It’s not every day that Santa Barbara gets a solid reggae and hip-hop show all in one, but Sunday afternoon’s predictably dank-smelling affair at the Bowl-with rapper Snoop Dogg, the reggae-pedigreed Stephen Marley, and punk-reggae rockers Slightly Stoopid-definitely was an exception.
Snoop-on his second stop with Marley and Stoopid for the trio’s Blazed and Confused tour-captivated a diverse and absolutely packed crowd of scantily clad females, shirtless men with marijuana leaf tattoos inked on their stomachs, and high school kids in tie-dye tees as he performed late ‘90s and early 2000s-era hits like “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Gin and Juice,” and a sans-Dre version of “The Next Episode.” The self-proclaimed Father of Rap had the entire audience on their feet the moment he stepped onto the stage, which came as no surprise, even in a town as small as S.B.
The all-ages event played host to several sideshow acts, most notably Marley-one of Bob’s sons-who brought brother Julian onstage to perform “Three Little Birds,” “Buffalo Soldier,” and “Could You Be Loved” after playing tracks from his latest release, Mind Control. Slightly Stoopid, the San Diego-based masterminds behind Blazed and Confused, were a sure crowd-pleaser, as many band members rocked the stoner-female vote by shirtlessly performing songs from Closer to the Sun and Everything You Need.
Marley, however, wasn’t the only one in the mood to give a nod to artists past by playing cover songs. Snoop compelled the crowd to give a shout-out to the late Tupac Shakur after performing an extended version of the hit “Hail Mary.” In addition, Snoop played Akon’s “I Wanna Love You” and House of Pain’s “Jump Around” before wrapping things up with his own “Who Am I (What’s My Name?)”
In between each set, an unidentified deejay played hits by the late Michael Jackson. As he spun, he yelled to the audience, “This here this is the King of Pop,” which was followed by a giant roar of applause. “But right now,” he continued, “I want you to put all yo’ hands together : for the Father of Rap!” While the simile might not exactly work, Sunday night made it perfectly clear-there still is room for plenty more music greats in this small town.