Real Name: Cordozer Calvin Broadus
D.O.B.: October 20th, 1972 Long Beach, California
Born and raised in Long Beach County, California, Snoop is the face of the west coasts’ second generation of Gangsta Rap and the voice behind Dr. Dre’s revolutionary G-Funk patent. Simply the coolest and most famous west coast rap artist to emerge from Los Angeles, Snoop was and always will be known synonymously with his laid back, lyrically lazy slurred drawl with chronic induced delivery over a distinct brand of Long Beach funk that swept the music industry and changed the tempo of and provided the identity for west coast hip-hop. Snoop Dogg is the modern reincarnation of Bob Marley and Miles Davis in the genre of gangsta rap.
Snoop is best known as Dr. Dre’s leading protégé from day one of the birth of G-Funk music. An original artist from the infamous Death Row Records label, he boasts a collection of ten solo album releases all of which hitting multi-platinum success, also one of the most collaborated artists in hip-hop today. Snoop Dogg embodies the essence and reflection of rap music today. With his iconic stature, he has marketed his name into a multi-million dollar industry. Putting his name to his own clothing label, cannabis flavoured candies, Cadillac cars, alcoholic drink, film production companies and record labels. Starring in his own television series, several movie credits, charity events and coaching his son’s junior football team, moving above and beyond the career of music, Snoop Dogg is a worldwide corporation.
Calvin Broadus, whom was nicknamed ‘Snoopy’ by his mother as a child was active in music from a young age singing in his church choir. Growing up in the lower economic areas of Los Angeles, young Calvin often found himself in negative company, doing drugs and selling them in school. Consequently he often fell on the wrong side of the local law enforcement caught selling dope whilst attending Long Beach Polytechnic High School. He discovered his talent while participating in freestyle battles in the school yard. After graduating high school, Snoop still accompanied himself in negative crowds becoming an active member of the Rollin’ 20 Crips gang in L.B.C. landing in and out jail over the following three years. Pushed by older inmates and peers to make something positive of himself, he began making home-made demo tapes with a small crew. His cousin Nathanial Hale, (Nate Dogg) and best friend Warren Griffen III (Warren G) of whom was a step-brother of Dr. Dre, an established member of The Wreckin’ Crew soon to form the world famous N.W.A. group. Originally Snoop and Nate’s cousin Lil’ Half Dead was also part of the group called ‘213’ from the Long Beach area code. (213) Together the trio worked together at parties in Long Beach while still actively leading the gang life and selling drugs for money, Snoop continued his love for music through 213.
Warren G managed to release a demo tape of 213 to his brother, Dre during the time off after he left Ruthless Records. One day in the studio with Dre, Warren tried to convince Dre to hear the tape on the bottom of a large pile of hopefuls. Catching Dre on the telephone, Warren grabbed the tape and played it, blasting the speakers with this unique Long Beach stoned drawl of Snoop Dogg and Warren laced with Nate’s beautiful soulful R&B talents. A connection was established and Dre invited Snoop and Nate to the studio to record a further demo for him. The timing was perfect as Dre had joined forces with local Compton entrepreneur, Suge Knight to form a record label under Interscope Records called Death Row Records. Dre was scouting for new talent to head the new label, 213 stars had filled this position. Using Dick Griffey’s Solar Records studios, Dre collaborated with Snoop Dogg for Death Row’s first commission, the title track on the soundtrack for the film, Deep Cover. The most successful chemistry in hip-hop history of record sales was formulated. Dre and Snoop became Batman and Robin in gangsta rap. Snoop introduced his Long Beach family to Death Row Records for Dr. Dre’s début solo album, The Chronic. Cousins, Nate Dogg, RBX and Delmar Arnaud (Dat Nigga Daz) with recording partner, Ricardo Brown(Kurupt) commonly referred to as Tha Dogg Pound or the LBC Crew. Death Row Records had established themselves on the market with a new distinct Compton meets Long Beach genre. Together with Dre’s revolutionary production creativity Snoop became the voice of the new G-Funk takeover. Snoop appeared on Dre’s The Chronic as much as he did to establish the record as the highest selling hip-hop album ever. Snoop Dogg was made.
