SNOOP DOGG Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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As the embodiment of ’90s gangsta rap, Snoop Doggy Dogg blurred the lines between reality and fiction. Introduced to the world through Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Snoop Dogg quickly became the most famous star in rap, partially because of his drawled, laconic rhyming and partially because the violence that his lyrics implied seemed real, especially after he was arrested on charges of being a murder accomplice. The arrest certainly strengthened his myth, and it helped his debut album, 1993’s Doggystyle , become the first debut album to enter the charts at number one, but in the long run, it hurt his career.


Snoop had to fight charges throughout 1994 and 1995, and while he was eventually cleared, it hurt his momentum. The Doggfather, his second album, wasn’t released until November 1996, and by that time, pop and hip-hop had burned itself out on gangsta-rap. The Doggfather sold half as well as its predecessor, which meant that Snoop remained a star, but he no longer had the influence he had just two years before. Nicknamed Snoop by his mother because of his appearance, Calvin Broadus (b. October 20, 1972) was raised in Long Beach, California, where he frequently ran into trouble with the law. Not long after his high school graduation, he was arrested for possession of cocaine, beginning a period of three years where he was often imprisoned. He found escape from a life of crime through music.


Snoop Dogg began recording homemade tapes with his friend Warren G, who happened to be the step-brother of N.W.A.’s Dr. Dre’s. Warren G gave a tape to Dre, who was considerably impressed with Snoop’s style and began collaborating with the rapper. When Dr. Dre’s decided to make his tenative first stab at a solo career in 1992 with the theme song for the film Deep Cover, he had Snoop rap with him. “Deep Cover” started a buzz about Snoop Dogg that escalated into full-fledged mania when Dr. Dre released his debut album, The Chronic, on Death Row Records late in 1992. Snoop Dogg rapped on The Chronic as much as Dr. Dre’s, and his drawled vocals were as important to the record’s success as its P-Funk bass grooves. Dr. Dre’s singles “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” and “Dre Day,” which prominently featured Snoop, became Top 10 pop crossover hits in the spring of 1993, setting the stage for Snoop Doggy Dogg’s much-anticipated debut album, Doggystyle .


While he was recording the album with producer Dr. Dre in August, Snoop was arrested in connection with the drive-by-shooting death of Phillip Woldermarian. According to the charges, the rapper’s bodyguard, McKinley Lee shot Phillip Woldermarian as Snoop drove the vehicle; the rapper claimed it was self-defense, alleging that the victim was stalking Snoop. Following a performance at the MTV Music Awards in September 1993, he turned himself to authorities.


After many delays, Doggystyle was finally released on Death Row in November of 1993, and it became the first debut album to enter the charts at number one. Despite reviews that claimed the album was a carbon copy of The Chronic, the Top 10 singles “What’s My Name?” and “Gin & Juice” kept Doggystyle at the top of the charts during early 1994, as did the considerable controversy over Snoops arrest and his lyrics, which were accused of being exceeding violent and sexist.


During an English tour in the spring of 1994, tabloids and a Tory minister pleaded for the government to kick the rapper out of the country, largely based on his arrest. Snoop exploited his impending trial by shooting a short film based on the Doggystyle song “Murder Was the Case,” and releasing an accompanying soundtrack which debuted at number one in 1994. By that time, Doggystyle had gone quadruple platinum.


Snoop Dogg spent much of 1995 preparing for the case, which finally went to trial in late 1995. In February of 1996, he was cleared of all charges and he began working on his second album, this time without Dr. Dre’s as producer. Nevertheless, when The Doggfather was finally released in November 1996, it beared all the evidence of a Dr. Dre-produced, G-funk record. The album was greeted with mixed reviews, and it initially sold well, but it failed to produce a hit along the lines of “What’s My Name?” and “Gin & Juice.” Part of the reason of the moderate success of The Doggfather was the decline of gangsta rap.


2pac Shakur, who had become a friend of Snoop Dogg during 1996, died weeks before the release of The Doggfather, Dr. Dre had left Death Row to his partner Suge Knight, who was indicted on racketeering charges by the end of 1996. Consequently, Snoops second album got lost in the shuffle, stalling at sales of two million, which was disappointing for a superstar. Perhaps sensing something was wrong, Snoop began to revamp his public image, moving away from his gangsta roots towards a calmer lyrical aesthetic.


He also began making gestures toward the rock community, signing up to tour with Lollapalooza 1997 and talking about two separate collaborations with Beck and Marilyn Manson. The solo Da game is to be sold, not to be told , Snoop’s first effort for new label No Limit, followed in 1998; No Limit Top Dogg appeared a year later.


Snoop Doggy Dogg was born Calvin Broadus on October 20, 1972 in California. He acquired his nickname from his mother after the famous cartoon dog. Snoop’s conflicts with the law began during his late teens when he was a member of the Crips street gang and arrested for cocaine possession and spent some time in jail. The music world first became aware of Snoop Doggy Dogg when he appeared on the soundtrack for Deep Cover and when Dr. Dre hit it big with “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang.”


Snoop stood out in Dr. Dre’s videos and on his LP, The Chronic, with his laid-back appearance and art for rapping. Snoop’s lucky break in the music industry had been making tapes at home with his friend, Warren Griffin aka Warren G, and getting the tapes to Dr. Dre (Warren G’s step-brother). As Snoop’s star began to rise, controversies outside the music studio crept in. Snoop’s bodyguard was accused of murder in a drive-by shooting and Snoop was accused as his accomplice because he was driving the vehicle. The two claimed self-defense was the reason for the shooting. Snoop was later acquitted of the charges in 1996 with the help of O.J. Simpson lawyer, Johnny Cochran.


