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Snoop Dogg and Friends Kick off Grammy Weekend at the Palladium

Snoop Dogg and his merry band of hip-hop, R&B and now electronic cohorts packed the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday for the Levi’s and Snoop pre-Grammy party, a rousing, special-guest-infused bash to kick off the weekend of Grammy-related shindigs around Los Angeles.

The crowd — a mix of music industryites, fashion heads and L.A. scenesters — got loose on an open bar provided by Don Julio tequila as Diplo and Skrillex got the venue shaking. The duo, who perform under the moniker Jack U, teased the crowd with their brand of dub-step, trap and hard electro-house, but kept it relevant by infusing the set with old-school hip-hop.

An extended intermission followed as Snoop Dogg made the crowd wait nearly an hour more before taking the stage — though few minded as they took the opportunity to grab more tequila-infused drinks from the multitude of bars spread across the venue. At the point when many wondered if the rapper would actually appear, the godfather of West Coast hip-hop and gangster rap arrived in a navy crushed-velvet suit jacket and Levi’s 501’s, with his dreadlocks tied back, and accompanied by a live backing band.

After rattling through hits including Akon ft. Snoop Dogg’s “I Wanna F–k You,” the equally sexual “Ain’t No Fun” and “Gin and Juice,” the Snoop Dogg roll call began. OT Genasis joined the rapper on Dr. Dre’s “Let’s Get High,” followed by an appearance by Too Short, who spitballed with the rapper on “Freaky Tales.”

The Snoop Dogg bandstand continued with Kendrick Lamar and Miguel, who joined the rapper on Rick James’ “Give It to Me Baby.” While many of the special guests had been swirling in the air before the show, a surprise appearance by Chaka Khan caught many off-guard. The singer-songwriter held the crowd in rapture with her classic hit “Ain’t Nobody.”

Snoop Dogg then segued into a cheesy rendition of “Cool” complete with backup dancers, before Pharrell took the stage for the highlight guest appearance of the night. The hit maker, who produced Snoop’s upcoming album “Bush,” performed ‘Drop it Like’s Hot” and ‘Beautiful” with the rapper to cap the night around 1:45 a.m.

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