Snoop Dogg at the Santa Barbara Bowl (December 2009)
Paul Wellman (file)

When UCSB Associated Students announced Snoop Dogg would perform Halloween night, my first thought was, “Is Snoop still cool?” But a friend reminded me Snoop is timeless, and that he’s too chill to ever be uncool.

My second question was how much UCSB forked over to book the original cool on campus for the student-only show. It could not have been cheap. When asked, UCSB’s Public Affairs office told me it would take “a few weeks before the accounting is complete.”

I also submitted a public records request for Snoop’s entire contract, including the rider, which is chock-full of the goodies celebrities demand for their pre-party. I’m not sure why I wanted to know. After all, Snoop Dogg played during Extravaganza a few years ago and no one cared what the price tag was or what his dressing room looked like.

Here we are a few weeks after Halloween, and according to the Associated Students concert contract, UCSB paid Snoop $100,000, which came from program board money, student lock-in fees, and donor funds. That’s a lot of dough, but a fraction of what the powers-that-be spent to put cops and medics on virtually every Isla Vista street corner that weekend. Given the collective sigh of relief that just one kid got arrested (exaggerating), even authorities who are no big fan of Snoop never thought they would appreciate him entertaining 6,000 students quite so much.

But the proverb “Success has multiple fathers, but failure is an orphan” has since come to mind. Two weeks ago, the Isla Vista Safe task force — paid for by said powers-that-be — credited its $55,000 branding effort that ran in multiple news outlets (including this one) for a large part of the success. A letter to the committee asking to fund next year’s campaign read, “Crime has dropped significantly the last two Halloweens according to the Sheriff’s report. And the Re-Branding of a 50 year old Achilles Heel of SB is underway.”

But let’s be honest: Students were too busy singing “Drop It Like It’s Hot” in the Thunderdome to get into drunken brawls in I.V. Hey, whatever works.

As for the pre-show, Snoop — who claimed earlier this year that his misogynistic attitudes had changed since the 1990s — must have smoked quite a bit of medical marijuana before the show, given the amount of candy he requested.

The food items, which were for his entire crew, I presume, did not reveal much other than Snoop apparently does not like red Solo cups. The rider also called for blue and green stage lights rather than red ones. In capital letters, the contract states, “NO ALL RED WASHES DURING SHOW.” Snoop has long been associated with the Crips gang, which wears blue. The Bloods wear red.

Snoop also required 12 individual chip packs, including barbeque; 12 cans of four types of soda; every flavor of Tic Tacs; a “SLICED” (all caps) fruit tray; assorted herbal teas; and Animal Crackers. Grey Goose, Patron, and Miller Genuine Draft were crossed out on the contract, so we can only assume UCSB did not provide booze.

Snoop also called for a “healthy, well balanced” lunch for eight and dinner for 16. Options included grilled chicken, grilled fish, Buffalo wings, and steamed rice and vegetables, with accommodations for two vegans. Oh, and he demanded “soft toilet paper” and throw rugs for uncarpeted dressing rooms; I couldn’t help but wonder where UCSB purchased those. (View the entire rider below.)

No disrespect to Snoop, but if I were to draft a list of necessities required upon my arrival to work, a family pack of Tic Tacs would not make the cut. In the last few days, I asked friends what they would include. Most said beer. Others threw out massage therapist or a yoga instructor. Just about everyone asked, “This is just for the dressing room, right?”

It didn’t take long for me to decide what I’d want: lobster, filet mignon, a martini, and maybe some guacamole on the side.

Speaking of guac, after Jack White played at the University of Oklahoma earlier this year, the student newspaper the Oklahoma Daily got its hands on his rider, and published every ingredient in his obligatory guacamole recipe. White cried foul, and his agency, William Morris Entertainment — the same as Snoop’s — reportedly blacklisted the school for providing the information.

Admittedly, publishing riders is just good fun, but freedom of information — when it involves an expense paid with public money — is vital to the free press. I hope Snoop understands that. And that he truly is chiller than Jack White.


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