American rapper and songwriter Known for his smooth, relaxed vocal delivery with a slight Southern drawl, Snoop Dogg was a top rap artist during the 1990's, making his mark in the gangsta rap genre.
Born: October 20, 1972; Long Beach, California
Also known as: Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. (birth name); Snoop Doggy Dogg
Principal recordings albums: Doggystyle, 1993; Tha Doggfather, 1996; Da Game Is to Be Sold Not to Be Told, 1998; No Limit Top Dogg, 1999; Tha Last Meal, 2000; Doggy Style All Stars: Welcome to tha House, Vol. 1, 2002; Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss, 2002; R & G (Rhythm and Gangsta): Tha Masterpiece, 2004; Me and My Homies, 2005; Screwed: How the West Was Screwed, 2005; Welcome to tha Church: Da Album, 2005; Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, 2006; Cali Iz Active, 2006 (with Tha Dogg Pound); Ego Trippin', 2008; Revival, 2008 (with DJ Whoo Kidd).
Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Snoop Dogg spent the three years after high school in and out of jail on drug charges. However, he changed his direction when his homemade tapes made with rapper Warren Gwere given to Dr. Dre, a rapper, a producer, and the co-owner of Death Row Records. Dr. Dre included Snoop, under the stage name Snoop Doggy Dogg, on the title track for the motion picture Deep Cover in 1991, and Snoop was also prominently featured on Dr. Dre's 1992 album The Chronic. Snoop released his solo album, Doggystyle, the following year. In August, 1993, Snoop was arrested for his alleged involvement in a drive-by shooting, and he was later acquitted of all charges in February, 1996. In 1998 Snoop shortened his stage name to Snoop Dogg after he left his original label, Death Row Records, for rapper Master P's label, No Limit Records. Snoop Dogg has been involved in several film and television projects, including his own MTV comedy sketch show, Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, which ran from 2002 to 2004.
He has also appeared as an actor in films such as Soul Plane (2004) and Starsky& Hutch (2004), and he has directed two pornographic films. On April 12, 2007, he was sentenced to five years of probation on charges relating to the possession of drugs and firearms. The Music During the 1990's, Snoop Dogg's songs helped define the genre of gangsta rap. They frequently addressed violent subject matters, perhaps reflecting his troubles with law. In the late 1990's, Snoop Dogg transitioned to tamer subject matter that promoted a lavish, misogynistic pimp lifestyle.
Along with his distinctive vocal delivery and subject matter, Snoop Dogg is known for his style of slang centered on nonsensical words ending with the suffix -izzle. Doggystyle. Snoop Dogg's first solo album, Doggystyle, cemented his position as a top gangsta rapper. The album was produced by Dr. Dre, and in manyways it is a continuation of Dr. Dre's debut album, The Chronic, from the previous year.
Doggystyle utilizes the same slow, layered G-funk (or gangsta funk) beats as The Chronic, addressing similar street-inspired subject matter. "MurderWas the Case" describes Snoop Dogg as a drive-by shooting victim (ironically released while he was involved in amurder case). "Ain't No Fun" is about gang rape, and other songs describe gang violence, drug use, and degrading views of women. Tha Doggfather. After the conclusion of his murder trial, Snoop released his second album, Tha Doggfather, on Death Row Records in November, 1996. Earlier that same year Dr. Dre had left Death Row Records, so Snoop Dogg produced many of the songs himself. The album retains bass-heavy G-funk as its musical foundation, and it reworks old funk and soul music for its beats. Lyrically, Tha Doggfather demonstrates Snoop's gradual evolution away from heavily gang-inspired subject matter. Nevertheless, while the lyrics are not as harsh as those found on Doggystyle, they still frequently address typical gangsta-rap themes.
In addition to the gangsta-inspired subject matter, Tha Doggfather contains party-oriented songs, for example, "Snoop Upside Your Head", and occasional attempts at social commentary, such as his remake of rapper Biz Markie's song "Vapors". Interspersed throughout the album are several skits and a "Freestyle Conversation". R&G(Rhythm and Gangsta): The Masterpiece. Onthis album, released in 2004, Snoop Dogg enlists the assistance of a variety of producers and guest artists.
It features collaborations with Pharrell, Lil John, 50 Cent, and even pop artist Justin Timberlake, and it demonstrates an image tamer than the one Snoop Dogg put forth on his earlier gangstarap works. Musically, the album draws from a variety of genres, including jazz, classic rock, and disco, and Snoop Dogg, in addition to his drawled rapping, sings on a number of songs. The result is a light, playful background for Snoop's streetinspired lyrics. The subject matter of R&G (Rhythm and Gangsta): The Masterpiece is not as violent as Snoop's early albums, and he generally demonstrates a less-aggressive approach toward women, though misogynistic songs ("Can U Control Yo Hoe") and songs celebrating gangsta life ("Oh No") still appear.
Musical Legacy The career of Snoop Dogg has demonstrated that a variety of vocal deliveries can be successful in hiphop and that all rappers do not need to adhere to a conventional norm. Snoop Dogg was instrumental in the construction of hip-hop around gangsta rap in the 1990's, and he also illustrated how a rapper can change his or her image and still remain successful. Similar to many other rappers, he has become a pop culture icon through his participation in varied entertainment mediums, and he maintains a prominent position in hip-hop culture. Snoop Dogg has assisted in the careers of many family members and friends who have become rappers, including Nate Dogg,Warren G, RBX, and Daz Dillinger. He founded a film production company called Snoopadelic Films, and he runs his own record label called Doggystyle Records.