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Hip-Hop and Comedy on One Stage: Imagine That!

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Hip-Hop and Comedy on One Stage: Imagine That!

Snoop Dogg rocked his set at Lollapalooza.

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Hip-hop concerts usually muster low attendance in San Diego and are usually held at smaller venues. But not Snoop Dogg, whose Imagine That! Tour kicked off at Harrah’s Rincon Casino over the weekend.

During the show, Snoop and comedian Mike Epps, who played “Day-Day” in the Next Friday, portray two stage performers desperately trying to get out of jail and fantasizing about a club they will open when they get out.

The Coco Palms club is an upscale, ghetto club that mirrors the Rat Pat theme.

"It's for players and playettes, pimps and whores," Epps told the crowd.

The stage set featured a live band, including a piano, two DJs in towers, a large LCD screen and bar, all in a white big-band pit-like setting.  The Coco Palms logo --white neon lettering on a black background -- was centered high above the stage.

Epps opened the show around 10 p.m. with a comedy skit, highlighting a plan for a jailbreak and introducing Snoop. The nearly sold out-crowd loved the concept, while barking and cheering as they waited for Snoop to come onstage.

The band and DJs began playing the music for "Sensual Seduction," and Snoop appeared dressed in part-pimp, part-disco attire, with guitar in hand and three dancers. It wasn't long till fans were on their feet dancing and singing along.

Epps returned to the stage next, performing a skit about smoking marijuana with Snoop stating, “Snoop smoked me under a table, can’t nobody outsmoke Snoop.”

Epps continued with, “You know Obama smokes weed. Look at his lips: They’re purple!”

The skits, video pieces of Snoop and Epps planning their jailbreak and video appearances by artists, including Pharrell, allowed for continuous entertainment without breaks.

Snoop performed other hits, including "Gin and Juice," "California Love" and "What's My Name," while clad in pimp attire.

Epps performed his music track "Big Girls," and began pointing out curvaceous women in the crowd while yelling, "I know you['re hungry!"

The show, which lasted about 80 minutes, was well organized and entertaining.

On Friday night at Harrah's Rincon, Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus proved that a combination performance of hip-hop and comedy acts can be successful. While their format isn't new, it was well expanded and more technologically advanced than its predecessors. In the '90s, Russell Simmon's "Def Comedy Jam," which was hosted by comedian Martin Lawrence, originally paired stand-up comedians with house DJ Kid Capri, who would use rap and hip-hop music as intros and outros for the performers.The HBO comedy series featured and helped launch the careers pf many African-American comedians careers, including Epps, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle.

It's rumored that Snoop and Epps are using the tour to iron out any wrinkles before settling into a mini-Vegas casino run.

One fan, Nate Dog, said after the show, "I wish we had a 'Coco Palms' club in the 'hood."

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