After the immediate success of Dre’s solo album, the west coast was paused in anticipation of this new breakthrough sound of G-Funk. Death Row commissioned the release of Snoop’s debut in 1993, Doggystyle. The greatest single-selling album in hip-hop ever surpassing Dre’s unprecedented sales due to the intense exposure of Snoop on The Chronic, Snoop’s album debuted on the charts at number one. (The first time ever an artist’s debut album had debuted number one on the charts) Doggystyle spawned a string of singles booming onto the top ten of the charts, “Who Am I? (What’s My Name)”, “Murder Was The Case” and “Gin N Juice” to promote the ascendance of west coast G-Funk rap.
During the production of Doggystle, Snoop and bodyguard McKinley Lee were involved in a murder trial. Arrested in August of ‘93 (month before the release of the album) for fatally shooting local rival L.A. gangbanger and obsessed fan, Philip Woldermarian. Represented by notorious defence lawyer, Johnny Cochran and Death Row attorney, David Kenner, Snoop remained on trial for his life over the next three years. Doggystyle was released in November to unimaginable accomplishment.
Twenty year old Ethiopian immigrant, Philip Woldermarian was shot in the back by Snoop’s bodyguard, Lee in August 1993 outside Snoop’s Palms apartment. After Snoop’s Crip homeboy Sean Abrams flashed his gang sign at Woldermarian and two friends who drove past, the car stopped as both parties exchanged epithets. Bodyguard Lee raced down the stairs to aid his star. Woldermarian’s party drove off. Less than one hour later Snoop was at the wheel of his Jeep with Lee riding shotgun and Abrams in the back. They prowled the neighbourhood for Woldermarian and crew finding them at nearby Woodbine Park dining on Mexican food. The following accounts were in court room disputes. Snoop’s lawyer, David Kenner, Johnnie Cochran for Abrams and Donald Re for Lee all stated Woldermarian reached for his .38 he wore in his waistband forcing Lee to defend by drawing his own gun and shoot the victim. Prosecution countered that Snoop’s party pursued the crew into the park and Woldermarian was shot in the buttock and back, how could that be self defence? The case continued for the following three years. Showing support, Suge Knight, Tupac Shakur and new Death Row member, Hammer were present at most hearings.
The singles, “What’s My Name” and “Gin and Juice” and the album itself persisted on the mainstream charts through 1994 even as storm raged over the murder trial and his allegedly violent and misogynist lyrics. Gangsta rap became the centre of embroiled arguments for censorship and labelling, with Snoop often used as a scapegoat of musicians promoting this so-called gangsta mythology used to market their talents. Parental and community groups pressed on with a war to ban hip-hop and gangsta rap, as much publicity as they and Snoop’s murder trial received the more records artists sold. Snoop’s gangsta identity grew monstrously.
A short film about the trial called, Murder Was the Case, and an accompanying soundtrack, were released in 1994. Maybe utilising Snoop’s legal situation as a powerful marketing tool, the film (directed by Dr. Dre himself) portrayed a situation with him entangled in a battle for his life over gang violence. The title track, first released late on Snoop’s Doggystyle record was re-released on the soundtrack with a host of various artists associated with Death Row Records.
Towards the end of 1994 at The Source Awards, Snoop won the New Artist Of The Year (solo) award and the high distinction of Lyricist Of The Year. Also the year brought Snoop the MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video. (‘Doggy Dogg World’) A video starring the Chocolate Lovelites depicting a Players Ball evening with the entire Death Row family dressed as their favourite 1970’s star. Also starring blaxploitation stars, Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree and Fred Williamson in the video.
