Snoop Dogg @ The O2 Arena, London | Live Review x Photos

No stranger to the UK having performed here on numerous occasions [and even banned once because of drug and firearms convictions in the US], it is with goodwill and excitement that Snoop Dogg returns to perform on London’s 02 Arena stage. After possibly the longest line up of opening acts I’ve ever seen, including the likes of Yasmin, Chipmunk and Radio 1’s MistaJam, the night’s main attraction strolls casually onto the stage.

Attired in an adidas tracksuit with blinged out microphone in hand, he is welcomed by massive cheers and the smell of hundreds of joints being sparked all at once. Having transformed from ‘gangsta’ and ‘pimp’ to the kind of person who lays down a verse on tracks with Katy Perry and David Guetta and wishes to have a reality TV show, it is evident Snoop’s audience has diversified, to say the least. And if in any doubt of that fact, all you had to do was look around. The demographic was certainly an interesting one (interesting to the extent that a 12 year old was there with her grandmother) with people of all ages and shades united to witness the Hip Hop heavyweight’s performance.

Taking to the stage a mere half an hour later than promised, anticipation levels are palpable – but he was certainly worth the wait. Despite a career spanning 20 years, it’s easy sometimes to forget just how much Snoop Dogg has contributed to music with his uncountable number of hits. His performance however, reminded us, thoroughly of that fact. Performing tracks the likes of crossover collaborations ‘P.I.M.P,’ ‘Next Episode,’ I Wanna Fuck You’ and ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot,’ as well as heavier rap cuts, the crowd ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ in recollection and a state of nostalgia.

Supremely comfortable in himself and his position of power, Snoop takes hits from a joint on stage, asking the crowd if there’s anyone out there who’s smoking some of that chronic. And indeed there is. “I represent peace and love,” he says; beaming faces, feel good vibes and swaying hands clarifying that that message is being projected, thoroughly, into the crowd.

Laid back flow and drawling cadence translating to his performance, the energy on stage comes, and only comes from the back up dancers who wind and grind and lapdance all over Snoop and the surrounding area. Chilling, but undoubtedly enjoying the performance Snoop occasionally strolls back and forth, cheeky smile seemingly imprinted into his face.

Closing his eyes towards the end of the show, Snoop imposes a moment of silence ‘for the homie’ Nate Dogg, his long term friend and collaborator who passed away earlier this year due to complications of multiple strokes.

“It’s so good to be back in London” he says, before exiting the stage. “I will be back any time you mother fuckers want me to be here.” And judging by Friday night’s cheers, if that’s the case; he shouldn’t leave. Just maybe be on time next time, yes?

More pictures from the night:

Photography by Neil Raja – follow him on twitter @NeilRajaStudios

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