Words by: Dustin McGhie
Photos by: Ronan Considine for Soundflash
Vancouver, B.C. – The Mount Kushmore Tour featuring a legendary “golden era” lineup stacked with some of hip-hop’s biggest smokers made its second stop here in Vancity on Friday, April 14th, 2017. Snoop Dogg, alongside Cypress Hill, Method Man and Redman graced the stage and smoked the building out with a nearly sold-out Rogers Arena.
With the fans still filling into the arena, the smoke took to the air as there was no hesitation in the crowd to christen the room for the first act, Berner. He got the people fired up with great performances of “Faded” and “Xanax and Patron”. With the perpetual hotbox, the room as a whole went wild as began his 2014 single “20 Joints”. As you panned around the arena, you could see plenty more than “20 joints in the air” as little red dots, lighters, and smoke plumes hit the air.
Method Man and Redman, the popular hip-hop duo and movie stars of the culture classic ‘How High’ were next up. Redman, from backstage was getting everyone worked up before he came up on stage announcing that Method Man was unable to make it across the border. Though disappointed, the fans received the solo set really well. Redman took it “back to the 90’s” and killed a performance of “Tonight’s Da Night”, running back and forth across the front subwoofers. The smoke-filled room went bonkers when the DJ started to spin Christina Aguilera’s hook from “Dirty”, Redman’s feature with the internationally successful pop artist. Redman nailed his verse, getting hype enough to throw the stage water bottles into the crowd, including the box that they were contained in. Keeping the energy going, the entire room ignited as Redman told the crowd, “If you want to see How High 2 make some noise!” Despite Method Man not being there, Redman destroyed his performance of “Da Rockwilder”.
Cannabis culture icons and hip-hop all-stars Cypress Hill were the second to last set of the evening. With a heavy-hitting set of classics and the help of their DJ (Muggs) and live percussionist Eric “Bobo” Correa, they brought down the roof. The crew started off their set with “When the Shit Goes Down” bringing the entire arena to its feet, including a fan who went to the extreme of running onto the stage. Losing his nerve, he turned back only to be body slammed down by stage staff and later helped by medical staff off the stage. Through the chaos, Cypress Hill didn’t miss a beat as they rolled into “Shoot Em Up”. B-Real and Sen Dog sounded as if their record was playing when they did an immaculate performance of “Hand On The Pump”, a hard-hitting classic from their 1991 self-titled album Cypress Hill.
B-Real called Berner to come onto the stage, and he came out with a joint that looked to contain more than a couple days worth of cannabis. With perfect timing, the DJ led into “I Want to Get High” as the crowd lit up with Cypress Hill and Berner. Continuing with such great classics as “Dr. Greenthumb” from their 1998 album IV and “Hits From The Bong” from Black Sunday, the guys took a minute to really talk to the crowd. B-Real on one side, Sen Dog on the other, they got the fans divided, battling, seeing which side could be louder, building the tension for “Insane In The Brain”. DJ Muggs and Bobo did a DJ vs. percussion battle which ended in B-Real and the DJ doing a scratch duet both on the same deck. For Cypress Hill’s closure, we couldn’t have asked for a better song. Cypress ended off with “(Rap) Superstar” and were sent off the stage with the resounding sound of thousands of cheering fans.
Snoop Dogg finally took to the stage and the audience went wild. Snoop being the world’s most well-known smoker never hesitates to flex his seamless free pass to smoke anywhere in the world. A legend in the hip-hop community, working with hip-hop’s biggest names, Snoop delivered an incredibly memorable performance of his old hits, as well as a number of popular collaborations with the assistance of a full band.
“P.I.M.P.” was one of those collabs, as the sound of 50 Cent came over the P.A. Backup dancers came onto the stage to pump up the crowd and fans showed their excitement as Snoop Dogg killed his verse dressed in a Vancouver Canucks jersey. With no hesitation, the Nasty Dog mascot busted out dance moves as the DJ spun into “All I Do Is Win” Snoop Dogg’s feature with “Rapper Turnt Singer” T-Pain. With video rolling on the big screen behind the stage, Dr. Dre appeared on the screen: “Yo Snoop, they wanna hear some old school shit,” with a burst from fog machines on either side of the stage and a switch-up in the light, the crowd erupted to new decibel levels for “Next Episode” a song Snoop did with Dre and Nate Dogg. He then performed his latest single “Promise You This” from March 17th.
Snoop got the entire room to clap along as he performed the upbeat song “Beautiful”, a song he did with Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson. Keeping the tempo going, “Sexual Seduction” was played next, the synthesized, electronic, up-tempo song was sure to please with an outfit change from the backup dancers and an impressive show from the lights as the beam danced through the cannabis smoke and fog. The star-studded feature set list resumed with performances of “California Girls”, his feature with pop sensation Katy Perry, and the always great “I Wanna Love You” with Akon.
The night took a turn on its emotional roller coaster as a picture of Nate Dogg (passed March 15, 2011) appeared, in honour of the late Nate Dogg, Snoop performed “It Ain’t No Fun”. The tribute didn’t end there as there was still more to come. In honour of Biggie Smalls (passed March 9, 1997), Snoop performed the first verse and hook of Biggie’s classic “Hypnotise” with a photo of Biggie displayed on the big screen. To close off the little tribute segment that he put together and please the already over-ecstatic fans, Snoop played “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” in honour of fellow Death Row artist 2Pac (passed September 13, 1996). This part of the set made for a completely different experience, whereas Snoop Dogg performing theses songs may be the closest we’ll get to seeing the fallen artists live in concert.
To add to the completely smoked out arena, Snoop lit another blunt as “Gin and Juice” began. The set just kept amplifying in intensity. And just to make sure the crowd was still awake, which there was no way you weren’t completely thrilled by this point, Snoop stacked his next songs. He did the first part to “Jump” by House of Pain, a guaranteed crowd mover from 1992. With another outfit change from the backup dancers who were back at his side for the popular songs “Drop It Like it’s Hot” from R&G (Rhythm & Gangster): The Masterpiece and the fan favorite from his 1993 album Doggystyle “Who am I (What’s My name)?”. To end off, Snoop performed “Young, Wild And Free”, his collab with Wiz Khalifa and Bruno Mars.
The Mount Kushmore Tour, a tour I only dreamed of being at growing up as a huge hip-hop fan, packed punch with awe-inspiring sets and no shortage of cannabis smoke. Taking all the fans on a trip down memory lane back to the 90’s with hits from back in the day on every set list from “Dirty” to “Gin And Juice”. Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg both talked about bringing the Mount Kushmore Tour back next year, so here’s to hoping it will become a recurring event. April 14th, 2017 at Rogers Arena will go down in history as the night the Mount Kushmore Tour with Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Redman and Berner rolled through Vancouver and smoked the place out.
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