Later at the 1995 Snoop again was shown appreciation from the mainstream music industry by awarding him Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist at the esteemed American Music Awards. Snoop had reached worldwide fame, all the while spending most of his available time fighting long arduous hours in the court rooms of California embroiled in his murder trial.
Three major advantages swayed for the defence. Kenner had beaten down on the prosecution’s witness’ credibility forcing jurors to distrust their accounts. Secondly one of Woldermarian’s accompaniments had suddenly changed his story, explaining that Woldermarian had drawn his .38 first and after the shooting had removed the gun from his hand to ensure Snoop’s conviction. And the third was the key evidence of bloody clothing and spent shell casings had been destroyed or removed from the property room at the L.A.P.D.’s Pacific Division. By 1996 the jury returned with a not-guilty verdict on all counts. Acquitted on self-defence grounds, Snoop was collected outside the courthouse by Suge’s personal chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce and Death Row celebrated the decision with a lavish party held at Monty’s Steakhouse that apart from Death Row employees and stars also included members of the jury.
After three years centred in the well-publicised dramatic murder trial, Snoop had walked out a free man, shaken and matured with a renewed sense of appreciation for his illustrious celebrity lifestyle. Snoop had taken a more responsible and professional approach to his daily routine, spending more time in the studio and concentrating on his music finding an alternative to the realism and carelessness of the gangsta persona he’s carried with him. This same year saw the release of Snoop’s follow up solo album, Tha Doggfather.
The year of 1996 saw the most devastating period in west coast hip-hop especially in the Death Row family. The most dominant record label had degenerated into a violent madness. Dr. Dre had parted company with Suge Knight and his criminal enterprise seemingly taking over the music company’s business affairs. Snoop found himself alone with Suge Knight bearing down on him, dodging criminal activity with gang members swarming the studios and controversy surrounding a gang-related murder, (Rolling 60’s member Kelly Jamerson) at a Death Row held party after the Soul Train awards in Wilshire, L.A. in March ’95 and several gang-related stompings and gun threatening violence in the studios, namely the violent beating of ex Death Row associate rapper, Sam Sneed, a close friend of Dr. Dre who was invited to the studio to assist on the recording of Snoop’s second album. Death Row members had intensified beefs with the Bad Boy label and Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs, newly released Dr. Dre and the incoming baggage of Tupac’s enemies. It overcrowded an artist’s creativity. This environment was not conducive to a focused career away from crime for Snoop Dogg. His second album was produced by fellow Long Beach labelmate and cousin, Daz and DJ Pooh. A hasty recording development as Death Row was facing extreme outside criminal elements and bad press due to the unfortunate assassination-style death of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas in September. Tha Doggfather was released in November ’96.
However, by the time Tha Doggfather entered the market at a critical juncture in the west coast rap genre. Both the revelation and innovative nature of G-Funk and gangsta rap had taken a momentary swing for another direction and subsequently the sales of this release suffered. Due to the negative energy surrounding the death of Snoop’s labelmate Tupac Shakur and the probation violation sentencing of Death Row co-founder Suge Knight, the west coast image had been besmirched. Dr. Dre had left Death Row earlier that year, and so Snoop co-produced the album himself with Daz Dillinger and DJ Pooh. The anticipation of a follow-up album to the mass-success of Doggystle marketed the release well, selling two million copies debuting number one on the U.S. charts. This was to be Snoop’s final Death Row LP.
This year turned the page to a new chapter in west coast rap, Snoop had officially bailed on Death Row Records, travelling down south to the safety of No-Limit Records, a New Orleans based record label owned by mega mogul, Percy ‘Master-P’ Miller. No-Limit carried a strong enough reputation to protect Snoop from the ferocious retaliations of Suge Knight and his Mob Piru gang of brutal criminals threatening his livelihood. Powerful enough was No-Limit to harness the talent of Snoop Dogg’s hardcore, misogynist gangsta rap career, he joined the New Orleans camp to work on several solo albums. Snoop turned a new professional leaf shortening his name to ‘Snoop Dogg’ as he branched out to further his acting career with Master-P’s film company as well as releasing several albums with his new production team. Snoop Dogg still remained close companions with Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound members who had also jumped the sinking ship of Death Row while Suge Knight was incarcerated.
