Snoop Dogg: The US rap legend celebrates 50th birthday

Snoop Dogg celebrates his 50th birthday on October 20th. How he made his way out of poverty into the luxury world of Hollywood.

18 albums in almost 30 years of music career: Snoop Dogg (50) has already achieved a lot in his life. He achieved numerous number 1 hits. He has received several gold and platinum records for his musical successes. But DOGG is not only capable of music. He is also successful as an entrepreneur and knows how to entertain people. But he actually wanted to be a football star …

Criminal in the slum area

For the rap legend, the future looked far from bright in his early years. Calvin Cordozar Broadus Junior, as Snoop Dogg’s real name is, was born in 1971 in a poor neighborhood in Long Beach, California. The wrong environment did the rest: he got on the wrong track and became a member of one of the biggest gangs in California – the “Rollin ’20’s Crips”. Shortly after high school, young Calvin was arrested for drug trafficking in cocaine. When he was 18, his mother kicked him out. He then slept for two months in his car, a 1969 Chevrolet like the one he was in an interview with “Spiegel Online“once betrayed.

The first arrest did not deter the petty criminal. Snoop Dogg repeatedly ended up in jail for drug trafficking. Before he was 20 years old, he was left with no prospects. Once upon a time, his dream was to become a football star, he once said. However, he knew that his talent was elsewhere. Friends eventually gave him money for a recording studio and Snoop was able to record his first demo tapes.

Discovery by Dr. Dre

In his young 20s, Calvin formed the hip-hop group 213 with his cousin Nate Dogg (1969-2011) and Warren G (50), the half-brother of Dr. Dre (56). As a rapper name he chose Snoop Doggy Dogg. He got the name “Snoop” as a child from his mother, because he was a big fan of Snoopy from the series “The Peanuts”. By connecting Warren GS to Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg came into contact with the then already established rapper, who became a superstar with his own group NWA.

When Dr. Dre co-founded the music label “Death Row Records”, he signed a contract and produced his debut album “Doggystyle”. During the production, however, the rapper came into conflict with the law again – this time he was charged with murder. The young musician is said to have killed a gang rival. In fact, his then bodyguard shot the man from the moving car while Snoop Dogg was behind the wheel. In court, the rapper stated that the shot was fired in a self-defense situation. After three years of trial, Snoop Dogg and his bodyguard were acquitted. Despite all this, his first album sold a total of over ten million copies and was number one on the US charts. Snoop Dogg shaped the style of G-Funk and was henceforth known as a gangster rapper.

Friendship with Tupac Shakur

Numerous well-known rappers were under contract with “Death Row Records” in the 1990s. One of them was Tupac Shakur (1971-1996), with whom Snoop quickly befriended. “He was like a little brother to me,” said the rapper about 2Pac in an interview. After Shakur was shot dead on the street in 1996, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg “Death Row Records”. Dre founded his own label, Snoop signed with “No Limit Records” after the CEO Master P. paid a transfer fee to the CEO of “Death Row Records”. He was a gang rival to Snoop Dogg. Because the label still had rights to the rap name, he deleted “Doggy” from his stage name and called himself Snoop Dogg from then on.

Snoop Dogg released a third album on his first label. “Tha Doggfather” was a moderate success for the rapper, but it was of great importance to him. He dedicated the record to his friend Tupac Shakur. The next three albums under the new label were successes with platinum awards for the rapper. But they were mainly characterized by guest musicians who filled the records for Snoop, for which he was often criticized. The collaboration with Dr. Dre brought in additional success. Especially the hit singles “Still DRE” and “The Next Episode” became known worldwide.

Snoop Dogg longed for more

With the musical success, Snoop Dogg began to think outside the box. He was particularly keen to experiment in 2000 when he made his directorial debut under the pseudonym “Michael J. Corleone” in a porn film. The erotic film was a complete success and won one of the most important erotic film awards. Two years later he directed as “Snoop Scorsese” in the film “Snoop Doggs Hustlaz: Diary of a Pimp” and tried again to combine hip hop with eroticism.

That shouldn’t have been Snoop Dogg’s last attempt at getting into the movie business, however. As an actor, he worked in films such as “Starsky & Hutch” and “Bones – Death Is Only the Beginning”, but was only moderately successful.

Finally, the rapper awakened the entrepreneur in himself. He brought out his own Cadillac car model, the “Snoop De Ville”. He also founded his own fashion brand “Snoop Dogg Clothing”, produced action figures and sold skateboards. With the “Ed Hardy” founder Christian Audigier, he sold clothing under the “Rich & Infamous” brand.

Musical chameleon

In 2002 Snoop Dogg found his way back to music. Although he was unable to build on his old successes, he managed to sell his album “Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo $$” under his own label “Doggystyle Records” over two million times. He produced his seventh studio album “R&G (Rythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece” with musician Pharell Williams, among others. From this album came the rapper’s best-known single “Drop it Like it’s Hot”. It immediately rose to number one on the US charts and stayed there for a full five weeks.

With “Sexual Seduction” the rapper proved in 2007 that he can also hit other musical styles. The music video and the melody are reminiscent of bygone times of the 70s and the age of the “disco”. Snoop Dogg also reinvented himself with “Sweat”. In 2010 electro sounds and touches of the music genre house conquered the radios of the world. The rapper used it in his new single and landed another hit with it. Especially the remix with the French DJ David Guetta (53) brought him high chart positions. In 2012 he produced his reggae album “Reincarnated” and called himself Snoop Lion for it. For his electro record “Loose Joise” he took the stage name “DJ Snoopadelic”. However, he quickly reverted to his old rap name.

A living legend

Snoop Dogg has not had a hit like “Drop it Like it’s Hot” in recent years. Although he always produced new music and made it into the charts, album sales have been falling since 2011. More and more often he was to be heard as a guest musician in songs by other artists, such as in “California Gurls” by Katy Perry (36) 2010.

The 50-year-old is a family man. He has been married to his high school sweetheart Shante Taylor (49) for 24 years and has three sons and an adult daughter with her. Today the rapper is particularly popular on TikTok and Youtube. Millions of people watch him comment on animal videos in his soft voice.

Snoop Dogg has become a living rap legend and it is impossible to imagine Hip Hop without it. Thanks to good friends and good luck, he became a world star with an estimated fortune of $ 150 million. It is clear to him today: “Dr. Dre and Warren G saved my life.” However, the peak of his career is likely to come when he takes to the stage on the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2022. Together with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige will make for a lot of nostalgic moments.


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