Rappers like Kendrick Lamar continuously show that the West Coast will never quench its hunger for total hip-hop domination. On Saturday (Oct. 12) night, a lineup of OG rappers who have paved the way for young Kendrick and other emerging MCs banded together for the How The West Was Won concert. The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California was the feeding ground for any hip-hop addict that may have been fiending for a fix of old school hits by some of the West Coast’s legendary MCs. With performances from the likes of Kurupt to Ice Cube to Snoop Dogg, the concert definitely left everyone in attendance breathless and celebrating the lives of the late Eazy-E, Tupac, and Nate Dogg.
Xzibit kicked off the show by telling everyone to get on their feet. With phones glowing and cameras flashing in the crowd, the hardcore rapper thought it would only be suitable to began his set by taking it back to his 1996 debut album At The Speed Of Life, spitting verses from his single “Paparazzi.” The crowd rocked side to side as Xzibit performed popular hit “Multiply” and ended his performance with his 2000 single “X.”
The crowd at the sold-out outdoor amphitheater began to get anxious for more old school classics while preparing for the next act up. Next to the stage was none other than Kurupt, who brought out his Dogg Pound to keep the vibe going in the arena. Performing hits from “We Can Freak It,” to “Let’s Get High,” Kurupt and the Dogg Pound had every single person on their feet with different preferences of smoke floating in the air. Shouting out Dr. Dre after rapping a few songs produced by The Chronic MC, Kurupt performed “Xxplosive,” again showing love and respect to his good friend and late Nate Dogg.
Now with the crowd revved up, newly signed Cash Money rapper The Game took the stage sporting a LA Gangster beanie proudly and reppin’ his city of Compton. The Game, in high spirits, dropped both “Boyz In The Hood” and “California Love,” sending a tribute to the late West Coast legends Eazy-E and Tupac, proclaiming that rap would have never been rap without them. Taking the crowd on a journey from his debut album The Documentary to his latest album Jesus Piece, The Game performed his greatest hits like “Hate It Or Love It” and admitted he forgot the lyrics while he performed “My Life.” Game didn’t care as it was all love from the crowd. He brought out his eldest son Harlem Taylor, and although Harlem appeared to be a little shy, his superstar dad held nothing back when speaking about his beef with rapper 50 Cent. The Game being heard shouting “G-Unot” a few times, brought out Young Money rapper Tyga who presented The Game his Cash Money chains after performing their single “Switch Lanes.” After Bay Area rapper Clyde Carson joined the Game for “Slow Down” and artist Ty Dolla Sign performed his hot single “Paranoid,” the Compton rapper left the stage with his one hundred man entourage to the tune of “One Blood.”
Three rappers down, and two more to go. With much anticipation for the next act, Ice Cube appeared on the projector and sent the entire crowd roaring. With the West Coast legend coming to the stage performing his hit “Why We Thugs,” Cube brought out fellow West Coast rapper WC to accompany him for his entire set. With both Cube and WC giving the crowd what they came for, the rappers performed hit after hit, taking it back to the N.W.A days. Performing “Check Yourself” and “We Be Clubbin,” Cube definitely showed why he holds the title for the King of the West Coast. (Sorry Kendrick.) After shouting out Nate Dogg, Ice Cube ended his performance with his go-to backyard barbecue jam, “Today Was A Good Day.”
As everyone began to fight their sleep and dreading the long line of traffic that awaits them after the concert, Snoop Dogg was getting ready to take the stage, while the DJ played more Nate Dogg classics. With the lights on the stage beginning to brighten, and a huge red fire hydrant came to view, the crowd knew Uncle Snoop was near. With the sound of a drink being poured, Snoop came out on stage like the “cool cat” that he is, immediately spitting his verse to “Gin and Juice.” Expressing his love for the West Coast, and shouting out his city, LBC, Snoop brought out West Coast rapper Warren G to the stage to perform “Regulate.” With the crowd not believing what they’re witnessing, the self-proclaimed “player” performed his single “P.I.M.P” and brought out Kurupt to join him for “Next Episode.” The highlight of the night was the surprise appearance from the infamous Suga Free for “Why You Bullshittin?”
How the West Was Won concert definitely smoked up the venue and left all who were in attendance with unforgettable memories for them to cherish for the rest of their lives. The only question that has yet been answered is…has the West won? On Saturday night, at least for a few hours, it appeared it had.