The Snoop Dogg Afterparty was heavy on party, light on Snoop. The Doggfather made only a brief appearance in the audience on Friday night, about halfway through Erykah Badu's terrific mid-evening set. I lingered around till 3 a.m. with a few hundred other suckers, hoping he'd make a stage cameo, but by then, the premium entertainment had fizzled. The stage was taken over by four amateurs with sloppy raps and tone-deaf vocal accompaniment. Before that, however, Badu had (as usual) enlisted a strong lineup. Local rapper Massive had a confident, lickety-split delivery that would make Eminem blush. Joined by two female backup singers, Massive had one of the night's strongest sets, a high-energy mix of rap with uplifting R&B. It was a nice counterpoint to the DOC, who clocked in with a predictable performance full of pussy-this and nigga-that and then disappeared for the night, despite the suggestion that they were the show's hosts. Another highlight was Austin's Bavu Blakes, laying out some fine freestyle with a drummer who is not only blind but, more important, an incredible musician who also played keys, bass and sang--at the same time. But for some unfathomable reason, Blakes played for only 10 minutes. After starting near midnight, the show had to scramble to cram in all the talent. Why not start earlier and spread the love a little thicker? As always, Badu's solo set had the whole place jumping. She recently had a child, not that anyone could tell. Wearing a tight Dallas sport jersey and rocking her giant Afro, Badu looked every bit the diminutive soul priestess she's always been. When she casually slipped Snoop's name into her act, and seemed to spot him in the crowd, everyone clamored to catch a fleeting glimpse. Sadly, that was all he offered. But that's all right; there was plenty else to enjoy.
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