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NEW DELHI — Snoop Dogg has landed in Mumbai for his first India visit, which will see the rapper perform in the western city of Pune near Mumbai on Friday, and in Gurgaon near Delhi on Sunday.
At a press conference in Mumbai Thursday, Snoop Dogg was asked by a reporter from news network Times Now to comment on the recent brutal gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi who later died. Considered one of the most horrific crimes in India in recent memory, the incident has sparked outrage and street demonstrations across the country, as well as inspired leading Indian celebrities to voice support for the rights of women on social media. The protests have also turned violent, leading to the death of a policeman.
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Referring to the “current situation in the country” following the incident, the reporter started to ask her question to Snoop Dogg but was cut short by a member of his management.
“I should be allowed to put my question to him; it’s up to him if he wants to answer that or not,” said the reporter.
“Let’s ask a different question please,” came the reply from his representative as Snoop Dogg remained silent.
Perhaps invoking past criticism and claims of misogyny in the rapper’s lyrics, the reporter then asked: “How will he adapt his music to the [current] sensibilities of the Indian audience?”
The question was ignored and passed over.
Wearing shiny Rastafarian-tri-colored sunglasses, Snoop Dogg arrived two hours late, but patiently answered questions on everything from his first India visit and his fascination with Bollywood to his recent rechristening as Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest in Jamaica.
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“India is beautiful! It is everything I expected it to be. The scenery and people are beautiful here,” he said.
Following his first collaboration on a Bollywood track for 2008’s Singh Is Kinng with top Indian actor Akshay Kumar, the rapper said he was looking for more future projects.
“I love Bollywood. I would most definitely want to do something again. I had fun with Akshay Kumar in Singh is Kinng, and I am looking forward to doing it again,” he said adding, “I am looking forward to meeting many producers here. If any Bollywood directors would love to have me in a movie, I am ready. I am a fan of Bollywood music and dance. It is a great time to do some more work here.”
The rapper has also been tweeting invites to his concerts to Bollywood stars such as top actor Shah Rukh Khan and leading cricket players such as Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
“I need to hit up the O.G. (original gangsta) Amitabh Bachchan – come thru my show 2nite sir!”, he wrote in a tweet hailing the Bollywood icon, who makes his Hollywood debut this year in the upcoming The Great Gatsby.
“Hey Snoop, Wudve luvd to but I’m in LA finishin my album! I’m sure you’ll kill it in india! Next time for sure. Show some desi (homegrown) love people!”, actress Priyanka Chopra tweeted in her reply to the rapper’s invitation.
Chopra recently released her debut single “In My City” from her upcoming international album to be released by Universal Music/Interscope.
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Similarly, actor Akshay Kumar also tweeted his RSVP: “Snoop, I’d love to come brother but I’m shooting. Please come home for some Indian fried chicken when you come to Mumbai :)”
Meanwhile an exclusive party hosted Thursday night by Adidas Originals was attended by Bollywood celebrities, including actor Ranveer Singh.
Snoop Dogg’s India tour is organized by Mumbai-based promoter Indigo Live and will include classic hits from the rapper’s Death Row Records era produced by Dr Dre along with newer tracks.
Promising at the press conference that his shows will be the “best party”, he added, “I will have a good time in Pune and then I will be going to Delhi. People here have been waiting to see me perform.”
The events will see a variety of Indian artists opening for the rapper, such as Mumbai-based hip hop group Bombay Bassment performing in Pune, and Reggae Rajahs, Delhi Sultanate and Begum X opening the Gurgaon show.
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