Words by E. Flinn | Photos by D. Lee
It’s Grammy’s week in Los Angeles, which means everyone who is anyone in the music industry descends upon the city. Starting this past Monday, venues big and small played host to elite parties celebrating the industries best and brightest. From the Roots intimate nightly jam sessions with their famous friends at the Hotel Café to the more extravagant galas like Clive Davis’s big Saturday event, there is something for everyone. And Thursday night was no exception. With the industry’s biggest names being pulled in every directions, Snoop proved his star power once again by putting together a star studded bill for his concert at The Hollywood Palladium. Hosted by Levi’s, rumors of an impressive line up traveled fast, inspiring crowds to line up early, something that rarely, if ever, happens in this town, to insure no one missed a thing. Energy was high with free, Snoop inspired, Don Julio cocktails flowing freely as the sell out crowd waited for the show to begin.
Kicking off the festivities was Diplo taking the stage first In case there were any doubts as to what kind of night this was going to be, he immediately set the bar high by welcoming his own famous friend Skrillex to join him on the stage. Although their collaborative project Jack ü is one of the hottest tickets in town, this crowd had come to see hip hop so it took some extra work for these world class DJs to win over the room. But work they did. Infusing far more old school hip-hop than their usual house, trap and dub-step sets, they put on an impressive hour plus show that had everyone dancing in the end.
While the roadies prepped the stage for the main event, the crowd went back to sipping Don Julio cocktails and famous faces like Daft Punk, Tyler the Creator, Christina Milian, and TI began to fill up the VIP section. As the other shows in the neighborhood wrapped up, party-hopping latecomers began to trickle in. According to the new arrivals, Jennifer Hudson had just slayed it at her Turn it Up for Change Ball at the W Hotel down the road, while others had opted to skip the LA Confidential event at the Beverly Hills Hotel after John Legend boycotted and were at the Palladium hoping to salvage their night.
Perhaps the only damper to the evening was the hour plus break between sets as it seemed to caused some of this weeknight crowd to lose some steam. However, those people who powered through to stay for Snoop’s 11:30 start were rewarded for their patience. Backed by 1500, and pairing his best Levi’s with a navy blue crushed velvet blazer, Snoop was on point from the start. Although his new Pharrell produced album Bush is scheduled to be released in March, Snoop let it be known from the start that this show wasn’t just about the new album, opening with a bunch of classics including ‘That Shiznit,’ ‘Ups and Downs’ and ‘Gin and Juice.’
With the crowd hyped, it was time for one of his famous friends to take the stage. O. T. Genasis was up first and the duo took on Dre’s ‘Let’s Get High’ and his own single ‘Coco.’ O.T Genasis was barely off the stage when Snoop summoned Too Short to the stage for ‘Freaky Tales.’
The parade of famous friends continued at breakneck pace, with both Miguel and Kendrick Lamar taking the stage next for ‘How Many Drinks’ and the Rick James’ classic “Give it to me.’ While the guest list to this point had been impressive, it was not unpredictable. Cue the curve ball as Snoop goes totally old school, summoning the one and only Chaka Khan to the stage to perform her timeless “Ain’t Nobody.” The Palladium’s sound mix was less than kind to Ms. Khan, but the diva claimed the stage as her own regardless.
Finally, after this enjoyable trip down memory lane, it was time for a glimpse of the future. Saving the best for last, Snoop welcomed his final guest to the stage, Pherrell, who just happens to be the producer of the upcoming album, and the duo launched into the first single, ‘Peaches and Cream.’ The pair also performed ‘Drop it like its Hot’ and ‘Beautiful,’ before Snoop closed out the evening with ‘Young, Wild and Free,’ capping off the long and winding musical journey that Diplo had kicked off four hours before.