Snoop Dogg appeared in the No Limit film, I Got The Hook-Up and Hot Boys showcasing his acting prowess. The films sold according to their rap-cult following and stayed within the interests of the No-Limit and Snoop Dogg fanbase. Also in 1998 Snoop released his début No Limit album, Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told again the album debuted number one on the U.S. charts and remained so for two weeks, a double platinum achievement. He released his second No-Limit and fourth career album in 1999, Top Dogg with sloping sales reaching platinum rate, Snoop had tired from the usual laid-back drawl he is so famous for, repetitive beats over weak over-played topics of celebrity gangsta lifestyle had taken it’s toll proving his need to recreate himself in the hip-hop market. He appeared in several more hip-hop movies, introducing his former Long Beach gang associates to his repertoire, Snoop produced the film Tha Eastsidaz named after Tray Dee and Goldie Loc, members of the rap duo Tha Eastsidaz. They were to influence Snoop’s brave pursuit of sole ownership of his trademark bringing in the new century.
Snoop rejoined forces with Dr. Dre in 1999 for Dre’s long-awaited follow up album, Chronic 2001 collaborating on again another Dre album that became one of the highest selling albums ever selling in excess of six million copies worldwide. The legendary duo was back for another classic. They followed this new height of success for the greatest hip-hop concert tour ever assembled in 2000 and took up a lot of Snoop’s free time this year. Teaming together with Aftermath Entertainment, Snoop toured with old friend, Dr. Dre on The Up In Smoke Tour with Ice Cube’s Westside Connection (Mack 10 & WC), Eminem and his group D12, The DOC, Warren G, Nate Dogg and Daz also appeared together to collaborate on the legendary performances of Death Row’s finest masterpieces.
By the year 2000 Snoop fulfilled his contract with No-Limit bringing out his third album for them entitled, The Last Meal so called because Snoop’s endeavour to fly his career solo and manage his own record label. This album would be the last meal anyone will eat off his plate. Débuting at number four on the charts, the album carried platinum sales. Snoop Dogg again turned a new chapter, heading into a bolder, more mature direction taking hold of his own destiny and controlling the sole operations of his career. The next year Snoop had left No-Limit on mutual terms and opened his own record label under Priority Records called ‘Doggystyle records’ signing his homeboys, The Eastsidaz to head his new label.
This new era of enlightenment gave Snoop the inspiration to harness his own marketing wealth. He branched the business of ‘Snoop Dogg’ out into a line of clothing based on his style of dress. “Snoop Dogg Clothing” company was created, sales opened in the large U.S. middle priced market of Macy’s. The new urban street wear sold well with young enthusiasts of Snoop’s work. He released an autobiography that same year, Dogg Days. He also put his name to a pornographic film called Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle with Hustler Magazine Films. He opened the film in his own house in L.A. with a host of friends celebrating Snoop’s birthday party. The Eastsidaz filmed prominently through the film. With several music videos staged among various X-rated pornographic scenes with professional porn stars. This won the 2002 Adult Video News awards for Best Music soundtrack and Top Selling Tape of 2001 for “Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle.” This started several film projects released off the label. He again stretched his acting career further, starring in more mainstream films with John Singleton in Baby Boy and a cameo performance with Denzel Washington in Training Day winning him the MTV Movie Award for Best Cameo in 2002. ‘Bones’ was released by his own label with accompanying soundtrack and Snoop and Dre collaborated together again for a cult classic remake of the 70’s film, Car Wash called The Wash with Eminem, DJ Pooh and George Washington. A mixed development of soundtrack with Dre’s Aftermath and Snoop’s Doggystyle artists was released to coincide with the film.
