There are few rappers as iconic as Snoop Dogg — and hardly any when you just count those who haven’t gone into retirement.
And Snoop is definitely not retired. For close to two decades, the 37-year-old has continued to produce hit after hit. He’s known for working with variety, from kicking it with Dr. Dre to rhyming with astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. His brand even stretches to video games.
And the father of three is a businessman about it, with a smooth delivery and a long line of products — clothes, headphones, even dog toys. In fact, Snoop (born Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr.) calls himself “Snooperman” for his prowess.
This summer, the Grammy-nominated rapper is touring with rock-blues-reggae band Slightly Stoopid — a group that shares Snoop’s passion for lighting up something other than music — on the Blazed and Confused Tour.
Always the busy man, Snoop e-mailed in his answers to questions. Read on for an unedited trip in Snoop slang.
Q: You’ve been performing for so long — what drives you?
A: makin hits and keepin tha fans happy n wantin more. I can’t stay put for long so I need to be workin and crankin out hits and projects. Touring. Music. TV. Films. Headphones. Football leagues. That’s what keeps it movin. U aint gotta get ready when you stay ready.
Q: How have you evolved through the course of your career?
A: From music to films to television to branding to video games to a project comin to a hood near you now. I stay busy and projects look for me. I aint goin nowhere no time soon and that’s how I continue to evolve. By stayin relevant and makin hits.
Q: How do you describe yourself?
A: laid back. Hard workin. People person. Original gangsta. I think I covered all tha bases.
Q: What is your favorite role in your life?
A: Father and Husband — u can’t beat that feeling. Coach Snoop for 3000 kids is pretty cool too.
Q: How do you balance it all?
A: I’m Snooperman — I do it all. I go in tha booth and get it done. Its a lot but I think I do it pretty good.
Q: Are your kids (Corde, 15, Cordell, 12, and Cori, 10) musically inclined? Would you want them to be rappers or in the music industry?
A: Choc (Cori) is. She wanna be a singer. Rook (Cordell) gonna make a good accountant. Spank (Corde) doin tha football thang at Long Beach Poly. I support whatevr they wanna do. I know they gonna be great at whatever they choose to do. I don’t encourage them to be rappers and I know they don’t wanna be but I do know Choc can sing and she gonna be good at it if she stay workin hard at it.
Q: You recently rapped with Buzz Aldrin?
A: it was dope! We had a blast. Talib Kweli was with us too. We had a good time in tha studio that day. I had to get down with Buzz — he a legend in what he do and an American Icon, ya dig?!?
Q: You have also done collaborations with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar — how was that?
A: It was last summer when we had a tour stop in Chicago — the day before we had a day off and did a music video. He a real good dude and we both had a blast — tha song and video turned out to be a banger and gonna be around for a minute!
Q: How do you choose these collaborators?
A: if u hot and make hot ish, Imma make sure and get down with ya! Break bread or fake dead — everyone else move out tha way!
Q: I read that you helped raise money for an art center in your native Long Beach, Calif.
A: yezzir. U don’t know where u goin unless u know where u come from. I can’t forget where I came from and gonna continue to give bacc.
Q: Thoughts on the movement toward legalizing marijuana?
A: 5th Amendment ...
Q: As an icon of old-school rap, how have you evolved as hip-hop has evolved?
A: its only gonna get bigger and better and more universal. I do my best to stay with tha times and keep makin hits that are timeless and relevant. Goin on 20 years so I must be doin sumthin right!
Q: How would you define success?
A: Snoop Dogg. Hard work ethic. Long hours. Never sayin no. Makin hits. Break bread or fake dead.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article