Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.
Also known as
Snoop Rock, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion, DJ Snoopadelic, Snoopzilla
20 October 1971
Hip hop, Reggae
Death Row Records (1991-1998)
Snoop Dogg first rose to prominence in late 1991 when he was discovered by Dr. Dre and was featured on the song Deep Cover in early 1992. He was then subsequently featured heavily on Dr. Dre's solo debut The Chronic. Snoop's debut album, Doggystyle, was released the following year in 1993 under Death Row Records, debuting at #1 on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. Selling almost a million copies in the first week of its release, Doggystyle ended up selling 11,000,000 albums worldwide and spawned several hit singles, including: "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" and "Gin And Juice". In 1994, Snoop released a soundtrack on Death Row Records for the short film Murder Was the Case, starring himself. His second album Tha Doggfather was released in 1996 and debuted at #1 on both charts with "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" as the lead single. The album sold 3,000,000 albums worldwide.
After leaving Death Row Records in early 1998, Snoop Doggy Dogg signed with No Limit Records/Priority, and also had to change his stage name to "Snoop Dogg" for legal reasons. The three albums he released on the label were: Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told (1998), No Limit Top Dogg (1999), and Tha Last Meal (2000). Snoop then signed with Capitol Records in 2002, where he released Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss. He then signed with Geffen Records in 2004 for his next three albums R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, and Ego Trippin'. Malice n Wonderland (2009) and Doggumentary (2011), were released on Priority Records. Snoop Dogg has starred in motion pictures and hosted several television shows. In September 2009, Snoop was hired by EMI as the chairman of a reactivated Priority Records.
In 2012, he announced a conversion to the Rastafari movement and a new alias, Snoop Lion, after a trip to Jamaica. Under the new moniker, he released a reggae album, Reincarnated, and a documentary film of the same name that was about his Jamaican experience. Bunny Wailer, the last surviving member of the Wailers criticized Snoop's commitment to the Rastafari faith. His thirteenth solo studio album, Bush, was released in May 2015 and marked a return to hip-hop music.
Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. was born in Long Beach, California, the second of three sons. He was named after his stepfather, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Sr. His mother is Beverly Broadus (née Tate). His father, Vernell Varnado, was a Vietnam veteran, singer, and mail carrier who was frequently absent from his life. As a boy, Broadus's parents nicknamed him "Snoopy" because of his appearance and love of the cartoon character from Peanuts, but usually addressed him as Calvin at home. His mother and stepfather divorced in 1975. When he was very young, Broadus began singing and playing piano at Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church. In sixth grade, he began rapping. Broadus's father left the family when he was three months old. A DNA test read by George Lopez on Lopez Tonight revealed Broadus to be of 71% African, 23% Native American, and 6% Europeandescent.
As a teenager, Broadus frequently ran into trouble with the law. He was a member of the Rollin' 20 Crips gang in the Eastside area of Long Beach, although he stated in 1993 that he never joined a gang. Shortly after graduating from high school, he was arrested for possession of cocaine, and for the next three years was frequently in and out of jail or prison (including Wayside Jail). With his cousins Nate Dogg and Lil' ½ Dead and friend Warren G, Snoop recorded homemade tapes as a group called 213, named after the Long Beach area code. One of his early solo freestyles over En Vogue's "Hold On" made it to a mixtape that was heard by influential producer Dr. Dre, who called to invite him to an audition. Former N.W.A associate The D.O.C. taught him how to structure his lyrics and separate the thematics into verses, hooks, and chorus.
1991–1998: Death Row, Doggystyle, and Tha Doggfather
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 because of this intense exposure.
Fueling the ascendance of West Coast G-funk hip hop, 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 about censorship and labeling, with Snoop Dogg often used as an example of violent and misogynistic musicians. Unlike much of the harder-edged gangsta rap artists, Snoop Dogg seemed to show his softer side, according to music journalist Chuck Philips. Rolling Stone music critic Touré 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." 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.
