Snoop. The year 2009 called, Snoop. They want their tunes—no fuck it, 2003 called, they want their—you know what? Never mind. Just turn the music off, Snoop. I think it’s time to retire.
Yes, I spent last night at DJ Snoopadelic’s party at Laugardalshöll. To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations for the show, but even setting the bar low proved to be too high for the King of Kush. With the exception of the row of parents at the back of a My Chemical Romance concert, I have never seen that many disappointed faces.
But let’s start at the beginning of the night, because without a doubt, Icelandic hip hop mammothly overshadowed the Doggfather, an artist who has sold 35 million albums worldwide. Good job, you guys. Really, every Icelandic artist killed it, which made Snoop’s final blow of hash even more potent.
I arrived just as rap collective Shades of Reykjavík began their set. After having interviewed them last week (check out their article in our latest issue), I was really excited to finally view a live show, especially after hearing about the insanity of their performance at Secret Solstice.
I was not disappointed. Jesus Christ, these guys are entertaining. With a stage crowded by not only the 5 (6? 7?) members of Shades, but also a few hype guys and some girls walking around in skimpy clothing holding guns, the audience was subjected to hits like “Macaulay Culkin”, “Stjörnustríð”, and my favourite, “Lúpínublús” to the buzzing of tattoo guns. That’s right, they were tattooing the Shades logo on fans onstage. Ignore the questionable hygiene of this and concentrate on just how cool that is. It’s spectacle, man, and everyone loves a spectacle.
But the boys are more than just a novelty, they’re really great performers. Elli Grill wore a bucket hat and shades as he rapped in that incredible fast squeaky style of his. Cute feels like a weird word to describe him with, yet it seems fitting. You just can’t stop watching the kid.
But fellow Shades member Prins Puffin proved a big distraction. He rapped shirtless and damn, he has a really great body. Ok, objectification moment over.
Next up was KSF. To be honest, I missed a lot of their set but what I saw seemed fine. Their first song had an interesting guitar riff—it was pretty trippy. Though they were later joined by Tiny and Alvia Islandia, who theoretically should have made the whole performance more exciting, the whole thing was pretty mediocre. It was fine but nothing to write home about. Alvia Islandia is beautiful though. (Objectification moment back on?)
KSF did not draw a large crowd, but there were some that seem captivated by the show. For me, I was captivated by the bizarre visuals on the screen behind them. I think it was some sort of logo, but to me (as a half-Jew), it seriously resembled a Swastika. I have no idea what that was about, but if anyone knows, please inform me.
If the quazi-swastika made me feel uncomfortable, Úlfur Úlfur‘s arrival felt like that of the fucking Allies at the end of World War II. They were by far the best performance of the night. I love Úlfur Úlfur and have been listening to their album ‘Tvær Plánetur’ since I came to Iceland. Someone once even snapchatted the two boys a video of me imitating, in made-up Icelandic (probably racist-ly), their tune “Tarantúlur“. If an American girl who speaks no Icelandic can get down to them, there’re a fucking innovative act. I was so excited to see them live, and shit, it was incredible.
Arnar and Helgi are not only energetic performers, but technically such good rappers. Icelandic is a consonant-heavy language, but the boys smoothly rap all those sounds at an inhuman pace. It’s really jaw-dropping.
More importantly, their music is catchy as hell and no one could hold back from dancing during their set. I was surrounded by two groups of 101 Reykavík ‘cool girls’ (you know the type), and though they all started with their posh polished bitch-faces on, by the chorus of “Tarantúlur”, all were giddily smiling and dancing along. Music breaks all boundaries, it seems.
Gísli Pálmi joined them, looking thug as always, for “Úrið mitt er stopp Pt. II”, or as I like to call it, “that Motherfucker song”. If you’ve read my review for Secret Solstice, you’ll know I’m an aspiring member of Glacier Mafia, so perhaps I’m not the most impartial person to ask about GP, but he was great as always. The audience seemed jazzed to see him and yelled “Motherfucker” loudly at every opportunity in the chorus. It was a great appearance, and I hope to see him again very soon.