A seemingly endless ascension of fame, Snoop continued to market his name, releasing a designer fleet of cars from Cadillac called the Snoop Deville customised to a pimp-influenced fashion. Snoop Dogg Clothing released a line of sneakers called Doggy Biscuits. Cannabis flavoured lollies, Chronic Candy was developed. Snoop’s clothing company was awarded Best Celebrity Clothing Line at the 2002 Urban Fashion Awards. By 2002 he claimed he was remodelling himself for a more positive and responsible image by giving up the drugs (smoking marijuana). He was by now coaching his son’s junior football league season and felt the need to be more responsible for his role model. He started the charity organisation for under privileged children in Los Angeles with ‘Pee Wee Football League’ (Snoop Youth Football league) and Snooperbowl.
Later that year he released the album, Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Bo$$, which featured the hit singles and videos “From Da Chuuuch To Da Palace” and “Beautiful” featuring guest vocals by the Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and production work from the Neptunes team. The single, Beautiful and the album won Snoop a host of awards over the next year internationally.
The much anticipated project from the days of way back was finally released, unveiling the reunion of 213. The first rap group Snoop entered the game with as a teenager. Consisting of long time best friends, Warren G and Nate Dogg, who grew up together in Long Beach, California working together for almost 20 years now, released 213: The Hard Way which featured the single, “Groupie Luv” and reached number four on the U.S. Billboard Album Charts.
The award-winning collaboration with Pharrell and the Neptunes production found Snoop joining forces with their record label Star Trek to release Snoop’s seventh solo album, R&G: Rhythm & Gangsta The Masterpeice. “Drop It Like It’s Hot” (featuring Pharrell), the first single released from the album, was a huge mainstream hit and became his first single to reach number one. The single won another accolade of awards. His third release was “Signs,” featuring Justin Timberlake & Charlie Wilson. The album was his seventh platinum achievement.
Snoop’s personal life was fading in his celebrity success. Earlier that year on May 21, 2004, he filed for divorce from his wife Shante Broadus, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking joint custody of their three children, Corde, Cordell, and Cori. They have since reconciled.
Early 2005 Snoop Dogg starred in another box office movie, Soul Plane. He started his new enterprise, Snoopadelic Films. Snoop’s own movie production company opening with Boss’n Up, a film inspired by R&G starring Lil Jon and Trina. Snoop Dogg recently announced to British Radio that his next album, The Blue Carpet Treatment, will feature production by the ever-platinum long-time partner Dr. Dre, In addition, Snoop will be featured on Dre’s proclaimed (and much delayed) masterpiece Detox.
Snoop is participating in a charity single written and produced by the legendary Michael Jackson. His part has reportedly already been recorded. “I Have This Dream”, is scheduled to be released in mid-late February 2006.
- 1993: Doggystyle (4x Platinum)
- 1996: Tha Doggfather (2x Platinum)
- 1998: Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told (2x Platinum)
- 1999: No Limit Top Dogg (Platinum)
- 2000: Dead Man Walkin
- 2000: Tha Last Meal (Platinum)
- 2002: Snoop Dogg Presents: Doggy Style Allstars Vol. 1
- 2002: Paid Tha Cost to Be Da Boss (Platinum)
- 2004: R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece (Platinum)
- 2005: Welcome To Tha Chuuch:Tha Album
- 2006: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
- 2008: Ego Trippin’
- 2010: Malice In Wonderland
- 1998 I Got the Hook Up
- 1998 Half Baked
- 1999 Hot Boyz
- 1999 Urban Menace
- 2000 The Eastsidaz
- 2001 Crime Partners 2000
- 2001 Baby Boy
- 2001 Training Day
- 2001 Bones
- 2001 Wash (2001) (Ws)
- 2003 Pauly Shore Is Dead
- 2003 Old School
- 2004 Starsky & Hutch
- 2004 Soul Plane
- 2005 Boss’n Up
- 2006 The Tenants