A short film about Snoop Dogg's murder trial, Murder Was the Case, was released in 1994, along with an accompanying soundtrack. On July 6, 1995, Doggy Style Records, Inc., a record label founded by Snoop Dogg, was registered with the California Secretary of State as business entity number C1923139.
Broadus was acquitted of his murder charge on February 20, 1996. According to Broadus, after he was acquitted he did not want to continue living the "gangsta" lifestyle, because he felt that continuing his behavior would result in his assassination or a prison term.
After his acquittal, he, the mother of his son, and their kennel of 20 pit bulls moved into a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) home in the hills of Claremont, California and by August 1996 Doggy Style Records, a subsidiary of Death Row Records, signed the Gap Band's Charlie Wilson as one of its first artists. He collaborated with fellow rap artist Tupac Shakur on the 1996 single "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted". This was one of Shakur's last songs while alive; he was shot on September 7, 1996, in Las Vegas, dying 6 days later.
By the time Snoop Dogg's second album, Tha Doggfather, was released in November 1996, the price of appearing to live the gangsta life had become very evident. Among the many notable hip hop industry deaths and convictions were the death of Snoop Dogg's friend and labelmate Tupac Shakur and the racketeering indictment of Death Row co-founder Suge Knight. Dr. Dre had left Death Row earlier in 1996 because of a contract dispute, so Snoop Dogg co-produced Tha Doggfather with Daz Dillinger and DJ Pooh.
This album featured a distinct change of style from Doggystyle, and the leadoff single, "Snoop's Upside Ya Head", featured a collaboration with Charlie Wilson. The album sold reasonably well but was not as successful as its predecessor. Tha Doggfather had a somewhat softer approach to the G-funk style. After Dr. Dre withdrew from Death Row Records, Snoop realized that he was subject to an ironclad time-based contract (i.e., that Death Row practically owned anything he produced for a number of years), and refused to produce any more tracks for Suge Knight other than the insulting "Fuck Death Row" until his contract expired. In an interview with Neil Strauss in 1998, Snoop Dogg said that though he had been given lavish gifts by his former label, they had withheld his royalty payments.
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.
1998–2006: Signing with No Limit and continued success
Snoop signed with Master P's No Limit Records (distributed by Priority/EMI Records) in 1998 and debuted on the label with Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told that year. His other albums on No Limit were No Limit Top Dogg in 1999 (selling over 1,503,865 copies) and Tha Last Meal in 2000 (selling over 2,000,000). In 1999, his autobiography, Tha Doggfather, was published.
In 2002, he released the album Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, on Priority/Capitol/EMI, selling over 1,300,000 copies. The album featured the hit singles "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace" and "Beautiful", featuring guest vocals by Pharrell. By this stage in his career, Snoop Dogg had left behind his "gangster" image and embraced a "pimp" image.
In 2004, Snoop signed to Geffen Records/Star Trak Entertainment, both distributed by Interscope Records; Star Trak is headed by producer duo the Neptunes, which 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 and Charlie Wilson, which entered the UK chart at No. 2. This was his highest entry ever in the UK chart. The album sold 1,724,000 copies in the U.S. alone, 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 The Hard Way in 2004. Debuting at No.4 on the Billboard 200 and No.1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, it included the single "Groupie Luv". Snoop Dogg appeared in the music video for Korn's "Twisted Transistor" along with fellow rappers Lil Jon, Xzibit, and David Banner,
Snoop Dogg appeared on two tracks from Ice Cube's 2006 album Laugh Now, Cry Later, including "Go to Church", and on several tracks on Tha Dogg Pound's Cali Iz Active the same year. His song "Real Talk" was leaked on the Internet in the summer of 2006 and a video was later released on the Internet. "Real Talk" was dedicated to former Crips leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams and a diss to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California. 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.
Snoop's 2006 album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment debuted on the Billboard 200 at No.5 and sold over 850,000 copies. 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 on the single "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)".
