Cordazar Calvin Broadus (born October 20, 1971), better known by his stage name Snoop Dogg, is a Grammy Award-nominated American rapper, record producer, and actor. Snoop is best known as an MC in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of producer Dr. Dre's most notable prot?g?s. He popularized the catch phrase suffix "-izzle," a slang term or infix that had been in use for decades, but not nearly to the extent that it currently permeates the pop and hip hop music industry as well as general usage.
Snoop Dogg was a Crip gang member while in high school; shortly after graduation, he was arrested for cocaine possession and sentenced to three years in prison, then began his music career in 1992 after his release. He was discovered by Dr. Dre and collaborated on several tracks on Dre's solo debut, The Chronic and on the titular theme song to the film Deep Cover. Snoop's debut album, Doggystyle, was released in 1993 under Death Row Records. Doggystyle went quadruple platinum and spawned several hit singles "What's My Name" and "Gin & Juice."
In 1996, Snoop Dogg was cleared of charges over his bodyguard's 1993 murder of Phillip Woldemariam. His second album, 1996's Tha Doggfather, was his last release for Death Row before he signed with No Limit Records, with whom he recorded three albums from 1998 to 2001. Snoop then joined Capitol Records in 2002 for his album Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss, and then to Geffen Records in 2004 for his next three albums. He also joined forces with his cousin Nate Dogg and rapper Warren G as the supergroup 213 for an album in 2004.
In addition to music, Snoop Dogg has also starred in motion pictures and hosted several television shows: Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, and Dogg After Dark. He also coaches a youth football league and high school football team. Snoop Dogg has also run into many legal troubles, some of which caused him to be legally banned from the UK and Australia. He is the cousin of rappers Nate Dogg, Daz Dillinger, RBX and Lil' Half Dead and the cousin of R&B singers Brandy and Ray J.
Calvin Broadus was born at the Los Altos Hospital in Long Beach, California, the second of three sons born to Beverly Broadus. His father, Vernall Varnado, was a Vietnam veteran, singer, and mail carrier who Calvin says was frequently absent from his life. Calvin's parents nicknamed him "Snoopy" as a child because of his appearance and usually referred to him as Calvin at home. At an early age, Calvin Broadus began singing in Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church and playing piano; when he was in sixth grade, he began rapping. He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, then transferred to Jordan High School, and was convicted for cocaine trafficking and served six months at the Wayside County Jail. Snoop Dogg was a member of the Rollin' 20 Crips gang in the Eastside of Long Beach. Snoop Dogg's conviction caused him to be in and out of prison for the first three years after he graduated from high school. Snoop, along with his cousins Nate Dogg and Lil Half Dead, and friend Warren G recorded home made tapes as a group called 213, named after the Long Beach area code at the time. One of his early solo freestyles over En Vogue's "Hold on" had made it to a mixtape which was heard by influential producer Dr. Dre, who phoned to invite him to an audition. Former N.W.A member The D.O.C. taught him how to structure his lyrics and separate the thematics into verses, hooks and chorus.
Death Row Records years (1992-97)
When he began recording, Broadus took the stage name Snoop Doggy Dogg. Dr. Dre began working with Snoop Dogg, first on the theme song of the 1992 film Deep Cover, and then on Dr. Dre's debut solo album The Chronic with the other members of his former starting group, Tha Dogg Pound. The huge success of Snoop Dogg's debut Doggystyle was partially due to this intense exposure.
To fuel the ascendance of West Coast "G-funk" rap, the singles "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" and "Gin and Juice" reached the top ten most-played songs in the United States, and the album stayed on the Billboard charts for several months. Gangsta rap became the center of arguments for censorship and labeling, with Snoop Dogg often used as an example of violent and misogynistic musicians. Doggystyle, much like The Chronic, featured a host of rappers signed to or affiliated with the Death Row label including Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, Nate Dogg and others. His video "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with 2Pac chronicled the difficulties each rapper was dealing with as a result of their unrelated but concurrent criminal prosecutions. Rolling Stone music critic Tour? asserted that Snoop had a relatively soft vocal delivery compared to other rappers: "Snoop's vocal style is part of what distinguishes him: where many rappers scream, figuratively and literally, he speaks softly."
