NEW YORK — Call it Snoop Dogg's two-night two-step.
Monday night the Dogg performed the first of two shows at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and by the time it was over, Snoop had signed an autograph for one young lady while performing; played a game of puff, puff, pass with another member of the audience; and had the balcony shaking from the barrage of hits he was throwing out with his crew, Tha Dogg Pound.
Snoop thanked the audience for showing him so much love at his first-ever Apollo concert, and he returned the love right back. Despite being used to considerably larger venues during his How the West Was One Tour with the Game, Snoop immediately showed he would not be shortchanging the Apollo crowd: He brought his full band, the Snoopadelics, and showed a short film to start the show. In the flick, Snoop is put in peril when he plays a game of "Daddy's Home" with a couple of bisexual women who are connected with some bad guys.
When the Dogg finally appeared in the flesh, he inaugurated his concert with "Murder Was the Case" flanked by Daz and Soopafly. A couple of tracks later, when "P.I.M.P." came on, four female backup dancers joined the DPGC. The music shifted back to the harder-edged material when Kurupt — who just rejoined the clique after years of estrangement due to his affiliation with Suge Knight — hit the stage for a freestyle. You would never know that Kurupt hadn't been with his guys for so long, because you could feel a synergy coming from the stage when Kurupt started rhyming over Cassidy's "I'm a Hustla" beat and Snoop started yelling, "I'm a gangster, I'mma, I'mma gangster n---a."
Snoop Dogg performs at the Apollo Theater
Throughout the night, Snoop took every opportunity to show what a solid performer he's become. Whether paying tribute to B.I.G. and Tupac or simply taking a smoke break and singing his own version of the classic title track to the 1975 movie "Let's Do It Again," he had the audience in the palm of his hand. Even when he brought out an up-and-coming singer to ask the ladies in the audience, "Do you have a fresh pair of panties on?" no one felt any lull.
Snoop was back on all four cylinders during "Pump Pump" and "For All My N---az and Bitches" from his classic Doggystyle LP, and then once again Kurupt got the spotlight on "Xxplosive."
"Backhanded, pimp-slapped backwards and left stranded/ Just pop ya collar, pimp convention ho's for a dollar," he rapped from the background of the stage while the Archbishop Don "Magic" Juan traded shotgun smoke with Daz and Oowee, another guest performer.
Snoop took the proceedings even further back to the old school with the person he calls his OG, special guest Ice-T. Ice, wearing a blue Dickies suit, white fitted cap and black gloves, blew up the spot with his classic "6'N the Mornin'."
"Six in the morning, police at my door/ Fresh Adidas squeak across the bathroom floor/ Out the back window I make an escape/ Don't even get a chance to grab my old-school tape."
Snoop slowed the pace back down for a special rendition of "Let's Get Blown" in which he performed his record over the beat to the Ying Yang Twins' "Wait (The Whisper Song)." At the end of his verses, Snoop even took a little from the Ying Yangs, doing some filthy flirting with the ladies in the crowd. Even the Dogg's senior-citizen uncle June Bug played to the women, dancing so much that Snoop jokingly told him to take it down a notch.
"He's 64 years old and still f---ing it up," the Dogg smiled. "It looks so beautiful, don't you agree?" Snoop told the ladies they had a chance of getting with his uncle, but that June Bug likes his women around 25 to 27.
When the Doggfather was setting up his segue into "Gin & Juice," he asked the crowd what his favorite drink was and had a good laugh when a man answered, "Kool-Aid!"
No one made any mistakes when Snoop closed out with one his most beloved tunes. He asked, "What's my name?" and everyone answered, "Snooooop Dog-Geee Daaawwwaaawwwgggg!"
The Game and Snoop realign for How the West Was One on Thursday in Worchester, Massachusetts.
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.