2007–2012: Ego Trippin', Malice n Wonderland and Doggumentary
In July 2007, Snoop Dogg made history by becoming the first artist to release a track as a ringtone before 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 ventured into singing for Bollywood with his first ever rap for an Indian movie, Singh Is Kinng; the song title is also "Singh is Kinng". He appears in the movie as himself. The album featuring the song was released on June 8, 2008 on Junglee Music Records. He released his ninth studio album, Ego Trippin' (selling 400,000 copies in the U.S.), along with the first single, "Sexual Eruption". The single peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 100, featuring Snoop using autotune. The album featured production from QDT (Quik-Dogg-Teddy).
Snoop was appointed an executive position at Priority Records. His tenth studio album, Malice n Wonderland, was released on December 8, 2009. The first single from the album, "Gangsta Luv", featuring The-Dream, peaked at No.35 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album debuted at No.23 on the Billboard 200, selling 61,000 copies its first week, making it his lowest charting album. His third single, "I Wanna Rock", peaked at No.41 on the Billboard Hot 100. The fourth single from Malice n Wonderland, titled "Pronto", featuring Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, was released on iTunes on December 1, 2009. Snoop re-released the album under the name More Malice.
Snoop collaborated with Katy Perry on "California Gurls", the first single from her album Teenage Dream, which was released on May 11, 2010. Snoop can also be heard on the track "Flashing" by Dr. Dre and on Curren$y's song "Seat Change". He was also featured on a new single from Australian singer Jessica Mauboy, titled "Get 'em Girls" (released September 2010). Snoop's latest effort was backing American recording artist, Emii, on her second single entitled "Mr. Romeo" (released October 26, 2010 as a follow-up to "Magic"). Snoop also collaborated with American comedy troupe the Lonely Island in their song "Turtleneck & Chain", in their 2011 album Turtleneck & Chain.
Snoop Dogg's eleventh studio album is Doggumentary. The album went through several tentative titles including Doggystyle 2: Tha Doggumentary and Doggumentary Music: 0020before being released under the final title Doggumentary during March 2011. Snoop was featured on Gorillaz' album Plastic Beach on a track called: "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach" with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, he also completed another track with them entitled "Sumthing Like This Night" which does not appear on Plastic Beach, yet does appear on Doggumentary. He also appears on the latest Tech N9ne album All 6's and 7's (released June 7, 2011) on a track called "Pornographic" which also features E-40 and Krizz Kaliko.
2012–2013: Reincarnated and 7 Days of Funk
On February 4, 2012, Snoop Dogg announced a documentary, Reincarnated, alongside his new upcoming studio album entitled Reincarnated. The film was released March 21, 2013 with the album slated for release April 23, 2013. On July 20, 2012, Snoop Dogg released a new reggae single, "La La La" under the pseudonym Snoop Lion. Three other songs were also announced to be on the album, "No Guns Allowed", "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks", and "Harder Times".
On July 31, 2012, Snoop introduced a new stage name, Snoop Lion. He told reporters that he was rechristened Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest in Jamaica. In response to Frank Ocean coming out, Snoop said hip hop was ready to accept a gay rapper. Snoop recorded an original song for the 2012 fighting game Tekken Tag Tournament 2, titled "Knocc 'Em Down"; and makes a special appearance as a non-playable character in "The Snoop Dogg Stage" arena.
In September of the same year, Snoop released a compilation of electronic music entitled Loose Joints under the moniker DJ Snoopadelic, stating the influence of George Clinton's Funkadelic. In an interview with The Fader magazine, Snoop stated "Snoop Lion, Snoop Dogg, DJ Snoopadelic—they only know one thing: make music that's timeless and bangs."
In December 2012, Snoop released his second single from Reincarnated, "Here Comes the King". It was also announced that Snoop worked a deal with RCA Records to release Reincarnated in early 2013. Also in December 2012, Snoop Dogg released a That's My Work a collaboration rap mixtape with Tha Dogg Pound.