A short film about Snoop Dogg's murder trial called Murder Was The Case, was released in 1994, along with an accompanying soundtrack. However, by the time Snoop Dogg's second album, Tha Doggfather, was released in November 1996, the price of living (or sometimes just imitating) the "gangsta" life had become very evident. Among the many notable rap industry deaths and convictions were the death of Snoop Dogg's friend and labelmate 2Pac and the racketeering indictment of Death Row co-founder Suge Knight. Dr. Dre had left Death Row earlier in 1996 due to a contract dispute, so Snoop Dogg co-produced Tha Doggfather with Daz Dillinger and DJ Pooh.
This album featured a distinct change of style as compared to Doggystyle, and the leadoff single, "Snoop's Upside Ya Head," featured a collaboration with Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson. While the album sold reasonably well, it was not as successful as its predecessor, and it was widely believed that its quality suffered from Dr. Dre's lack of involvement. However, Tha Doggfather had a somewhat softer approach to the G-funk style. The immediate aftermath of Dr. Dre's withdrawal from Death Row Records, realizing that he was subject to an iron clad time-based contract (i.e., that Death Row practically owned anything he produced for a number of years), Snoop Dogg refused to produce any more tracks for Suge Knight, other than the insulting "Fuck Death Row," until his contract expired.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of allmusic said that after Tha Doggfather, Snoop Dogg began "moving away from his gangsta roots toward a calmer lyrical aesthetic"; for instance, Snoop participated in the 1997 Lollapalooza concert tour, which featured mainly alternative rock music. Troy J. Augusto of Variety noticed that Snoop's set at Lollapalooza attracted "much dancing, and, strangely, even a small mosh pit" in the audience.
No Limit and Capitol years (1998?2003)
Snoop signed to Master P's No Limit Records in 1998 and debuted on the label with Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told that year. His other albums under No Limit were No Limit Top Dogg in 1999 and Tha Last Meal in 2000. In 2001, his autobiography, Tha Doggfather, was published.
In 2002 he released the album Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, on Capitol Records which featured the hit singles and videos "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace" and "Beautiful" featuring guest vocals by Pharrell.
Geffen Years (2004?present)
Snoop Dogg performing in Hawaii for U.S. military personnel in 2005.
In 2004, Snoop signed to Geffen Records/Star Trak Entertainment both of which are distributed through Interscope Records; Star Trak is headed by the Neptunes, who produced several tracks for Snoop's 2004 release R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece. "Drop It Like It's Hot" (featuring Pharrell), the first single released from the album, was a hit and became Snoop Dogg's first single to reach number one. His third release was "Signs", featuring Justin Timberlake & Charlie Wilson, which entered the UK chart at #2. This was his highest entry ever in the UK chart. The album sold very well, and most of its singles were heavily played on radio and television. Snoop Dogg joined Warren G and Nate Dogg to form the group 213 and released album The Hard Way in 2004. Debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, it included single "Groupie Luv".
Snoop Dogg performing in 2006.
Snoop Dogg's appeared on two tracks from Ice Cube's 2006 album Laugh Now, Cry Later, including the single "Go to Church", and on several tracks on Tha Dogg Pound's Cali Iz Active the same year. Also, his latest song, "Real Talk", was leaked over the Internet in the summer of 2006 and a video was later released on the Internet. "Real Talk" was a dedication to Tookie Williams and a diss to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Two other singles on which Snoop made a guest performance were "Keep Bouncing" by Too $hort (also with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas) and "Gangsta Walk" by Coolio.
Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Snoop's album for 2006, debuted on the Billboard 200 at #5. The album, and the second single "That's That Shit" featuring R. Kelly were well-received by critics. In the album, he collaborated in a video with E-40 and other West Coast rappers for his single "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)".
In July 2007, Snoop Dogg also made history by becoming the first artist to release a track as a ringtone prior to its release as a single, "It's the D.O.G.". On July 7 2007 Snoop Dogg performed at the Live Earth concert, Hamburg.
Snoop Dogg has recently ventured into singing for Bollywood with his first ever rap for an Indian movie Singh Is Kinng; the title of the song is also Singh is Kinng. The album featuring the song was released on June 8, 2008 on Junglee Music Records.
Television and film
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In 1992, Snoop Dogg, along with Dr. Dre, performed "Nuthin But A "G" Thang live on The Arsenio Hall Show.
