Photographs by Janine Van Oostrom.
You can probably guess what is unavoidable at a Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg concert, so let’s draw your attention to the fact that the two rappers, separated by generations, genre styles and occasionally fan bases, are a surprisingly entertaining duo on a shared stage. Joining forces with openers Casey Veggies, Jhené Aiko and surprise guest Ty Dolla $ign (who was on-board for a mini-medley) on The High Road Tour (adopted under the OVO Fest moniker for the Toronto stop this past Friday), Snoop and Wiz crossed those loose boundaries to embark on a two-hour back-and-forth exchange of bars that never once felt short of the plain fun it intended to be.
As the show kicked off earlier than scheduled , there was a clear contrast between the two rappers. Snoop rode the West Coast cool-command on “The Next Episode” and “Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang” while Wiz pushed high-energy theatrics throughout songs like “Bake Sale” and “We Dem Boyz”, easily appealing to the mass amounts of Taylor Gang pledges in the crowds. Though narrated with an animated video of the two on a hip-hop Thelma and Louise adventure, the real-life convergence of the pair played out as two guys who just wanted to have a decent outdoor party.
When their performances did eventually come together under thick clouds of smoke, the Molson Amphitheatre became Wiz and Snoop’s backyard. Between parking themselves up to the 300s for a portion of the show and bouncing to Desiigner’s “Panda” and House of Pain’s “Jump Around”, half of the enjoyment came from watching Wiz and Snoop vibing on-stage. As the hits rolled out – namely “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, “Black and Yellow” and “See You Again” – inflatable blunts floated around the crowd while Snoop blew smoke into the pit, Wiz danced on-stage with fans and cellphones lit up the entire space. Everyone was welcome to hop on The High Road trip, and Snoop and Wiz made sure all on board had a good summer night.