Photo courtesy of VIP Records.
The announcement of Snoop Dogg returning to his old hood to perform at ComplexCon on November 6 may not seem like a banner moment, until you realize he’s never performed in a large-scale capacity in Long Beach, at least not since achieving hip hop stardom—and notoriety—some 20-plus years ago.
The news is almost shocking: the performance will be his first in Long Beach in decades, after a disagreement with city officials in the early 90s during the gangsta rap heyday.
“We’re super excited about today’s announcement, as this is the FIRST EVER Snoop performance for the LBC,” said Neil Wright, a concert organizer. “Apparently he has never played a Snoop Dogg show—even though he has DJ’d in the past.”
Born Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr., Snoop showed his talent in schoolyards and in neighborhoods during his teen years, before making it big and moving out of Long Beach, according to childhood friend Duke Givens.
He speculated that city officials began to associate violence with the rap scene Snoop had joined, and that he hasn’t performed in Long Beach since the tumultuous times of the early 90s.
Snoop was no stranger to the street life; he was arrested and later acquitted of murder charges in 1993, in connection with the death of Phillip Woldermarian, a member of a rival gang who was shot and killed by Snoop’s bodyguard, McKinley Lee. An old MTV news article delves deep into the subject, a matter Snoop has distanced himself from, most recently through his conversion to the Rastafari movement and focus on reggae music in 2012.
His homecoming is exciting, especially since the legend of Snoop Dogg is synonymous with the City of Long Beach.
“Snoop is a Long Beach native… he reps the city on a world scale,” said Givens. “When you say Snoop, it coincides with Long Beach.”
Givens said Mayor Robert Garcia had told him the first album he ever bought was Doggystyle, perhaps hinting at a new era of cooperation between Snoop Dogg and Long Beach, opening the door to “bring him home.” According to Givens, Long Beach has every reason to celebrate the move.
“Snoop is a lyrical genius. His recall is amazing,” said Givens. “He once rapped for nine minutes straight at a friend’s house and did not repeat the same word.”
Givens said his ability got him out of homework and helped him pass classes at times, during his days at Long Beach Poly, and that he even rapped from the bench at football games.
“We knew at 15 he’d be where he is,” said Givens. “His rap was always smooth and melodic—like jazz to me.”
Givens said the last place he saw Snoop perform in Long Beach was “at a place called ‘ToeJams,’ which is where the Roscoe’s is now on Broadway,” said Givens. “That’ll give people a laugh.”