N.W.A. Alums To Appear on Dr. Dre Hip Hop 2000 Tour
Plans are unfolding for the Dr. Dre Hip Hop 2000 Tour, which will feature N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Ice Cube, as well as Snoop Dogg, The Eastsidaz, Eminem, Warren G and Westside Connection. The tour is scheduled to get underway on June 15 and is expected to visit up to 40 arenas.
Though 23 cities on the tour's route have been confirmed, venues and ticket on-sale dates have not been announced.
The outing isn't being billed as an N.W.A. reunion tour, but the members of the influential gangsta rap group are expected to perform some N.W.A. songs together, with Snoop Dogg occupying the slot of founding member Easy-E, who died of AIDS in 1995.
A full-blown N.W.A. reunion tour is said to be in the works for 2001. Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Ice Cube performed together for the first time in a decade during a taping of the USA Networks program ''Jimmy And Doug's Farmclub.com'' earlier this year.
Though hip-hop has become a dominant genre among music buyers, the genre accounts for only a small percentage of the money taken in by the concert industry. Major rap tours have been few and far between, and have met with mixed results at the box office and operationally.
The last major rap tour--the Ruff Ryders/Cash Money package--began smoothly, but began to disintegrate following a backstage stabbing incident during a show in Boston. Five of the tour's last 10 dates were cancelled; official explanations included venues wary of the potential for violence, slow ticket sales, and the exhaustion of the performers.
The ''Hard Knock Life'' tour, which featured Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man and Redman, was one of early 1999's top arena tours. Amusement Business reported that the tour averaged attendance of better than 10,000 per city, and that none of the 50 shows resulted in major security problems.