Úlfur Úlfur’s other special guest was Emmsjé Gauti for “Á meðan ég er ungur”, another crowd pleaser. With freshly bleached hair, a black turtleneck, and a gold chain, I think he was going for some sort of early-Fresh-Prince-Will-Smith vibe, but I can’t be sure. He’s really outgoing and likeable on stage though, and his energy traveled to all the concert-goers, who loudly sang along to that iconic chorus. For a small guy, Gauti’s got a lot of fire. This is my second time seeing him and I’m always impressed. He also took an exclusive selfie, just for the Grapevine.
Next up, after Úlfur Úlfur, was BlazRoca.. With a blue snapback precariously balanced on the top of his head, (worried it would fall tbh), an oversized white t-shirt, sweat pants, and cool kicks, he had an old-school hip-hop vibe that I was so down with. Blaz is a really fun performer to watch. Smiling, laughing, you can tell he just loves what he’s doing. He’s a born performer (like Elli Grill, I guess!).
But really, Blaz just seems like such a cool guy—someone you’d want to have a barbecue with maybe. I’d describe his vibe as a mid-thirties guy who used to skateboard, now has some tots, but totally still has a joint now and then. A cool dad. I’ve never seen him live before, but I totally have a crush on him now—do you want to become a cool dad, Blaz?
It’s not just me though—everyone loved him. The crowd was at its largest and happiest during his set. You could tell that everyone knew the songs and felt comfortable singing along.
He had a few special guests. First up was Sesar A, Blaz’s brother. They’ve got a great dynamic together, which is natural considering they’re blood. Bent came out for “Þú veist“, which is such a catchy song. It was kind of funny to watch Blaz and Bent together, just because of their outfit choices. Blaz goes old-school gansta, while Bent looks like he’s going to a cocktail party. But they’re cute together—two cool dads proving there’s a myriad of ways to continue living the thug life.
Alright, well we’ve come to the main act, DJ Snoopadelic, otherwise known as Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, Snoopzilla, or Tha Doggfather. God, I don’t even want to waste space on him—that’s how bad it was. It was so fucking sad.
This is the run through: Snoop comes out in a haze of smoke, fitting considering his Rasta roots and immediately, everyone charges toward the stage, the cool aloof exterior of Reykjavík partiers forgotten. That’s what made this whole thing even more pathetic—people were really excited. They had to send in extra bouncers because people were getting trampled.
But after the initial novelty of it all, something changed. People started to look each other with confusion on their faces. Ok, he’s standing there and playing music. He’s playing some #1 song from 2005. He’s smoking and playing music off his computer. That’s all that’s happening. I paid 8,900 ISK for this?
And it just got worse. I felt like I was at a high school party listening to someone’s iTunes playlist of the greatest party songs of the last ten years. Does that make you a DJ? Does he know anything about music? “Drunk In Love“, “Wiggle“, then “I’m In Love With The Coco“—groundbreaking stuff, really. He didn’t even say much. Occasionally some cliché crap would pop out like, “Is anyone smoking that sticky icky?” I kid you not—that’s a direct quote. I started receiving texts and snapchats from my friends: “This is so sad.” “Snoop… sucks.” “wtf is going on?” I felt similarly. I needed some sticky icky.
Just look at these two boys faces. They say it all.
Snoop is a fucking horrible DJ. I mean, it’s obvious that he only got this spot because he is Snoop Dogg—everyone knows that. But did anyone even teach him how to DJ? This is just like Bam Margera playing Secret Solstice. Both have literally no talent at their new ‘profession’ and are just residing on the coattails of whatever fame or notoriety they once had. Stop scamming people. Get a hobby.
But he’s a famous fucking rapper, so why was the music selection so awful? Me and my colleague came up with a hypothesis: Snoop got high when Soulja Boy came out and has never got un-stoned since then. That’s why the tunes were so outdated. He’s never changed his playlist since then. But hey—I had to be high to listen to Soulja Boy too, Snoop. So I get you.
But yeah, clearly Snoop has forgotten how to do it doggystyle. My conclusion is that Snoop should have opened for Úlfur Úlfur. Not the opposite.
God, I need a Gin & Juice to forget about that.