Snoop In The Machine: Only Snoop himself didn't know he was playing inside a giant vending machine at SXSW.
(Photo: Andrew Hampp)
The only person who didn't know Snoop Dogg played inside a giant Doritos vending machine Thursday night was…well, you guessed it.
"That was a vending machine? I was high as a motherf---er -- I didn't know that was a vending machine!" Snoop exclaimed shortly after his 45-minute set at the Doritos Jacked stage on 5th St. and Red River.
Snoop was the surprise guest at a product-launch party for Doritos' two new Jacked chip flavors, Enchilada Supreme and Smoky Chipotle BBQ. The event was co-hosted by Maxim magazine and featured performances from Cisco Adler, Austin's Ghostland Observatory and Snoop's old No Limit labelmate Mystikal. Snoop's appearance was successfully kept under wraps by Doritos up to an hour before the rapper hit the stage around midnight, though Snoop did invite a lot of speculation when he was spotted at the Austin airport Thursday afternoon.
Doritos "plugged in" its giant vending machine on 5th and Red River at 10 p.m. Thursday night, via an equally over-sized extension cord next to the stage. The 56-foot tall structure was the brainchild of Doritos' ad agencies Goodby and OMD as a launch vehicle for two new Doritos flavors, Enchilada Supreme and Smoky Chipotle BBQ. (Photo: Andrew Hampp)
The Doritos party and nearly 6-story tall vending machine was the brainchild of the brand's ad agencies Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and OMD, who wanted to do something extra special for Doritos' first SXSW sponsorship. "The only way to stand out is to do something so weird and surreal, so this definitely achieved that," Goodby's associate creative director Anthony Decarolis told Billboard.
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Jared Drinkwater, Doritos' marketing director, had a similar take. "We really thought the timing was absolutely perfect to launch this in a grandiose kind of way in front of hundreds of thousands of our consumers." Other execs on site included Goodby's music supervisor Todd Porter, the man who helped fun.'s "We Are Young" top the Hot 100 by placing it in client Chevrolet's Super Bowl spot, and Frito-Lay's marketing VP Ram Krishnan.
The showcase drew other rappers and producers in town for the music confab, including Timbaland, A$AP Rocky, Theopholis London, T. Mills, Skeme and Machine Gun Kelly. Also spotted: Beavis and Butt-head creator, Mike Judge, CHAPPO, Lighthouse and the Whaler, model and wife of Cisco Adler, Barbara Stoyanoff, Brian Lincoln of the Minnesota Vikings and Cedric Benger of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Snoop played a hits-heavy set that kicked off with "The Next Episode" and spanned "Doggystyle" classics like "What's My Name," more recent pop hits like "I Wanna Love You" and "Drop It Like It's Hot" and his current Hot 100 Top 10 single, "Young, Wild & Free." The latter is Snoop's first top 10 as a lead artist since 2008's "Sensual Seduction" (also on the set list), a factoid that intrigued the rapper when Billboard mentioned it to him. "Wait wait, no 'California Girls?' No 'I Wanna Love You?'" he said, before being politely reminded that those were both guest raps.
Snoop Dogg played a hit-laden set that spanned "Doggystyle" classics like "What's My Name" and "Gin and Juice" as well as current top 10 hit "Young, Wild & Free." (Photo: Andrew Hampp)
Spurred by his recent success, Snoop has major ambitions for his next project, a Jamaican documentary and upcoming album inspired by the life of Bob Marley called "Reincarnated." Snoop recruited Diplo to produce the set, which he described as having a "next level" kind of sound melding reggae and electro. "I've been nominated for like 11 Grammys, but I've never won one. I want this project to get me a Grammy, an Oscar, No. 1 records," he told Billboard.
The vending machine will host two more official showcases Friday and Saturday, featuring performances by !!!, Gamma Ray, Cool Kids, Chiddy Bang and others.
Snoop takes a breather during a Spin.com interview backstage in the Maxim lounge. (Photo: Andrew Hampp)