In 1993, Snoop again appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, performing "Tha Shiznit" and "What's My Name", and also performing a freestyle dissing rival rapper Eazy-E.
In 1993, Snoop Dogg, along with Dr. Dre, performed "Nuthin But A "G" Thang" and "What's My Name" at the Soul Train Awards.
In 1994, Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound performed "Gin And Juice" at the American Music Awards.
In 1995, Snoop Dogg performed "Murder Was The Case" at the controversial Source Awards.
In 1998, Snoop had a cameo appearance in the film Half Baked as the "Scavenger Smoker."
In 2000, Snoop (as "Michael J. Corleone") directed Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, a pornographic film produced by Hustler. This film, combining hip-hop with X-rated material, was a huge success and won "Top Selling Release of the Year" at the 2002 AVN Awards. Driven by this success, Snoop directed Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary of a Pimp in 2002 (this time using the nickname "Snoop Scorsese").
In 2001, Snoop lent his voice to the animated show "King of the Hill," in which he played a white pimp named Alabaster Jones. He also played a marijuana dealer in the movie "The Wash" with Dr. Dre.
In 2002, Snoop hosted, starred in, and produced his own MTV sketch comedy show entitled Doggy Fizzle Televizzle.
Snoop was filmed for a brief cameo appearance in the television movie It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), but his performance was omitted from the final cut of the movie.
In 2003, Snoop had a cameo appearance in the film Old School as himself. Snoop also performed Sad But True at MTV Icon 2003, where Metallica was chosen as the band to be tributed.
On November 8, 2004, Snoop Dogg was seen starring in the episode Two of a Kind of NBC's series Las Vegas.
In 2004, Snoop appeared on the Showtime series The L Word as the character "Slim Daddy", a combination of Slim Shady and Puff Daddy. He also notably played the drug dealer-turned-informant character of Huggy Bear, in the 2004 remake film of the 1970s TV-series of the same name, Starsky & Hutch. He appeared as himself in an episode of the Showtime series "Weeds," and made an appearance on the hit TV shows Entourage and Monk, for which he recorded a version of the theme, in July 2007.
Master of Ceremonies Snoop Dogg at WrestleMania XXIV with Ashley Massaro and tag team partner Maria
Snoop founded his own production company, Snoopadelic Films, in 2005. Their debut film was Boss'n Up, a film inspired by R&G starring Lil Jon and Trina.
Perhaps in conjunction with his entry into the x-rated world, Snoop claimed in a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone magazine that unlike other hip hop artists who've superficially adopted the pimp persona, he was an actual professional pimp in 2003 and 2004, saying "That shit was my natural calling and once I got involved with it, it became fun. It was like shootin' layups for me. I was makin' 'em every time." He goes on to say that upon the advice on some of the other pimps he knew, he eventually gave up pimping to spend more time with his family.
In December 2007, his reality show Snoop Dogg's Father Hood premiered on the E! channel. Snoop Dogg joined the NBA's Entertainment League.
On March 30, 2008 he appeared at WrestleMania XXIV as a Master of Ceremonies for a tag team match between Maria and Ashley Massaro as they took on Beth Phoenix and Melina.
On May 8 and May 9, 2008, Snoop appeared as himself on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, with a new opening theme recorded by the artist presented for both episodes. In the episodes, Snoop performs at the bachelorette party for character Adriana Cramer, and credits Bo Buchanan with helping him get his start in show business.
In 2009, Snoop Dogg appeared in Sacha Baron Cohen's Movie Bruno as himself performing a rap addition to the song Dove Of Peace
On June 26, 2009 Snoop Dogg appeared on the Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien.
Snoop Dogg took the place of guitarist Munky in the Korn music video for Twisted Transistor.
On October 19, 2009 Snoop Dogg was the guest host for WWE Monday Night RAW.
Broadus's father left the family when Broadus was 3 months old. Snoop married his high school sweetheart, Shante Taylor, on June 12, 1997. On May 21, 2004, he filed for divorce from Shante, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple renewed their wedding vows on January 12, 2008. R&B singer Brandy is his first cousin. In 2002, the rapper announced he was giving up marijuana, one of his image trademarks, for good , though this did not last long.
