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Rap Star Snoop Dogg To Play Intimate San Diego Venue

Above: The rapper formerly known as Snoop Dogg adopted the name Snoop Lion after a trip to Jamaica.

Aired 12/10/12 on KPBS News.

The Belly Up in Solana Beach is one of the more intimate venues to see music locally. KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone says that’s why it was a bit of a surprise to hear that the rap star Snoop Dogg would take its stage for two sold-out shows starting tonight.

Back in 1993 when Snoop Dogg was just starting out, he did a national tour organized by Dr. Dre. On stage was a 14-piece band, a 1964 Impala, a makeshift liquor store, a 10-foot skeleton, and a 42-person entourage.

Obviously, Snoop’s shows at the Belly Up in Solana Beach will be much smaller. The venue only holds 600 people. Chris Goldsmith books the Belly Up shows. "You never know until he gets there what it’s going to be like. I imagine there will probably be four or five people on stage and 15 people back stage. Everywhere he goes he brings quite a party with him."

Both shows sold out within an hour, despite the $89 ticket price. When Snoop plays an arena or larger venue, the average cost of a ticket is $40.

The 42-year-old rapper will likely perform the gangsta rap classics that made him a star. He’ll also perform his latest material recorded under his new name, Snoop Lion. He switched from "dogg" (with a double "g") to "lion" earlier this year after visiting Jamaica and adopting a Rastafarian lifestyle.

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