NEW YORK — You call it promoting an album. Snoop Dogg calls it going out with the homies and having the time of his life.
This week in New York, the Dogg has been everywhere from the "The Late Show With David Letterman" to a recent album-release party for Ego Trippin'. On Thursday night, he even taped the latest episode of "VH1 Storytellers." Snoop threw the VH1 rulebook out the window when he told the audience that he didn't have a tale to tell about the first track he performed, "Whateva U Do."
Obviously this wasn't going to be the normal show where the audience sits down to listen to the artist's musical selections and hear some nice antidotes. Snoop was intent on making the show a full party, and his music — including hits like "Gin & Juice" and "Drop It Like It's Hot" — would not allow anyone in the crowd to stay in their seats. People stood and danced all night. The Dogg was backed by a band — "The Snoopadelics" — that included Teddy Riley; DJs Quik, Battlecat and Jelly; Soopafly on piano; a horn section; backup singers; and Tha Dogg Pound on hypeman vocals.
The Long Beach legend did have plenty of stories to share later on, from his days riding shotgun with Dr. Dre and being medically cleared to use marijuana (he claimed to have glaucoma) to a quip about his children telling him he didn't make songs that kids wanted to dance to. "I said, 'N---a, what you talkin' about?' " Snoop said to the crowd with a grin.
Snoop, in fact, has come up with a foolproof dance song called "Life of the Party," which had guest stars Mistah F.A.B. and Too Short walk up from the crowd for a must-see show.
Another surprise was when Snoop and company performed the Everlast country song "My Medicine." The fact that Snoop Dogg performed a country song is still taking time to settle in, and the fact that he did a country song that got the whole audience to clap their hands and bop like they were in church was a sight to behold.
"I love country music," he said. "Love Johnny Cash."
Gap Band lead singer Charlie Wilson came out for "Can't Say Goodbye." The song is about a man who is trying to be there for his family, but he refuses to let the streets go. Once the tune started, an emotional Snoop made the band stop and restart. "That record makes me wanna cry," Snoop said.
The best moment of the show was unscheduled and may not even make the show's cut due to some red tape. The Dogg and his Pound did a rendition of Morris Day and the Time's "Cool." Snoop said he couldn't perform the song on TV because the "man who owns it wouldn't clear it." (According to ASCAP, the writers of that song are former Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson and a man named Prince.) The band — which sounded better than the recorded tracks — kept their consistent, overachieving sound up, jamming on instrumentals for "Cool" for five minutes before Snoop started singing.
"Teddy, tell me when to come in," said Snoop, who had Daz and Kurupt mimicking the Time by using their hands as a fake mirror, which Snoop pretended to look in. The three began doing Day's patented hop dance.
"Are we hot?" yelled Snoop. "No, we're cool," everyone said in unison. By this time, Riley had left his post on the keyboard and began directing the band like it was a 100-piece symphony. Riley then joined Tha Dogg Pound, laying a towel over Snoop's back. Much like James Brown, the Dogg was definitely not ready to leave.
After "Cool," Snoop sat on a stool and kept singing, "Paid the cost to be the boss," while the band played. Then he freestyled, bringing some melody to cuss words. "We just some real mutha----as," said Snoop. He and Riley went back and forth — Snoop in his real voice, Riley using the auto-tune device at his keyboard.
"VH1 Storytellers: Snoop Dogg" premieres March 31.
In other Snoop news, on Friday morning (March 14), it was announced that the Dogg would not only be appearing on the soap opera "One Life to Live," but he would also be remaking the show's theme song. He told the hosts on "The View" that he loved the program since he was a kid. He would watch it when he was at home on suspension from school.
"I like Bo Buchanan, he's off the hook," Snoop smiled about a character on the show.
He also commented on the Eliot Spitzer scandal, joking that if the disgraced governor would have come to him to get hooked up with a woman, he would have been OK.
"It's too late for advice," Snoop said. "I would have somebody who was real discreet and wouldn't have disclosed his game."