Snoop performs live 'debut' show at Lovebox

By Kev Geoghegan
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Image caption,
Snoop Dogg also played in Manchester on Friday

US rapper Snoop Dogg has performed a rare live show of his debut album Doggystyle in London.

Playing to a sell-out crowd at the Lovebox festival in Victoria Park, the artist played songs including Gin & Juice and What's My Name.

He took to the stage after a disappointingly short set by rap legends De La Soul.

The band were a last-minute replacement for singer Jessie J who has a broken foot.

On Sunday, Scissor Sisters and Blondie will play the main stage with light rain forecast for the afternoon.

On Saturday, many festival-goers were under-prepared for some heavy showers which left parts of the east London site in a very muddy condition.

However artists such as New Yorker Santigold raised the spirits of wet music fans, as the sun made a rare appearance during her set.

The Drums, Lykke Li and welsh rockers The Joy Formidable played on some of the other stages dotted around the site.

On Friday, Snoop, 39, played at the Manchester International Festival before his headline set in London.

On Saturday evening, he took to the stage a little after 2100 BST and played a two-hour set. The crowd needed little encouragement to join in with the early songs, singing back lyrics to the delighted rapper when requested.

Snoop, real name Calvin Broadus, made his debut on Dr Dre's 1992 record The Chronic.

His debut album Doggystyle followed the next year and topped the US album chart, introducing audiences to the P-funk music of the 70s, now sampled and re-packaged as G-funk or "Gangster-funk".

But his controversial yet mostly humorous lyrics about the drugs, guns and violence the young artist experienced growing up on the hard streets of Compton, Los Angeles, drew criticism, as did the album's blatant sexism.

However, it is now regarded as one of the seminal rap albums of the 1990s.

Now 11 albums into his career, Snoop's latest, Doggumentary, was launched to some acclaim earlier this year.

His Lovebox set was interspersed by short video skits, which at times seemed a little contrived and unintentionally funny.

Performing in front of a re-creation of the album's artwork, Snoop seemed completely at ease in the live setting despite some fairly poor sound quality for many of the fans not directly in front of the stage.

The live shows precede a UK tour announced for October.

Founded in 2003 by British dance artists Groove Armada, Lovebox has grown from a one-day event to a three-day festival with around 65,000 tickets available on each day.

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