Snoop Dogg Passes the…Torch to Wiz Khalifa – High School Tour Review Recap of Opening Night Concert @ Terminal 5 December 5 2011 by Jay Fingers

Words by Jay Fingers
Images by Ron Worthy

Tour:  High School Tour
Headliner:  Wiz Khalifa
Supporting Acts:  Snoop Dogg, YG, Chevy Woods
Date:  Monday, December 5, 2011
Time:  8:00 P.M.
Location:  Terminal 5, New York City


Overall Grade:  A

On Monday night, hip-hop fans packed popular NYC music venue Terminal 5 to rock with iconic rapper Snoop Dogg and young upstart Wiz Khalifa on the opening night of their six-city “High School Tour,” to promote their upcoming film “Mac and Devin Go To High School” and its accompanying soundtrack. Not only did the crowd get to see a great live show, they also bore witness to the hip-hop veteran passing the joint, uh, we mean, torch to his up-and-coming protégé.

In all honesty, however, it was at first doubtful that we would even get to see the show. The line outside the venue was at least a thousand deep and stretched from the concert hall’s entrance down the sidewalk to nearly 12th Avenue. Standing in line proved to be a daunting proposition; luckily, founder Ron Worthy utilized his gift of gab to convince one of the beautiful gatekeepers at the rope and stanchions to let us walk right inside with absolutely no wait. It was definitely a sign of the good night we were to have.

Opening act Chevy Woods was already on stage upon our entrance, and he performed a rather energetic set comprised of songs from his Cookout mixtape collaboration with Khalifa. The crowd, which consisted mostly of white and Asian twenty-somethings, bounced along to groovy cuts like “The Cool” and “Cookout” and cheered at the Clint Eastwood and Mac Miller shout-outs.

After Chevy’s set, Compton rapper YG took the stage and urged the crowd to chant “fuck the police” before launching into a performance that included his 2010 hit “Toot It and Boot It” as well as freestyles over current smashes like Drake’s “The Motto” and Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Niggas in Paris.”

By this point, the crowd was sufficiently hyped, so when Snoop Dogg sauntered onstage, dressed in black Dickies and locs, to the electro-hop synths of “I Wanna Rock,” the entire venue erupted. Flanked by his Dogg Pound brethren Daz and Kurupt, and a trio of scantily-clad, well-toned dancers, Snoop ran through classics like “Tha Shiznit,”The Next Episode,” “Bitch Please,” and, of course, “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang.” And when it came time to perform “I Wanna Fuck You,” the Doggfather simply sat down in a chair while the aforementioned dancers writhed, bumped, and grinded all over him. Pimpin’ to the nth degree.

Though a tad more subdued (and mean just a tad), Wiz Khalifa, decked out in skinny denim and Peruvian cap, still owned the stage like a total rock star. Utilizing the same DJ and live band Snoop had during his performance, and ably assisted by hypeman Woods, the Pittsburgh MC powered through jams like “Reefer Party,” “5 O’Clock,” “Gang Bang,” and “In The Cut.” During the anthemic “Taylor Gang,” Wiz repped for his squad while an army of thugs outfitted in TGOD (“Taylor Gang or Die”) sweatsuits stomped around on stage.

It was telling that Snoop, the artist with a near 20-year catalog of hits, opened for the relative newbie, but when the two artists returned for one last shared set, it was clear how much the veteran rapper really sees of himself in Wiz. Their mentor-mentee relationship was made manifest for all to see as they congratulated and celebrated each other onstage before performing songs from the High School soundtrack as well as Snoop’s “Gin & Juice” and Wiz’s “Black & Yellow.”

Needless to say, plumes of smoke wafted over the crowd as people sparked blunts and toked with impunity. Kids literally bounced off the walls, and one young woman actually admonished me for taking notes during the concert. “Have fun,” she said before giving me a high-five and tight hug.

The interludes between performances showcased scenes from Mac & Devin Go To High School. The film has a low-budget charm about it, and it will certainly appeal to its intended audience, but what’s most significant is that it represents what was seen on stage that night. Hip-hop’s old and new guards joining forces and crews to move the genre forward together.



Click here to see all of the video footage from this show.

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