On Thursday night, BET Experience 2017 kicked off the first of its three main concerts this weekend at L.A.'s Staples Center, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi headlining and Playboi Carti, Desiigner and Pusha T rounding out the bill.
After the opening sets, Snoop emerged from backstage just after 9 p.m. to the iconic intro from Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode." Sporting a white zip-up hoodie with cannabis leaves on it and casual white sweatpants, the hip-hop living legend rocked out to favorites like “Gin and Juice,” “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Snoop Dogg,” trading off with Wiz, who also offered up songs from his own solid catalog of hits like “Bake Sale” and “We Dem Boyz.”
At one point in the show, Snoop asked, “Anybody want to smoke with the Dogg tonight?” before giving one lucky fan a chance to do just that. Wiz brought his own party favors, tossing out balloons of blunts. Although somewhat stripped-down, a low rider, lights and the occasional inclusion of a couple of dancers made for a very entertaining show.
Before ending his set, Snoop made sure to pay tribute to one of the greatest that ever did it, Tupac, by doing a rendition of their 1996 “2 of Amerika’s Most Wanted” collaboration. He also sent his regards to the late Eazy-E, leading the crowd in a sing-along of “Boyz-n-the-Hood.” Other additions to Snoop and Wiz’s set included a surprise appearance from Joey Bada$$ and Ty Dolla $ign, who each held their own and engaged the audience.
Coming on after 10 p.m. was Kid Cudi, who opened his set with Kanye West’s “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” before going into cuts including “Frequency,” “Marijuana,” “REVOFEV” and “Through the Late Night,” his recent collaborative song with Travis Scott from his Birds in the Trap Sing Brian McKnight album. Grateful for a chance to overcome many obstacles in his life, Cudi told the crowd, “We all go through things. It’s a part of life. It’s how we get through shit, how we become strong, how we become better.”
The 2017 BET Experience concerts are all leading up to Sunday night's BET Awards, airing live at 8 p.m. ET on BET.