In an interview with Hip Hop Weekly on June 17, producer Symbolyc One (S1) announced that Snoop was working on his final album under his rap moniker Snoop Dogg; "I’ve been working with Snoop, he's actually working on his last solo album as Snoop Dogg." In September 2013 Snoop released a collaboration album with his sons as Tha Broadus Boyz titled Royal Fam. On October 28, 2013, Snoop Dogg released another mixtape entitled That's My Work 2 hosted by DJ Drama. Snoop formed a funk duo with musician Dâm-Funk called 7 Days of Funk and released their eponymous debut album on December 10, 2013.
2014–present: Bush, Coolaid, Neva Left and Bible of Love
In August 2014, a clip surfaced online featuring a sneak preview of a song Snoop had recorded for Pharrell. Snoop's Pharrell Williams-produced album Bush was released on May 12, 2015, with the first single "Peaches N Cream" having been released on March 10, 2015.
On June 13, 2016, Snoop Dogg announced the release date for his album Coolaid, which was released on July 1, 2016.
He headlined a "unity party" for donors at Philly's Electric Factory on July 28, 2016, the last day of the Democratic National Convention.
Released March 1, 2017 through his own Doggy Style Records, "Promise You This" precedes the release of his upcoming Coolaid film based on the album of the same name.
Snoop Dogg released his fifteenth studio album Neva Left in May 2017. He released a gospel album titled Bible of Love on March 16, 2018.
Snoop was featured on Gorillaz' latest album The Now Now on a track called: "Hollywood" with Jamie Principle.
In November 2018, Snoop Dogg announced plans for his Puff Puff Pass tour, which features Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Too $hort, Warren G, Kurupt, and others. The tour will run from November 24 to January 5.
Snoop Dogg has appeared in numerous films and television episodes throughout his career. His starring roles in film includes The Wash (with Dr. Dre) and the horror film Bones. He also co-starred with rapper Wiz Khalifa in the 2012 movie Mac and Devin Go to High School which a sequel has been announced. He has had various supporting and cameo roles in film, including Half Baked, Training Day, Starsky & Hutch, and Brüno.
Snoop Dogg at WrestleMania XXIVat Orlando's Citrus Bowl with Ashley Massaro and tag team partner Maria, March 30, 2008
He has starred in three television programs: sketch-comedy show Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, variety show Dogg After Dark, and reality show Snoop Dogg's Father Hood (also starring Snoop's wife and children). He has starred in episodes of King of the Hill, Las Vegas, and Monk, one episode of Robot Chicken, as well as three episodes of One Life to Live. He has participated in three Comedy Central Roasts, for Flavor Flav, Donald Trump, and Justin Bieber. Cameo television appearances include episodes of The L Word, Weeds, Entourage, I Get That a Lot, and The Price Is Right. He has also appeared in an episode of the YouTube video series, Epic Rap Battles of History as Moses.
In 2000, Snoop (as "Michael J. Corleone") directed Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, a pornographic film produced by Hustler. The 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. Snoop then directed Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary of a Pimp in 2002 (using the nickname "Snoop Scorsese").
Snoop founded his own production company, Snoopadelic Films, in 2005. Their debut film was Boss'n Up, a film inspired by Snoop Dogg's album R&G, starring Lil Jon and Trina.
On March 30, 2008 he appeared at WrestleMania XXIV as a Master of Ceremonies for a tag team match between Maria and Ashley Massaroas they took on Beth Phoenix and Melina.
In December 2013, Snoop performed at the annual Kennedy Center Honors concert, honoring jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. After his performance, Snoop credited Hancock with "inventing hip-hop".
On several occasions, Snoop has appeared at the Players Ball in support of Bishop Don Magic Juan. Juan appeared on Snoop's videos for "Boss Playa", "A.D.I.D.A.C.", "P.I.M.P. (Remix)", "Nuthin' Without Me" and "A Pimp's Christmas Song."
