The 28th Annual JazzReggae Festival | UCLA | May 25th & 26th [PHOTOS]

Concerts

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Every Memorial Day weekend for the past 28 years, UCLA has hosted a music festival called the JazzReggae Festival. Originally, the first day was devoted to Jazz and the second day was devoted Reggae. Though the first day has morphed to a “Jam” day, the festival has always been able to pull in outstanding talent for the price of admission. If you are ever in Los Angeles during the Memorial Day weekend, and looking to enjoy a music festival at an extremely reasonable price, I suggest that you check out the lineup to see if any artists you like are on the bill.

Armed with a photo pass for the event, I was able to take pictures of the artists listed below. Click on the link to check them out!

May 25th, 2014:

  1. The Internet
  2. Aloe Blacc
  3. Snoop Dogg

May 26th, 2014

  1. Kevin Lyttle
  2. Gramps Morgan
  3. Black Uhuru
  4. Ky-Mani Marley

Snoop Dogg | UCLA Jazz Reggae Fest | 5/25/14

Concerts

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Working for Snoop, I’ve gone to my fare share of his concerts. One would think that after going to more shows than I can count on my fingers and toes, I’d be bored or indifferent to watching him perform. This is far from the truth.

Snoop’s passion for his art always impresses me. His live show, which features a live band, is always entertaining and is simply superior to those acts who rap over series of pre-recorded beats. Though this performance may have been lacking in some familiar faces (R.I.P. Uncle June Bugg), it was filled with all of his hits spanning his over two decades of hit-making.

Though it was Jazz Day, and not Reggae Day, he opened his set with one of my favorite tracks off his reggae album “Reincarnated”, “Here Comes The King”.  He paid tribute to Nate Dogg with his performance of the 213 songs “So Fly”. He performed his verses from 50 Cent duet of “P.I.M.P.” He performed “Lodi Dodi,” “Gin & Juice,”Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name)” and on and on and on. He even dropped his verse from Katy Perry’s single, “California Gurls” in the middle of his set.

Snoop, dressed in a custom made, all-black, UCLA jersey with the number 19, stitched on, played to the crowd and used his charming stage-manner to his have the crowd vibing off of him throughout the entire set. It was either that, or the copious amounts of weed that was being lit up while he was performing. As an aside, UCLA has a campus-wide no-cigarrette smoking policy. In fact, I was forced to toss my cigarettes into a trash can before entering the festival grounds, and even noticed security actively enforcing the policy all throughout the day. But weed smoking? Naw. That’s all good. LOL.

When Snoop closed his set with “Young, Wild & Free,” he had the entire crowd singing along. He finally took his sunglasses off to address the crowd to keep singing along. When the music ended, and he hustled off stage to head off to his DJ gig in Las Vegas that evening, the crowd was still buzzing, perhaps still high from the weed that was smoked during the set, but more likely high from the hit filled set that they had just listened too.

I couldn’t find a complete setlist for Snoop’s performance at this event online, so if anybody happens to know what it was, please post it in the comments so that I can add it into this post. Thanks!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OTHER ARTISTS I WAS ABLE TO SNAP PICTURES OF AT THE FESTIVAL!

Snoop Lion | “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks” Featuring Miley Cyrus | Mourning Loss

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artworks-000044590731-obuy2g-t500x500It’s been quite a surreal day for me.  Yesterday, I took my dog, Samson, to the vet as I noticed he was bleeding from his mouth. The vets noticed a growth on his tongue and diagnosed an Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Cancer. My heart broke. The vets told me that it looked bad and that I should consider getting additional tests and prep him for surgery to at least remove a portion of the growth.

I took Samson back to the vet this morning and signed the papers to have the vets do what they thought needed to be done. At around noon, I get online to check my social media platforms, and notice that a song I’ve been working, “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks” by Snoop Lion featuring Miley Cyrus on was making the rounds on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, etc. Yes.  I work for Snoop.

The song seemed to be getting a good reaction from the interwebs, so my day was picking up.

About an hour later, the vet called me. It turns out the the growth in Samson’s mouth was actually larger than the initial observations. It was down his throat and most likely had already spread throughout my pups chest area. Then the vet broke my heart again when she recommended euthanasia. The vet considered the odds of Samson living pain-free for the next few weeks as close to nil. I lost my shit.

I’ve had family members pass away.  It’s not like I haven’t experienced heartache before. But it just seemed a little different this time around.

I remember going to the pound November of 1999 with my then girlfriend looking to adopt a dog. There was a litter of about a dozen chow-mixed pups in a cage and though each one was tumbling over each other to get our attention,  I noticed one pup sitting in the corner, looking at me with his beautifully, sad eyes.  I immediately pointed him out to the proprietor of the pound and adopted him on the spot. I find out after having adopted him, that the rest of the litter was going to euthanized the coming weekend.

I have to thank girl I was dating then for raising Samson right.  She had grown up with dogs of her own, so she was excellent at potty training Samson and teaching him how to be obedient. Really though, Sammy’s always been a mellow pup. I think anybody who has ever had the pleasure of meeting him fell in love with his demeanor, and I’m sure she’s partly responsible for how awesome Samson is.

It’s been 13 years with Samson. As cliche as it sounds, he’s always been there for me. Even when he was living with my parents while I was in law school, he’d always be waiting at the gate to my parent’s back yard each weekend when I came to stay with the folks. He was always there to console me when I had bad news that I didn’t necessarily want to share with my friends. He’s warded off animals attacking me.  He’s helped me meet cute girls. He’s just always been there.  And now, I’m torn with the thought that I’ll have to make a decision about euthanizing him soon.

13 has always been my lucky number.  I was born on the 13th. Friday the 13ths always seem to be good to me. I feel like I should resent the number now since it’s become the number of years I’ve been able to have Samson at my side.

I’ll have a few days to figure this all out. I’m hoping that Samson beats whatever odds are against him, and I’m still trying to hope for the best. I’ve never had to make this kind of decision before and it’s really making me lose it, and though I just wish I could write about how great Snoop’s newest song is, which it definitely is, I felt the need to editorialize this post with what’s happened to me today. Life is trying to tell me something, and I hope I get to figure it out sooner rather than later.

For everybody that’s ever met Samson, please say a few doggy prayers for him.

[Verse 1: Snoop Lion]

Tonight there’s gonna be a whole lot of smoke in the air
Blow it hard for the ones who ain’t here
Seems like every day we putting one six feet underground
So bless
What goes up must come down

[Hook: Miley Cyrus]
Now my buzz is gone, I need to re-up on reality
Can’t let me see them me weak I need to pause on it
Is there any possibility that everyone feels like me
Ashtrays and hearbreaks
I lost some, let’s toast one
So put ’em high, and tell ’em this
You gonna aim, but you never missed
Ashtrays and heartbreaks
I lost some, let’s toast one
So raise a glass to the memories
Set ’em free and fill up all those ashtrays
I’m gonna fill up all those ashtrays

[Verse 2: Snoop Lion]
Tomorrow when you wake up and realise life ain’t fair
Throw it back and make the whole world disappear
You never miss what you had, until it’s gone
When it’s right, something will always go wrong

[Hook] x2

UPDATE: My dog, Samson, passed away April 18, 2013.  May his beautiful soul rest in peace.

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You can purchase the single on iTunes by clicking through this link: http://itun.es/i6J42x5