So we’ve all heard the news about Snoop Dogg and Kid Cudi, but if you’re wondering why the A&O is bringing that canine from Peanuts and a child to headline the fall concert, you could use some pointers on the D-Oh-Double-G from the LBC.
Snoop Dogg was born Cordozar Calvin Broadus in Long Beach, Calif. in 1972. His parents gave him his famous nickname, calling him Snoopy as a youngster. Broadus got his start in music singing in, of all groups, the church choir of Golgotha Trinity Baptist, as well as playing piano. He began rapping in the sixth grade. He was also exposed to the gangster life he would rap about and emulate at a young age, serving six months in the Wayside County Jail for cocaine trafficking while in high school. Snoop’s involvement with the Los Angeles gang The Crips also began around this time, although the rapper is very hesitant to admit to membership.
He was discovered when a mixtape freestyle of En Vogue’s “Hold On” was heard by Dr. Dre, the famed producer and former member of N.W.A. Snoop’s involvement with Dr. Dre led to some of the rapper’s best work and signing with Death Row Records.
Snoop’s first album, Doggystyle (1993), is a hip-hop classic. Featuring “Who Am I (What’s My Name)”, and “Gin and Juice” , the album showed the Dr. Dre protégé stepping out on his own, and starting a game-changing hip-hop career. Despite debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts, his next two albums did not match the success of his debut. Tha Doggfather (1996) did include tracks that showcased Snoop’s love of controversial videos (Snoop’s “Upside Ya Head”) and Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told (1998) include the Snoop classic “Still a G Thang”. No Limit Top Dogg (1999) was the first Snoop Dogg album not to debut at #1, but does feature that video that Xzibit always cites on Pimp My Ride (“Yo, it’s your boy, X to the Z” ). Look to 2000’s The Last Meal’s for an informative translation of Snoop’s “Izzle” language.
The West Coast rapper has also had his fair share of trouble with the law. Snoop was arrested for the murder of a rival gang member during recording of Doggystyle in 1993 – while not firing the murder weapon, he was driving the car used in the shooting. While the gunman was acquitted on grounds of personal defense, it took the rapper three years to be acquitted. Snoop mused on this specific run-in with the law in Doggystyle’s“Murder Was the Case” and in a short film of the same name, directed by Dr. Dre and Fab Five Freddy. In addition to a long list of marijuana and gun possession charges, The Boss Dogg has also been banned from entry to Australia and UK, although he is allowed in both countries presently.
Snoop’s work in the 2000s has been much more radio friendly, and could even be considered “pop.” Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Boss (2002) featured a collaboration with Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, and R&G (Rhythm and Gangsta): The Masterpiece (2004) included the wonderfully minimalist “Drop It Like It’s Hot” , filled with tongue clicks and “Ice Creams.” Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (2006) showed that the rapper was still capable of his old school, hard-core style, with “Vato”, but still scored big on the pop charts with “I Wanna Fuck You” (More publicly known by its clean version, “I Wanna Love You”). Ego Trippin’ (2008) showed Snoop harkening back to the vocoder funk that inspired him with “Sexual Eruption” (Also known by the cleaner “Sensual Seduction,” and featured a video straight out of Solid Gold. Malice In Wonderland lacked the beat magic of “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and the hilarious, vintage video of “Sensual Seduction,” and was Snoop’s lowest charting album. A new album, Doggystyle 2: Tha Doggumentary is in the works, and will be produced by Swizz Beatz, who helped produced Jay Z’s The Blueprint 3.
Snoop Dogg has had an illustrious career (if the amount of links in this article show anything), and at the very least we can expect a slew of old hits from the 38-year-old LA native. But if his career shows anything, the Boss Dogg from Long Beach can put on a show, and with supporting act Kid Cudi opening, we can definitely expect good things.
Tickets go on sale on the Norrisizzle Box Office website Oct. 1 at 10:30am.