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Dr. Dre Tour 'Indefinitely Postponed' After 7 Shows : Pop music: Observers cite problems in promoting the bill of gangsta rappers, including accused murderer Snoop Doggy Dogg.

September 23, 1993|CHUCK PHILIPS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The viability of rap music concerts is being questioned again with the news Wednesday that Dr. Dre's highly touted tour has been "indefinitely postponed."

The tour--which featured performances by some of the hottest rappers in the business, including Dre's controversial sidekick Snoop Doggy Dogg--was shut down after just seven shows primarily due to promotion problems, sources said Wednesday.

Industry observers criticized marketing techniques used to advertise the shows as well as the size and location of the venues booked. Some sources predicted that the Dre and Snoop show could be resurrected later this fall or early next year.

Richard Klotzman, the United Entertainment Corp. consultant who organized the tour, did not return repeated phone calls made to his Baltimore office. Representatives for the artists and their management and record companies also declined comment.

Although violent outbursts are rare at rap shows, fear of violence and the escalating cost of security and insurance for promoters has led some observers to suggest that rap concerts may be nearing extinction.

In recent years, gangsta rappers such as N.W.A. and Ice-T have had problems obtaining security from law enforcement organizations, who refuse to provide protection because they object to gangsta rap's anti-police rhetoric.

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar, a leading national concert trade journal, said the tour's cancellation may cause further concerns about booking rap shows in the future.

"Gangsta rap shows in general have always made some venue owners and promoters very nervous," Bongiovanni said. "I'm sure that incidents concerning Snoop and Dre in recent weeks will only tend to heighten apprehension in the industry."

There was, however, no violence at the Dre shows, which also featured rap acts Run-DMC, Onyx and Boss. The plug was pulled on the tour, however, shortly after an encounter last week with police in Milwaukee in which five members of the tour entourage were questioned about an alleged vehicle-jacking and accounts that they had been brandishing firearms. No one was arrested.

Snoop and Dre, who were not present at the incident, were sought for questioning regarding the matter following their Sept. 15 concert in Milwaukee, but according to law enforcement authorities, evaded police.

An Oct. 27 stop at the Greek Theatre was penciled in on the tour itinerary, but a spokesman for the Greek said Wednesday that the date was never confirmed.

Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is due to be arraigned Oct. 1 in West Los Angeles Municipal Court on one count of murder, including a special allegation of use of a firearm. Snoop did not pull the trigger, but was charged because he was allegedly driving the Jeep from which the shots were fired by his bodyguard.

The 21-year-old rapper was charged with murder on Sept. 7 along with two other men and released on $1 million bail. Snoop's bodyguard, McKinley Lee, has acknowledged the Aug. 25 shooting in the Palms area of West Los Angeles, but claimed he fired at the victim, Phillip Woldermariam, in self-defense.

Snoop Doggy Dogg emerged from nowhere to stardom with his guest appearance last year on Dre's nearly 3 million-selling "The Chronic" album.

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