I’m sitting in an arena with over 3,000 people. The show started at 8:00 pm with an opening act. The star of the show, Snoop Dogg, was scheduled to start at 9:00; it’s almost 10:00 and no Snoop-ster.
Any audience of thousands should be getting restless waiting an hour for an act they paid $80.00 to see, but not this one. What was more confusing, most of the audience looked like LA gang bangers, and should be pissed off, and start a riot anytime. As it turned out, these people were really “Gang Banger Chic”. That is, they dressed what looked like gang bangers, but were really working class people who paid a lot of money for a trend and a certain style.
They were dressed to the 9’s, or what was standard dress for Gang Banger Chic. The men were dressed in Nikes, or some other expensive gym shoe, white socks around the ankle, baggy shorts, a black T-shirt with skulls and stuff printed all over it, gold chains, and a baseball cap worn sideways or backwards.
The thin young girls had short dresses, and as much as possible, they had their cute little boobies hanging out. This was the best part of the show. The big girls and older woman tried this same dress, and it was disgusting. It seemed like all the females were sporting a tattoo, and this was also disgusting. How could a hot little young babe have a big ugly skull tattooed on her arm?
For some reason, all this reminded me of 30 years ago sitting in Caesar’s Palace showroom, waiting for Frank Sinatra to perform. I wondered, does the Snoop Dogg crowd of today, have anything in common with the Frank Sinatra crowd of 30 years ago? Is Snoop the new Frank? How could the perception of what was good music, style and dress, have changed so much?
The music has really changed; Like Frank, Snoop had his big band. Frank had a 30-piece orchestra; Snoop’s band consisted of a drummer, a guitarist, and a guy on a soundboard, and two guys, I think they were called back-up singers. Snoop called what he does “songs”. His songs and stage conversation always contained one of these four words “Bitch’s, F**k, Sh*t, and Mother-f**ker”.
It was easy for me to sing along with Frank songs: “New York, New York, That’s Life, My Way; I had no idea what Snoop was singing, but all the people in the audience sang along with Snoop, word for word, F**k, Sh*t etc. What really stunned me, some of these Gang Banger Chic’s came with their small children, although it probably doesn’t matter, they hear these words on Snoop’s CD’s at home.
The dress has also really changed; At Snoop’s show, even young girls in short dresses, with their cute boobies hanging out, can’t come close to the elegant, beautiful, finely dressed woman that attended Frank’s show. The men at Frank’s show wore sport jackets, ties and slacks, instead of baggy shorts and backward baseball caps at Snoops’ show.
Could Snoop Dogg be the Frank Sinatra of our age? Why not? Frank was a big fish in a small pond of performers; Snoop is a big fish in a very large ocean of performers. Frank was very wealthy, Snoop is very wealthy, Frank was a “bad-boy”, Snoop is a “bad-boy”
There are more similarities about Frank and Snoop, both portray themselves as tough guys, hang with the underworld guys, very sure of their place on stage and off, command respect from fans and admirers. Frank had his buddies Sammy, Dean, and others, they hung around with him, and they were “The Rat-Pack”. Snoop has guys hanging with him everywhere he goes; they could call themselves “The Dog-Pile”.
Like it or not, most of the great entertainers of the 20th Century are dead. We are in the 21st Century and as Andy Warhol said almost 50 years ago, “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”.