Snoop Dogg's Boise Party Egalitarianism 

Snoop Dogg, who played the Idaho Center Amphitheatre last night, is a true democrat when he takes the stage. He sings about liquor and he sings about weed. He sings for the West Coast and he sings for the East Coast. He plays to the ladies ("How many of you Boise girls like to fuck?") and he includes his doggs in the fun.

Snoop can say "Fuck the police" and make Nampa parole officers proud of their shoulder tapping pot busts at the venue's amphitheater. And then he wraps it all up with a "If you're lookin' on the stage and it's getting kind of noisy, it's Snoop Dogg in Boise."

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And then there is his tour. Snoop is bringing along some strange folks with his Blazed and Confused tour this summer. I arrived late in Stephen Marley's set and caught some reggae as I grabbed a beer. But then they brought in this crew called Slightly Stoopid whose sole act of genius was coming up with its name. My buddy Rich theorized that the lead singer had some kind of personality disorder—ranging from Jamaican femme to angry punk surfer. They played way too long. They played "Leaving on a Jet Plane" for Christ's sake. But stay with me, 'cuz I'm bringing this back to Snoop.

The tour lineup is more evidence of Calvin Broadus' democratic leanings. He pulls some half-rate artists along with him, broadening his fanbase—lots of the kids in Nampa seemed to know what Slightly Stoopid was talking about—and sharing his spotlight. And as distasteful as I find California white boys singing in a Jamaican patois, I have to admit that Snoop shaped much of my own early writing and diction.

Young men of my generation, whether they went to prep school or Compton High, learned how to talk from Snoop. And while I may not flaunt it in public or attempt to make inauthentic copies of his lyrical sensibilities, Snoop Dogg did define swagger for an entire generation of Americans.

I'm saying I'd vote for Snoop in 2012, but judging by his four sharp bodyguards who stood at attention for the duration of the show and from his giant, gleaming knuckle dusters, Snoop knows he's already king.

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