Charles Dickens might have been writing about last nights hiphop show at the Blaisdell Arena when he opened "A Tale of Two Cities" with, "It was the best of times and the worst of times."
The best was headliner Snoop Dogg and the Eastsidaz demonstrating the creative genius that is hip hop. The bad was the three hours before he went on.
Fans became so discouraged listening to DJs L and Roc from 102.7-FM that they began booing in the waning moments before Snoop took the stage. Hours of listening to them ask if the crowd was ready for Snoop Dogg incited them to the point that fans began to head for the exits.
But it was not just the DJs that were bothering the crowd.
Opening act Ludacris put on a five-song commercial for his new album, extolling fans to go buy it as if it had not already gone platinum. He ended his set with his hit and a Hawaii dance club favorite, "Whats Your Fantasy" but appeared at times to get lost in the lyrics and sang most of it off-key.
The other opening act, Boo-Ya T.R.I.B.E., never showed for the concert and the audience was never given an explanation.
Finally, the local promoters, Flava Hawaii, had done such a poor job promoting the show that the appearance of one of the biggest acts in hip hop history made barely a blip on the local medias radar. The attendence bore this out, as the arena was only one-third full.
But Snoop made it all better. Taking the stage with a joint in his hand and a trail of smoke following him, the crowd ignited and never looked back.
The seamless mixing of his raps with his backup singers the Eastsidaz created a wall of music to rival any rock band. With simply his DJ providing the instrumentals he taught a history lesson in the hip hop genre.
Varying between his 1992 debut song "It Aint Nothing But A G Thing "to his new hit "Snoop Dogg (Whats My Name)" the audience bounced and obliged him by screaming his name.
Midway through the set, he announced he needed to take a "smoke break" and he was going to teach them a lesson in old school. To confirm it, '80s hip hop pioneers Houdini jumped on stage and sang their classic, "Friends" with Snoop and his crew dancing and smoking on the side.
Finishing the set with "Who Am I" there was no doubt that the crowd knew who he was, what remained in doubt was how come they had to endure three hours of garbage to see what they had paid for.