thanks to Brandon at Diamond Mine and Snoop's team for giving us the clearance to cover the set. Due to my injuries, still cannot cover sets fully until probably mid next year, so when our fabulous photographer had a family emergency and could not make it, I panicked a little.
Had to find someone to assist me, in order for me to shoot the set myself. Who better to turn to than family? My first natural instinct was to ask my baby sister if she was free, we've jammed to Snoops tunes all over the world together and she has shot for Fridae TV in the past...Of course she agreed to help with the socials, as I shot the sets. Good thing she grew up with us blasting Snoop's tunes, I mean come on, its Snoop who can say no!
For those who do not know about Snoop Dogg, have you been in another dimension where he doesn't exist? My Dad was even into a few Snoop tracks! Calvin Broadus Jr. has had a very successful career and his hands are dipped in everything entertainment. From his roots as a Rap icon to the obvious advocacy of his love for Cannabis, to his cooking show "Pot Luck Dinner" with Martha Stewart. Snoop, is definitely the hardest working man in Entertainment, he's getting his bags and keeping his place as the Doggfather of Rap. There will never be another Snoop Dogg, but I still refuse to pay anyone for an interview, yah dig.
Most people have no idea who was opening for Snoop, it was none other than Ajax-Pickering Rapper "Peter Jackson", who? Yeah...Most of the people in the crowd waiting for Snoopy D-o-double-g to hit the stage were wondering the same thing as PJ walked out. We at Fridae TV knew of him for a while now, covered him previously when he opened for Naughty By Nature in Oshawa, yes, you read that correctly, Oshawa. Click here for the PJ interview. Peter Jackson's set was fairly quick, he brought out his security guard on stage and floated with him through out the night like he was Eminem, laughs. The songs were as basic as they were the first and last time we covered PJ. At least he had more passion in his performance back then, this time he had a couple of unknown guest singers miming to the tracks, as PJ attempted to perform a half decent set...The singers whoever they were saved his performance from being completely abysmal to meh.
For real, he did not look like he was enjoying himself at all, except a few moments here and there when he wasn't wiping sweat off of his bald head, he just seemed annoyed to be there. Yes, okay the crowd wasn't exactly enthusiastic about his music, but isn't that when you put on a show, to prove the haters wrong? Nope, not PJ. He pulled a 2007 Britney Spears MTV flop, good thing it was not televised. Don't know how his team, who was filming all over the place will find decent footage of that set...PJ's stage time was a wrap, felt like not even ten minutes. Didn't even hear the crowd cheering as I was trying to put my shoe back on (more about that later.).
Was expecting Warren G. to grace us with some tunes before the man of the hour emerged, he did not make an appearance until mid set. The last time I saw both on one stage was the "Up In Smoke Tour" 19 years ago. Funny story actually, I met Warren the day of the Up In Smoke Tour by introduction from his Uncle, just after I chatted with Ice Cube across the street. Was like 16 or 17 at the time and Warren's uncle wanted to hook us up with passes because I gave him a "Canadian Cigarette". There were three of us and he only had two passes, I'm an amazing friend so no betch chilling with me gets left behind and I declined.
He told me to wait a minute as he went inside the hotel and magically re-appeared with three tickets to give us and we gladly accepted. As he handed me the tickets, he wanted us to meet his nephews Warren and Nate (Nate Dogg is not related to Warren G he was Snoops cousin, Warren is Dr. Dre's cousin). We exchanged hellos and quick hand shakes as they headed towards the band van to go to the venue and that was that in short form. So it was a little disappointing that he didn't really sing a tune, until mid set when I was not shooting. Soon I felt a bit better because it was one of my favorites that he jammed to "Regulate", in tribute to Nate Dogg, may he rest in paradise with the other homies. The homage to Nate Dogg was amongst many other tributes Monday night, Snoop paid his respects to his friends, Rap Legends; 2PAC, Biggie and recently lost to similar gun violence, Nipsey Hussle.
Everything went by so fast, trying not to fall on my face and shoot while avoiding any additional fuck ups to my present injuries. That proved to be more of an obstacle than I thought, especially after losing my shoe during PJ's set thanks to my stupid ankle aircast for making it possible. LMAO don't know if anyone booked that, was laughing my ass off as I tried to gracefully put on my left kick securely.
Right on schedule at 21:45 (for those who don't know how to read military time that is 9:45 pm), the stage went black and smoke came billowing out as Snoop made his way to the DJ booth. The DJ was situated in front of the giant screens centre stage and the packed house erupted into a wave of screams, once they realised Snoop was on stage. The already present smell of various blends of cannabis increased, the lights lit up as hundreds of lighters did and Snoop greeted the crowd. He was donning Toronto Raptors apparel, as he does this with every sports team in the city he's performing in. This time though, Raps fans were hoping he broke the Drake curse, that every fan in the city keeps talking about. Since then, the Raptors apparently have won some crucial games, am assuming the Snoopy vibes worked. Wouldn't know, not a huge sports follower if I'm not covering the event, and definitely don't bandwagon jump. Wish the Raptors and all Canadian sports teams nothing but the best. Personally, more a fan of playing sports and I only really go to a game these days if I'm performing, dating an athlete or my boyfriend is obsessed.
In addition to his friends, Snoop's stage had a picnic table, a blue dog mascot, dancers, a bike, and various graphics playing on the big screens. Some were not optimal for lighting, like the white noise screens behind the performers drowning them out. Made it work as usual, regardless on how long it has been since I've shot a set myself, I felt right at home. Used my 18-55 little nikon lens because the big zoom I tested during the opener was much too close. When shooting visual stills, my eyes like to capture the whole stage and everyone on it. A little strange being so restricted while shooting because when covering a musical artist I'm so used to flying around all over the pit. After PJ's set, my wrist and back were killing me after "Shoegate" because of all the hopping, my doctor is going to yell at me for sure but what can I do? Was not about to miss Snoop and friends, come on people. The speakers added a few curve balls, they were so high up blocking my direct line of sight. However, it was mostly annoying when trying to photograph anyone not in front of me and while filming the clips of P.I.M.P and Smile added below. That issue solidified my decision for the safest option like a short person, to stay in one spot during the three tunes. Too risky to move around the crowded pit without a guarantee of my clumsy ass falling over the barricade poles. It made me happy to be covering an artist I grew up listening to, my brother was obsessed with all the rappers especially Pac, Biggie and Snoop. Too bad for him though, I brought my younger sister and we had an incredible time! Although, now that I think about it, having my brother there would have been perfect because he's huge (6'3) and he would have towered over the speakers in the pit. Regardless, he was probably working on the railroad (literally, he's a welder supervisor or something for a transit corp).
Nothing bad about the show from a journalistic perspective. From a fans point of view, Snoop put on a invigorating, laid back performance bringing my mind back to some phenomenal times. The set list was obviously majority from "Doggystyle" hence, it was the 25th Anniversary Tour. It actually turned out that Snoop did not drop my favorite tunes like; "Gin N Juice", "Gangsta Party", "Next Episode", "Drop It Like It's Hot" etc... While I was in the pit, I would not have been able to enjoy them with my sister and get the full vibe of the performance. The dancers were amazing, mad love to those fierce fabulous femmes, might have to poach you guys from Snoopy. We can't wait to hit any future Toronto dates and if you want to see a show you will never forget, go see Snoop! He will make your night, just right!