Snoop Doggy Dogg’s debut LP, Doggystyle was released and became the first debut LP to debut at #1. The LP contained 2 Top 10 pop hits: “What’s My Name?” and “Gin And Juice.” He also had some moderate success with the tracks “Doggy Doggy World” and “Lodi Dodi."Rolling Stone said the LP “…is filled with verbal and vocal feats that meet its three-mile-high expectations…” and Entertainment Weekly stated, “…it’s easy to be impressed one moment and appalled the next…"Snoop hit the Top 40 with “Gin And Juice.” Snoop released Murder Was The Case which was meant to be a soundtrack to a short film based on the title track.


By the end of the year, Snoop has won an MTV Music Video Award for Best Rap Video ("Doggy Dogg World") and was named Best Rapper in Rolling Stone’s annual critics poll. Snoop released Tha Doggfather and continued the hip-hop and rap sounds with gansta themes. Entertainment Weekly said of the LP: “…Even without Dr. Dre behind the board, Snoop and his studio team concoct an intoxicating blend of old-school funk and gangsta cool…” The LP sold well but the field of male rappers releasing hit LPs overshadowed his new work.


Also during the year Snoop settled out of court in a wrongful death suit brought against him three years earlier by a family accusing Snoop of being involved with the shooting death of 22 year old Phillip Woldemariam who was shot and killed by Snoop’s bodyguard. Snoop returned to the pop charts with his collaboration with Nate Dogg on “Never Leave Me Alone.” Snoop toured with the Lollapalooza tour in the summer.


Snoop Doggy Dogg and Death Row Records were sued by a Virginia concert promoter who alleged they tricked her into transporting packages containing marijuana. The concert promoter was asked in January to pick up some packages at a nearby hotel and to deliver them to a club where Snoop was to perform. She was then arrested but not charged. The packages contained seven pounds of marijuana and the promoter feels she was conned by Snoop and/or his people. The lawsuit asked for over $500,000 for such issues as embarrassment, humiliation, fraud, and false imprisonment. Snoop was not charged with anything from the incident because he did not take possession of the packages. # 137 Singles Artist of the Year


Snoop told the Long Beach Press - Telegram that he was leaving Death Row Records for fear of his life: “I definitely feel my life is in danger if I stay in Death Row Records. That’s part of the reason why I’m leaving…. there’s nothing over there. Suge Knight is in jail, the president; Dr. Dre left and 2Pac is dead. It’s telling me that I’m either going to be dead or in jail or I’m going to be nothing… They don’t know how to run business. That’s why their business is gone… and I’m no longer a part of them.” Snoop could be found trying his acting in the movies Half-Baked and Ride.


Snoop Doggy Dogg was arrested in California for alleged marijuana possession. Snoop was booked with one count of “misdemeanor marijuana possession” and then released pending a court appearance. Snoop received probation for possession of marijuana. It was uncertain if the probation requirements would affect his plans to tour the U.S. Snoop plead no contest to the charges. Snoop Doggy Dogg’s LP, Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told, was released and debuted at #1 selling over 500,000 copies in its first week of release - the LP topped the Billboard 200 Albums chart for 2 weeks and the R&B Albums chart for 3 weeks. # 128 Singles Artist of the Year


Snoop Dogg’s next LP, Top Dogg was released and topped the Billboard R&B Album chart for a week. Snoop hit the bookstores with his autobiography, Tha Doggfather: The Times, Trials, And Hardcore Truths Of Snoop Dogg. MTV: 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made includes “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” (with Dr. Dre) at # 32. # 132 Singles Artist of the Year


Snoop was nominated for a Grammy Award for Rap Performance by a Duo or Group ("Still D.R.E.” with Dr. Dre). Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, MC Ren, and Ice Cube kicked off a tour together in California.


Snoop hit the Top 40 helping out on Mariah Carey’s “Crybaby” and helping out on Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode.” Dead Man Walkin’ was released - the LP contained tracks from Snoop’s Death Row Record years.


Snoop released Tha Last Meal. Snoop topped the Billboard R&B / Hip-Hop LP Chart with Tha Last Meal.
Snoop’s former business collaborator Suge Knight (the jailed head of Death Row Records) ran a sarcastic advertisement toward Snoop leaving Death Row - “Congratulations Snoop Doggy Dogg From Suge Knight and Death Row Records for your recent success with Dead Man Walkin’ and Tha Last Meal.


Death Row knows success for a Snoop Doggy Dogg album means $$$$ for Suge Knight. Keep it up, because you know Suge Knight eats off your next three albums as well as your previous seven albums!!!” Snoop was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group ("The Next Episode” with Dr. Dre). Tha Last Meal was certified platinum. It was reported that Snoop Dogg would be starring in the films Training Day and The Wash. Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, and Beenie Man, were charged with indecency accusations after performing in Jamaica - the charges stem from indecent language used during their performances.


Snoop’s video for “Lay Low” was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video. Death Row’s Greatest Hits was released. Snoop was charged with marijuana possession in Ohio when his tour bus was stopped for speeding by state troopers. Snoop could be seen starring in the thriller, Bones and the comedy The Wash. Snoop pleaded no guilty to October’s marijuana charges.