In November 2015, he starred in an Old Navy TV commercial together with Kumail Nanjiani and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
In January 2016, a Change.org petition was created in the hopes of having Dogg narrate the entire Planet Earth series. The petition comes after Snoop narrated a number of nature clips on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
In April 2016, Snoop Dogg performed "Straight outta Compton" and "Fuck tha Police" at Coachella, during a reunion of N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and MC Ren.
He hosted a Basketball fundraiser "Hoops 4 Water" for Flint, Michigan. The event occurred on May 21, 2016 and was run by former Toronto Raptors star and Flint native Morris Peterson.
In the fall of 2016, VH1 premiered a new show featuring Snoop Dogg and his friend Martha Stewart called Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party, featuring games, recipes, and musical guests. Snoop Dogg and Stewart also later starred together in a Super Bowl commercial for T-Mobile during Super Bowl LI in February 2017.
Snoop currently hosts a revival of The Joker's Wild, which spent its first two seasons on TBS before moving to TNT in January 2019.
Style and rap skills
Kool Moe Dee ranks Snoop at No. 33 in his book There's a God on the Mic, and says he has "an ultra-smooth, laidback delivery" and "flavor-filled melodic rhyming". Peter Shapiro describes Snoop's delivery as a "molasses drawl" and AllMusic notes his "drawled, laconic rhyming" style. Kool Moe Dee refers to Snoop's use of vocabulary, saying he "keeps it real simple...he simplifies it and he's effective in his simplicity".
Snoop is known to freestyle some of his lyrics on the spot for some songs – in the book How to Rap, Lady of Rage says, "Snoop Dogg, when I worked with him earlier in his career, that's how created his stuff... he would freestyle, he wasn't a writer then, he was a freestyler," and The D.O.C. states, "Snoop's [rap] was a one take willy, but his shit was all freestyle. He hadn't written nothing down. He just came in and started busting. The song was "Tha Shiznit"—that was all freestyle. He started busting and when we got to the break, Dre cut the machine off, did the chorus and told Snoop to come back in. He did that throughout the record. That's when Snoop was in the zone then."
Peter Shapiro says that Snoop debuted on "Deep Cover" with a "shockingly original flow – which sounded like a Slick Rick born in South Carolina instead of South London" and adds that he "showed where his style came from by covering Slick Rick's 'La Di Da Di'". Referring to Snoop's flow, Kool Moe Dee calls him "one of the smoothest, funkiest flow-ers in the game". How to Rap also notes that Snoop is known to use syncopation in his flow to give it a laidback quality, as well as 'linking with rhythm' in his compound rhymes, using alliteration, and employing a "sparse" flow with good use of pauses.
Snoop re-popularized the use of -izzle speak, particularly in the pop and hip-hop music industry.
In 2014, he became a grandparent.
He endorsed Hillary Clinton for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
- 1993: Doggystyle
- 1996: Tha Doggfather
- 1998: Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told
- 1999: No Limit Top Dogg
- 2000: Tha Last Meal
- 2002: Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss
- 2004: R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece
- 2006: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
- 2008: Ego Trippin'
- 2009: Malice n Wonderland
- 2011: Doggumentary
- 2013: Reincarnated
- 2015: Bush
- 2016: Coolaid
- 2017: Neva Left
- 2018: Bible of Love
- 2000: Tha Eastsidaz (with Tray Deee and Goldie Loc as Tha Eastsidaz)
- 2001: Duces 'n Trayz: The Old Fashioned Way (with Tray Deee and Goldie Loc as Tha Eastsidaz)
- 2004: The Hard Way (with Nate Dogg and Warren G as 213)
- 2011: Mac & Devin Go to High School (with Wiz Khalifa)
- 2013: 7 Days of Funk (with Dâm-Funk as 7 Days of Funk)
- 2013: Royal Fam (with Spanky Danky and Dirty D as Tha Broadus Boyz)
- 2016: Cuzznz (with Daz Dillinger)