Graphics by Sarah Tarlin
By Kathia Dawson, Urban Coordinator
HIP HOP ICON
The world of hip-hop changed when Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., better known as Snoop Dogg, entered the music industry. Over three decades, he’s become known for his distinctive style, laid-back flow and his ability to bridge generations with his music. On October 20th, 1971, a legend was born.
EARLY LIFE AND MUSICAL BEGINNINGS
Hailing from Long Beach, California, Snoop embodies the sun-soaked vibes of the West Coast in his music and persona. He had an affinity for music from the age of six and honed that love for the rest of his life. He started along the path to musical stardom in the early 1990s when a tape from the collaborative group 213 that consisted of him, his two cousins and a friend landed in the hands of Dr. Dre. From then, Snoop was discovered. Snoop for his unique flavor with a distinctive, laid-back style that would later become his trademark.
Snoop Dogg’s big break came when he collaborated with hip-hop heavyweight Dr. Dre, who featured him on his single “Deep Cover,” and his landmark album, The Chronic, in 1992. In 1993, he signed to Death Row Records and released his first album “Doggystyle.” This album became an instant classic, entering the Billboard 200 at number one. Hit singles off the album included “Gin and Juice” and “What’s My Name?.” Snoop did it again in 1996, peaking on the Billboard 200 Pop and R&B album charts with his double platinum sophomore album, Tha Doggfather. The album featured longtime friend and rapper Tupac Shakur, aka “Makaveli,” who died a month before the album’s release.
VENTURES OUTSIDE OF MUSIC
Snoop Dogg’s talents don’t stop at being a musical powerhouse; he’s ventured into acting, brand spokesperson and cannabis advocate. He has a cannabis brand, “Leafs by Snoop,” as well as cooking show “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”.
Other endorsements include: Corona, Beyond Meat, Sodastream and Grubhub. In 2018, he also published his own cookbook.
Snoop purchased his former record company, Death Row Records and is planning to dive into film production. He’s been featured in documentaries about Tupac and Biggie, played minor roles in Soul Plane, Scary Movie, and Turbo and reality television.
Snoop Dogg’s family consists of high school sweetheart wife Shante three adult children, five grandchildren. Shante serves as her husband’s manager and co-creating the unisex scarf line, “The Broadus Collection”. She is the owner of Boss Lady Entertainment, a music management company.
CALIFORNIA LOVE: SNOOP AND TUPAC’S FRIENDSHIP
Snoop Dogg and Tupac met through their work at Death Row Records and became close friends in their time together. Snoop co-rapped in Tupac’s “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” After Tupac’s death, Snoop became an unofficial torchbearer of not only Death Row Records but the west coast legacy as well. In 2017, Snoop inducted Tupac into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2012, Snoop Dogg turned into Snoop Lion when he released a Reggae album titled Reincarnated. In 2013, he collaborated with funk musician Dâm Funk for the album 7 Days of Funk. Snoop said in a 2014 interview with The Guardian, “When I’m recording as Snoopzila, I’m basically an offspring of Bootsy Collins.”
Snoop Dogg has had numerous successes working with R&B funk legend Charlie Wilson, of Gap Band fam – “One more day” and “Peaches n’ Cream,” just to name a few. Snoop even nicknamed Wilson “Uncle Charlie.” When commenting on Wilson in a press release, Snoop said “Uncle Charlie has always been a big inspiration for me… his testimony of what he’s overcome.” The two also collaborated with Pharrell.
“Nuthin’ But A G Thang” (Dr. Dre, featuring Snoop Dogg) (1992). “One, two, three and to the fo.’ Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre is at the do'” one of the most well-known intros in hip hop history.
“Deep Cover” (Dr. Dre, featuring Snoop Dogg) (1992). Dr. Dre’s introduced his protégé on the soundtrack “Deep Cover.” Snoop Dogg delivered right out of the gate with an instant classic.
“Gin and Juice” (1994). “Laid back” like the L.A. lifestyle and Snoop’s rapstyle.
“Vapors” (1996). From his sophomore album, Tha Doggfather, Snoop Dogg covered a hip-hop classic: Biz Markie’s “Vapors” and revealed his appreciation for 80’s hip-hop culture.
“Drop It Like It’s Hot” (featuring Pharrell) (2004). Snoop teamed up with super producer Pharrell whose golden touch provided one of the best Snoop Dogg songs of the 00s. The song is Snoop’s biggest hit to date debuting at No.1 on the Billboard 100.
WHO INFLUENCED SNOOP
1994, “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” (with Dr. Dre) – Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
1995, “Gin and Juice” – Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated
1996, “What Would You Do” (with Tha Dogg Pound) – Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
2000, “Still D.R.E.” (with Dr. Dre) – Nominated
2001, “The Next Episode” (with Dr. Dre) – Nominated
2004, “Beautiful” (featuring Pharrell & Charlie Wilson) – Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Nominated
2005, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” (featuring Pharrell) – Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rap Song Nominated
2009, “Sexual Eruption” – Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated; Best Rap Song Nominated
2011, Teenage Dream (as featured artist) – Album of the Year Nominated. “California Gurls”
(with Katy Perry) – Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Nominated
2014, Reincarnated – Best Reggae Album Nominated
2016, To Pimp a Butterfly (as featured artist) – Album of the Year Nominated
1994 Billboard Music Award for Top Male Artist
1994 MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video · Doggy Dogg World
1995 Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap Album · Doggystyle
2002 MTV Movie Award for Best Cameo · Training Day
2003 BET Award for Best Collaboration · Beautiful
2006 MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video · Buttons
2010 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video · California Gurls
2015 MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction · So Many Pros
2016 BET Hip Hop I Am Hip-Hop Icon Award
2018 A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2019 BET Award for Best Gospel/Inspirational Artist · Blessing Me Again
2021 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
INFLUENCE AND LEGACY
Snoop Dogg was chart-topping from the beginning, setting the scene for the rest of his successful career. He effortlessly bridges the gap between the soulful sounds of the ’70s and the gritty narratives of gangsta rap with his smooth delivery and laid-back charisma. His ability to adapt without compromising his style is what has led to having such a loyal fanbase.
His music not only pays homage to the funk and soul legends of the past but also propels these retro elements into the contemporary hip-hop scene, creating a distinctive blend that is both timeless and relevant. His role in the West Coast hip-hop scene started in the 1990s at Death Row Records, but doesn’t end there. His advocacy for cannabis, his charismatic energy and his adaptability to the ever-changing landscape of fame has made him an icon.
From his early days in Long Beach to becoming a global icon, Snoop Dogg has consistently pushed the boundaries of hip-hop and left an indelible mark on the culture. Snoop’s influence extends far beyond music, and his ability to stay relevant and evolve with the times showcases his lasting impact. Here’s to Snoop Dogg, a true hip-hop legend who continues to inspire and entertain us all.