Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg rolled through Mansfield’s (MA) Xfinity Center for “The High Road Tour.” While the two rappers had multiple openers, they had no problem wrangling in the rowdy fans for their two-hour set. Jhene Aiko was one of the openers; the female R&B singer who promotes peace and self-love in her music, sounds just like her records. When an artist can sing live just as well as she does on track, it’s something special because all of the technological advancement in record studios can distract a listener from half-baked talent. However, Aiko is stellar; she wore a long, vibrantly multi-colored sweater, a baseball cap, and two low buns. Her careless nature and smooth R&B tone welcomed a performance of eye-closing, hip-swaying fans dedicated to her music. Aiko stated, “I don’t put on a circus act when I sing,” hinting at the technological advancements in the touring realm, as well, that can cover up the actual singing. Aiko kept it simple and beautiful.
Wiz and Snoop Dogg’s performance began just a little after 9pm, after Kevin Gates closed the opening acts with songs such as “2 Phones.” However, the two rapping megastars did not originally come onstage together. Snoop took the stage first, holding a King Kong-sized joint, with the carefree attitude that Snoop’s fans over the years have always loved. The familiar background music for Snoop’s introduction came over the speakers after “The High Road Tour” video, and the fans went nuts. Soon after, Wiz arrived onstage in light jeans and a white shirt, welcoming his own strong fan club to his opening song “Bake Sale.” The two rappers alternated songs to eventually join each other onstage later in the set. The performance included famous hits with features from the two, such as DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” and Akon’s “I Wanna F*** You.” Their hit collaboration, “Young, Wild & Free,” finished out the show with rave excitement from the audience. However, the night’s main attraction was not either of the rappers; it was weed. The plant constantly growing in popularity and reformatting laws, weed was prevalent in conversation due to the business side of Wiz and Snoop’s careers, as well. Both sell weed paraphernalia and will soon sell actual strains in the handful of states where it’s legalized. Wiz promoted his Taylor Gang label in the middle of the set, a label that includes lots of weed-obsessed hip-hop stars who consistently shake the charts. The atmosphere was celebration – partying, smoking, drinking, enjoying each other’s company. Yet, Snoop made the effort earlier on in his set to sing a Biggie song and Tupac song. Amidst all the fun, this back-to-back song choice demonstrated why it’s important to still cherish Snoop, and why their tour together with new stardom and old is admirable. Snoop breathes the past of the hip-hop realm; he was a part of the Dr. Dre’s producer career; he lived through legends such as Biggie and Tupac, and he has seen the tremendous change occurring in hip-hop through all those years as an icon. Therefore, he has a respect for where the industry has come from that newer artists cannot match. Snoop should be applauded for taking time to remember those artists who so tremendously impacted hip-hop, and Snoop himself should be admired for the legend of peace, rap, and weed that he is.