Snoop is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, which is mainly due to his affiliation to the 'Rollin 20's Crips' who also sport the Pittsburgh jersey as their neighborhood emblem, and is often seen wearing Pittsburgh Steelers apparel in his music videos. One of his sons had played for a Pittsburgh Steelers team for kids. Snoop has mentioned that his love for the Steelers began in the 1970s during the team's dynasty years while watching the team with his grandfather growing up in L.A. In the 2005 offseason, Snoop mentioned that he wanted to be an NFL head coach, "probably for the Steelers". The following year, he was in attendance for the Steelers' victory in Super Bowl XL and later in Super Bowl XLIII. He was also somewhat a fan of the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, often wearing a #5 jersey, and has been seen in Raiders training camps. He did his own free style rap based on his similarities with Tony Romo. He has also shown some affection for the New England Patriots, as he has been seen performing at the Gillette Stadium and picked the Patriots as the favorite to win Super Bowl XXXIX against the Eagles. On August 6, 2009, Snoop visited the training camp of the Baltimore Ravens at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He was invited by Ray Lewis the day after his concert at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
A certified football coach, Snoop Dogg has been head coach for his son's youth football teams and the John A. Rowland High School team.
Snoop Dogg has shown he is an avid hockey fan by sporting a Pittsburgh Penguins Jersey (with the name and number 'GIN AND JUICE' 94 on the back) and a jersey of the now-defunct Springfield (MA) Indians of the American Hockey League in his 1994 music video, "Gin And Juice". Also the E! show,?Snoop Dogg?s Father Hood", featured Snoop Dogg and his family receiving lessons on playing hockey from the NHL Anaheim Ducks, then returning to the Honda Center (Home of the Anaheim Ducks) to cheer on the Ducks against the Vancouver Canucks in the episode, ?Snow in da Hood?.
In August 2008, Snoop Dogg announced the launch of a new streetwear line called Rich & Infamous, via a partnership with Robert Thorne Co. The line, which is aimed toward males ages 18 to 35, was unveiled during the Magic tradeshow in Las Vegas.
In 2009, it was revealed that Snoop Dogg was a member of the Nation of Islam. On , 2009, he made an appearance at the Nation of Islam's annual Saviours Day convention, where he praised controversial minister Louis Farrakhan. Snoop claimed to be a member of the Nation of Islam, but declined to give the date on which he joined. He also donated $1,000 to the organization.
While recording Doggystyle in August 1993, Snoop Dogg was arrested in connection with the death of Phillip Woldemariam, a member of a rival gang who was shot and killed by Snoop's bodyguard, McKinley Lee; Snoop was charged with murder along with Lee as he was driving the vehicle from which the shooting had commenced. Snoop was defended by Johnnie Cochran, with his bodyguard McKinley Lee. Both Snoop and Lee were acquitted; Lee was acquitted on grounds of self-defense, but Snoop Dogg remained entangled in the legal battles around the case for three years. In July 1993, Snoop was stopped for a traffic violation and a firearm was found by police while conducting a search of his car. In February 1997, he pled guilty to one count of being an ex-felon in possession of a handgun and was ordered to record three public service announcements, pay a $1,000 fine, and serve three years' probation. Twice, in May 1998 and October 2001, Snoop Dogg was fined and arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. For the 2001 incident, in 2002 he pleaded no contest to the charge and was fined a total of $398.30 and a suspended 30-day jail sentence.
Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and The Game were sued for assaulting a fan on stage at a May 2005 concert at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington. The accuser, Richard Monroe, Jr., claimed he was beaten by the artists' entourage while mounting the stage. He alleged that he reacted to an "open invite" to come on stage. Before he could, Snoop?s bodyguards grabbed him and he was beaten unconscious by crewmembers, including the rapper and producer Soopafly; Snoop and The Game were included in the suit for not intervening. The lawsuit focuses on a pecuniary claim of $22 million in punitive and compensatory damages, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The concerned parties appeared in court in April 2009.
