Day one of the 2016 Funk Fest was held at Atlanta’s Central Park on May 13. The event, sponsored by Pepsi and AT&T, included performing legendary artists Naughty By Nature, T-Pain, Goodie Mob and Snoop Dogg.
Headlining the event was rapper Snoop Dogg, whose performance was perhaps one of the most anticipated by audience members.
Here are five things we learned from his performance.
1. He is a still true OG
At a time when West Coast Gangsta rap was being popularized in the 1990s, Snoop Dogg made sure he made his mark in the rap industry coining nicknames such as “T’ha Doggfather” and trademarking his infamous “pimp” image. Last night’s performance proved nothing has changed. Snoop Dogg‘s stage presence was just as smooth and poised as you could imagine. The rapper did not stray away from his famous two-step and kept his cool as two scantily dressed dancers provided eye candy for the audience. It was only right for the rapper to perform 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P” alluding to his former pimp lifestyle.
2. Doggystyle is still a classic
As with many hip-hop legends, there is usually an album that sounds just as groundbreaking as the first time you listened to it. That album for Snoop just might be his 1993 debut album, Doggystyle. Not for nothing, Doggystyle, which has been acclaimed by Billboard 200, Rolling Stone, and The Source, has been certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Most of Snoop Dogg’s performance at Funk Fest was composed of his singles from the critically acclaimed album, including “Gin & Juice,” “Lodi Dodi” and “Who Am I (What’s My Name”). Audience members at Funk Fest unashamedly knew the lyrics word for word despite the album facing controversy back in the day due to its controversial lyrics.
3. His love and loyalty for California and its rappers remains intact
Snoop Dogg does not shy away from letting the world know exactly where he is from. The Long Beach, California, native hit the stage last night wearing a UCLA Bruins jersey with 2 Pac’s “California Love” playing as his introductory song. Joining Snoop was California rapper Kurupt, who has worked previously with Death Row Records. During his performance, Snoop commemorated the late Eazy-E and Tupac, two of the most critically acclaimed West Coast artists, by performing the singles “Boyz in the Hood” and “Gangsta Party.” Despite hip-hop’s infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry, Snoop even paid homage to the late Christopher Wallace by performing “Hypnotize” which was filmed in California right before Biggie’s death. Snoop also unexpectedly performed his verse off Katy Perry’s 2010 “California Girls,” which is an overall pop melody but a California anthem nonetheless.
4. He is attuned with his inner Rasta
Since his “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Gin & Juice” days, it seems as though Snoop Dogg has retired his famous cornrows and perms and traded them in for dreadlocks, which is commonly worn in the Rastafarian community. Snoop Dogg renamed himself Snoop Lion after taking a trip to Jamaica and being inspired by the Rastafarian movement. Although he has been under fire by some Rastafarians for cherry-picking certain beliefs of the movement, that has not stopped the rapper from releasing a reggae album, Reincarnated. Snoop once stated, “I have always believed I was Bob Marley reincarnated.” It only made sense for the rapper to close his performance with the late Bob Marley’s “Jamming” playing as his closing song.
5. He is appreciative of all of his fans
Do not let the “gangsta” image fool you, underneath his former gangsta rap image is a side that is appreciative of each and every audience member who attended Funk Fest last night. Not only did the rapper stay professional and show up on time, he made sure he catered to all of his fans by performing songs for the ladies, the gents, the old-school crowd and even his younger fans.