Snoop's Mini-Tour

MTV NEWS: When a guy who's spent as much time at the top of the pop charts as Snoop Doggy Dogg goes on tour, you expect a big deal, major stadiums and wall-to-wall promotion. But when Snoop Finally did hit the road last week, the news was barely whispered, and the world's biggest rap act headed straight for small-ville. When we caught up with him, for example, he was providing a major night out for 200 people at a nightclub in Petersburg, Virginia. Well, yes, that is Snoop Doggy Dogg. But what in God's name is he doing here?

FAN#1: I didn't think it was true at first, because a lot of times, down here, you hear stuff that's not true...

FAN #2: I was very excited, 'cause Snoop's such a big star and Petersburg's such a small town, you wouldn't think somebody that big would come to Petersburg.

FAN #3: I saw the interview he had about not doing small venues early in the year, so I was kind of shocked to see him.

SNOOP: This is spring training for me, you

know what I'm saying, I'm just getting back on my feet, working out, lifting weights, getting back for the season. And by the time the Superbowl come, I'll be all right.

MTV: The barnstorming club tour was once the exclusive domain of punk bands on the way up, or rock acts on the way down. But the chance to work out a few kinks, even in front of just over 200 fans, appealed to rap's biggest living star.

SNOOP: Basically the purpose is just to, um, get my feet wet again. I was sitting in front of a judge for three years fighting for my life. I ain't had time to think about a stage show. So right now, what I'm doing is just practicing. Going around, doing these little small clubs and little small universities to where its not putting a lot of pressure on me, but its getting me back into the groove of doing what I do. But, it's not no fluke or nothing like that. It's just I want to, when I get in front of that audience that's 20 or 30,000, I'm gonna have a complete show

for that 20 or 30,000. It's gonna be me up there doing my thing, and back in full swing. My old songs, they know 'em like crazy. I could just put the mic to the crowd and they gonna sing everything. My new songs, they just know the hooks, so if I say "Say hell yeah!," they do that. But it's just like they thoroughly learning it as they go. It's the best thing in the world. This is what rappers should strive for, thrust for. The people that buy your records want to see you live, too, because that's a chance for them to actually see you, touch you, feel you, uh, take pictures with you, get memories that'll be locked in their minds forever, and it's bigger than an album... it's bigger than the OJ case.

MTV NEWS: Snoop's tour is strangely arranged and ultra-short, it ends on Sunday, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Coincidentally, on the day he played that date in Virginia you just saw, the Virginia State Senate made many a long-suffering citizen happy by voting, at last, to

can the state song, which is called "Carry Me Back To Old Virginia." It was written by a black minstrel named James A. Bland back in 1875, and adopted as the state song 57 years ago, and since then its lyrics about happy "darkies" have offended a lot of people. If the state House Of Representatives follows the Senate's lead, as is expected, the antique tune will be retired.