On April 26, 2006, Snoop Dogg and members of his entourage were arrested after being turned away from British Airways' first class lounge at Heathrow Airport. Snoop and his party were not allowed to enter the lounge because some of the entourage were flying first class, other members in economy class. After the group was escorted outside, they vandalized a duty-free shop by throwing whiskey bottles. Seven police officers were injured in the midst of the disturbance. After a night in prison, Snoop and the other men were released on bail on April 27, but he was unable to perform at the Premier Foods People's Concert in Johannesburg on the same day. As part of his bail conditions, he had to return to the police station in May. The group has been banned by British Airways for "the foreseeable future." When Snoop Dogg appeared at a London police station on May 11, he was cautioned for affray under Section 4 of the Public Order Act for use of threatening words or behavior. On May 15, the Home Office decided that Snoop Dogg should be denied entry to the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future due to the incident at Heathrow as well as his previous convictions in the United States for drugs and firearms offenses. Snoop Dogg's visa card was rejected by local authorities on March 24, 2007 because of the Heathrow incident. A concert at London's Wembley Arena on March 27 went ahead with Diddy (with whom he toured Europe) and the rest of the show. However the decision affected four more British performances in Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow and Budapest (due to rescheduling).
On September 27, 2006, Snoop Dogg was detained at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California by airport security, after airport screeners found a collapsible police baton in Snoop's carry-on bag. The baton was confiscated but Snoop was allowed to board the flight. He has been charged with various weapons violations stemming from this incident. Donald Etra, Snoop's lawyer, told deputies the baton was a prop for a musical sketch. Snoop was sentenced to three years' probation and 160 hours of community service starting on September 20, 2007.
Snoop Dogg was arrested again on October 26, 2006 at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California while parked in a passenger loading zone. Approached by airport security for a traffic infraction, he was found in possession of marijuana and a firearm, according to a police statement. He was transported to Burbank Police Department Jail, booked, and released on $35,000 bond. He faced firearm and drug possession charges on December 12 at Burbank Superior Court. He was again arrested on November 29, 2006, after performing on The Tonight Show, for possession of marijuana and a firearm.
Snoop was arrested again on March 12, 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden after performing in a concert with P. Diddy in Stockholm's Globe Arena after he and a female companion reportedly "reeked" of marijuana. They were released four hours later after providing a urine sample. Pending results on urine will determine whether charges will be pressed. However the rapper denied all charges.
On April 26, 2007, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship banned him from entering the country on character grounds, citing his prior criminal convictions. He had been scheduled to appear at the MTV Australia Video Music Awards on April 29, 2007. Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship lifted the ban in September 2008 and had granted him visa to tour Australia. DIAC said "In making this decision, the department weighed his criminal convictions against his previous behaviour while in Australia, recent conduct ? including charity work ? and any likely risk to the Australian community ... We took into account all relevant factors and, on balance, the department decided to grant the visa."
Snoop Dogg's many legal issues forced San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom to withdraw his plan to issue a proclamation to the rapper.
Snoop Dogg 40 Oz Malt liquor
Boost Mobile cell phone
Cal Worthington's Ford dealership in Long Beach, California
"Snoop Doggs" - foot-long hot dogs manufactured in Massachusetts a joint venture with Platinum One Media
"Snoop Dogg Board Company (SDBC)" - skateboards and Luggage fabrication company (with Pentagon Distribution)
"Snooperbowl" and "Snoop Youth Football league"
"Chronic Candy" - candy that tastes like marijuana (from Switzerland and is currently banned in some cities of US)
Love Don't Live Here No More, Doggy Tales Vol.1 - love novel (co-written by David E. Talbert, published by Atria and Snoopadelic Films) ISBN 0-7432-7363-X
Tha Doggfather : The Times, Trials, And Hardcore Truths Of Snoop Dogg - autobiography (published by William Morrow) Hardcover ISBN 0-688-17158-3, Paperback ISBN 0-06-107607-4
Fear & Respect (project cancelled as of March 1, 2006) - PlayStation 2 video game (developed by Midway Games)
"Doggy Biscuitz" - shoe brand (in partnership with Pony International)
"Snoop Dogg Clothing" - streetwear (distributed at Macy's)
"WRFF" - unique design scooters (in cooperation with Salton, Inc.)
"Hip Hop Gaming League" - a celebrity online gaming competition (hosted by Global Gaming League)
"Snoop Dogg figures" (Vital Toys, SOTA Toys)
"Snoop Dogg Boxing" - mobile phone game (Sony Pictures Mobile)
"Snoop Dogg Pet Accessory Line" (in conjunction with Jakks Pacific)