Last night wrapped up ComplexCon’s first annual expo as several major performers had hit the main stage at the Long Beach Convention Center’s for the fest, which all included music, fashion and pop culture in one. For rap legend Snoop Dogg, it was quite a simple occasion since he is a LBC native. “It’s LBC night tonight,” said Snoop upon arrival.
Here’s a recap of the big performances of the night, culminating with Uncle Snoop’s homecoming set.
Atlanta trio Migos came with the hits on Sunday, warming things up for 2 Chainz and Snoop. Three years ago, when they were just beginning to make noise, critics picked on their tales of flashy living and drug references, calling their music “cliche swag rap.” But they’ve since proven that they’re not flashes in the pan. The performance was an energetic 45 minutes, cranking with jams like 2013’s ”Hannah Montana” and “Pipe It Up” from 2015’s Yung Rich Nation album. Quavo is no doubt the group’s breakout star: His melodic guest verse on Travis Scott’s “Pick Up The Phone” brought the crowd to a frenzy. Breakout rapper Lil Yatchy joined the trio on stage just to goof around and dance.
Atlanta rhymer 2 Chainz’s performance was an exhibition of rap wizardry. First, he showed the crowd how skilled he was at making other people’s songs his own. He performed his verse on Drake’s “All Me,” where he warns others of his presence by saying “ill n—a alert!” Then he rapped his simple yet perfect hook on A$AP Rocky’s “F–kin’ Problems.”
“I go by ‘motherf–king 2 Chainz,'” he proclaimed. Dressed in a white denim top and bottom, a black tee and more necklaces than his name suggests, Chainz then ran through his own smash singles. “Spend It,” “Birthday Song” and “I’m Different” all proved he can shine through his own work.
“How many of y’all remember Tity Boi from Playaz Circle?,” Chainz wondered to the crowd about his former group and rap name. He’s a reinvented 2 Chainz now, but the MC still pulls Tity hits out for those that haven’t forgotten. Thankfully, the crowd recalled. “Don’t play, I’ll bring that motherf–ker out right now,” he said, as Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag Boy” blared. The entire performance was essentially proof that Chainz can — and will — find a way to be relevant at any time. It’s only right that the name of the last song he performed is “Watch Out.”
In a white track suit and a matching tee with an image of his twenty-something self printed on it, Snoop began with his 2009 thumper “I Wanna Rock.” And that he did. Boasting two background dancers, a mascot dog named Nasty, and a full band, Snoop’s set spanned his nearly 25-year career.
The opening verse of 1992’s “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” with Dr. Dre was the first of many vintage cuts to be pulled from his wide catalog of hit records. “Who wants to drink with me?” he asked shortly after. Though many in the audience raised their hands, it was simply a set-up for the 1994 house party smash “Gin and Juice.”
At 45, it’s clear that age hasn’t taken a bit away from the Dogg’s cool, Snoop was still light on his feet and quick to smile. It’s also safe to assume that rapping for a nearly packed arena in the city he grew up in put a little bounce in his step, too. “This is my first time [performing] in Long Beach,” he admitted to the surprise of many in the crowd. But before that moment led to anything overwhelmingly emotional, the ever-cool star slid into his catalog of cuts for the ladies.
Pharrell Williams joined Snoop for 2004’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” but stayed for the smooth jam “Beautiful,” which he also produced. Then came “I Wanna F–k You,” sans Akon. “Is everybody having a good time?,” asked Snoop as the crowd quickly answered with cheers and claps.
Snoop’s other guest and Long Beach neighbor O.T. Genasis bounced out for his latest hit “Cut It.” Even the “In Memoriam” segment of the show was somehow joyous, a brief celebration of the lives of N.W.A.’s Eazy E, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, via their hits.
Snoop ended his show with inspirational words. “Dreams come true,” he said, adding that his life is a testament to that. Then slowing down with the “Young, Wild & Free” collab (with his stoner disciple Wiz Khalifa), Snoop eased the crowd out. “Peace, love, and soul,” he wished everyone.