When Uncle Snoop comes to town, you drop everything and go—that’s the law, and everyone in Phoenix who was alive in the 90s was keen to follow it. The Van Buren was sold out for the I Wanna Thank Me Tour, brought to town by Bobby Dee Presents, that also featured Warren G, RJ, and Trae Tha Truth.
The openers were all each others’ hype men, and each rapper-DJ duo were impossibly energetic. As the rappers leaped around the stage, the DJs switched from originals to the beats of “Thotiana,” “City Girls,” and other of-the-moment hip hop tracks so the rappers could add their own spin.
But Warren G didn’t need any filler, instead bouncing from song to song to commentary and acknowledging the friends he’s lost over the course of his career. He thanked Snoop Dogg (“my uncle, your uncle, a whole lot of people’s uncle”) and let his fellow legend have the spotlight.
Admittedly, 30 songs on the setlist felt like a lot, but it was anything but linear. Snoop jumped from hit to hit, teasing the beat to “Drop it Like It’s Hot” half a dozen times before finally indulging the crowd about two-thirds of the way through. Flanked by pole dancers and backup dancers, he covered the favorites from “Gin and Juice” to “Sexual Eruption” to “Snoop’s Upside Your Head” and many many more. Meanwhile, the mostly over-40 crowd let loose, evidenced by the clouds of smoke rising in different spots throughout the room.
Snoop doesn’t care about your curfew or the venue’s curfew, and nobody was upset that the show ran so late. For one night, everyone was “Young, Wild & Free.”
Check out more photos from the show!
Story and photos by Taylor Gilliam