Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), better known by his stage name Snoop Dogg (previously Snoop Doggy Dogg), is a Grammy Award-nominated American rapper, record producer, and actor. Snoop is best known as an MC in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of producer Dr. Dre's most notable protégés. He popularized the catch phrase suffix "-izzle," a slang term developed by Oakland, California rap group 3X Krazy in the mid-1990s and used by Bay Area rapper E-40.
His mother nicknamed him "Snoopy" as a child because of the way he dressed and because of his love of the cartoon Peanuts. When he began recording, he took the stage name Snoop Doggy Dogg. He shortened his name to Snoop Dogg in 1998 when he left his original record label Death Row Records and signed with No Limit Records.
Dr. Dre began working with Snoop Dogg, first on the theme song of the feature film Deep Under Cover, and then on Dr. Dre's debut solo album The Chronic with the other members of his former starting group, Tha Dogg Pound. Snoop Dogg's contribution to The Chronic was considerable; the rapper's rhymes were as present as Dr. Dre's. The huge success of Snoop Dogg's debut Doggystyle was partially due to this intense exposure.
While recording Doggystyle with Dr. Dre in August 1993, Snoop Dogg was arrested in connection with the death of Phillip Woldermarian, a member of a rival gang who was fired at and killed in a gang fight.Dubbed The Snoop Doggy Dogg Trial at the time. Snoop Dogg was defended by David Kenner, with his bodyguard McKinley Lee, while Sean Abrams (accompanying member in the jeep) was defended by Johnnie Cochran. Both Snoop Dogg and McKinley Lee were acquitted; Lee was acquitted on grounds of self-defense, but Snoop Dogg remained entangled in the legal battles around the case for three years. His video "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with Tupac Shakur chronicled the difficulties each rapper was dealing with as a result of their unrelated but concurrent criminal prosecutions.
The Doggystyle album was released in November 1993 on Death Row Records and became the first debut album ever to enter the charts at #1, helping to fuel the ascendance of West Coast "g-funk" rap. 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. Gin and Juice can be seen as Snoop Dogg's endorsement of drinking one's own urine. Gangsta rap became the center of arguments for censorship and labeling, with Snoop Dogg often used as an example of violent and misogynistic musicians. 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 called Murder Was the Case, was released in 1994, along with an accompanying soundtrack. However, by the time Snoop Dogg's second album, Tha Doggfather, was released in November 1996, the price of living (or sometimes just imitating) the "gangsta" life had become very evident. Among the many notable rap industry deaths and convictions were the death of Snoop Dogg's friend and label-mate Tupac Shakur and the racketeering indictment of Death Row co-founder Suge Knight. Dr. Dre had left Death Row earlier in 1996 due to a contract dispute, so Snoop Dogg co-produced Tha Doggfather with Daz Dillinger and DJ Pooh.
This album featured a distinct change of style as compared to Doggystyle. While the album sold reasonably well, it was not as successful, and it was widely believed that its quality suffered from Dr. Dre's lack of involvement. However, Tha Doggfather had a somewhat softer approach to the G-funk style, and Snoop Dogg used a less energetic and more charismatic type of rhyming style, which would be more widely incorporated and exercised later on in his career.
In the immediate aftermath of Dr. Dre's withdrawal from Death Row Records, realizing that he was subject to an iron clad time-based contract (i.e., that Death Row practically owned anything he produced for a number of years), Snoop Dogg refused to produce any more tracks for Suge Knight, other than the insulting "Fuck Death Row", until his contract expired.
Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told was the first album Snoop released at No Limit released in 1998. It received negative reviews, yet still sold well. Snoop put his stamp of the now ubiquitous "Dirty South" sound on this album. Similar to the group focus of Death Row Records, many other No Limit Records artists appeared on the album, and it was produced mostly in-house by Beats By The Pound. Snoop's next effort, No Limit Top Dogg, released in 1999, would re-unite Snoop with his mentor Dr. Dre for some highlight tracks and see a return to the G-funk style of his Death Row days; it proved to be a success in both ratings and sales, as the album embraced both old and new styles of West Coast hip hop along with assorted guests from the No Limit roster. Snoop Dogg followed this up with his last album on No Limit Records 2000's Tha Last Meal, which built upon the mixture of styles on No Limit. He also collaborated again with his old friends Nate Dogg and Warren G as part of 213. They released an album The Hard Way in 2004, which featured the single "Groupie Luv", and reached #4 in the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts.
Snoop Dogg released an autobiography in 2001 titled Tha Doggfather: The Times, Trials, and Hardcore Truths of Snoop Dogg, co-written with Davin Seay. In 2002, Snoop announced that he was giving up women and drugs. Later that year he released the album Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, on Capitol Records which featured the hit singles and videos "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace" and "Beautiful" featuring guest vocals by Pharrell.
On May 21, 2004, Snoop Dogg 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. At the age of 30, Snoop claimed that he gave up smoking marijuana, although many of his run-ins with the law since have found him in possession of the drug.
In 2004, Snoop signed to Geffen Records/Star Trak Entertainment both of which are distributed through Interscope Records; Star Trak is headed by the Neptunes, who 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 & Charlie Wilson, which entered the UK chart at #2. This was his highest entry ever in the UK chart. The album sold very well, and most of its singles were heavily played on radio and television.
Snoop Dogg's latest music is being featured on West Coast rap albums such as Laugh Now, Cry Later by Ice Cube and Cali Iz Active by Tha Dogg Pound. He is featured on 2 tracks from Cube's album including the single "Go to Church", and several tracks on Cali Iz Active. Also, his latest song, "Real Talk", was leaked over the Internet in the summer of 2006 and a video was later released on the Internet. "Real Talk" is a dedication to Tookie Williams and a diss to Arnold Schwarzenegger. His two other new songs are "Keep Bouncing" by Too $hort, Snoop Dogg & will.i.am; and "Gangsta Walk" by Coolio & Snoop Dogg.
Snoop Dogg's 2006 release, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, did well on its first week, debuting at #5, which has been his highest since 2000's The Last Meal. 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 for his single "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)", the first Snoop Dogg song to contain elements of the hyphy sound from E-40.
In July 2007, Snoop Dogg also made history by becoming the first artist to release a track as a ringtone prior to its release as a single, "It's the D.O.G.". On July 7 2007 Snoop Dogg performed at the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburg
Snoop Dogg had renewed his vows with his longtime wife Shante Broadus.
Snoop Dogg has announced that he plans to release a "bluegrass" album which will be a tribute to the late Johnny Cash. Several radio hosts, the first to know of the announcement, instantly thought of it as a hoax pulled by him to gain attention.
Snoop Dogg has recently ventured into singing for Bollywood with his first ever rap for an Indian movie Singh Is Kinng; the title of the song is also Singh is Kinng. The album featuring the song was released on June 8, 2008 on Junglee Music Records.
In 2000, Snoop (as "Michael J. Corleone") directed Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, a pornographic film produced by Hustler. This 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. Driven by this success, Snoop directed Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary of a Pimp in 2002 (this time using the nickname "Snoop Scorsese").
Perhaps in conjunction with his entry into the x-rated world, Snoop claimed in a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone magazine that unlike other hip hop artists who've superficially adopted the pimp persona, he was an actual professional pimp in 2003 and 2004, saying "That shit was my natural calling and once I got involved with it, it became fun. It was like shootin' layups for me. I was makin' 'em every time." He goes on to say that upon the advice on some of the other pimps he knew, he eventually gave up pimping to spend more time with his family.
In 2004, Snoop appeared on the Showtime series The L Word as the character "Slim Daddy", a combination of Slim Shady and Puff Daddy. He also notably played the drug dealer-turned-informant character of Huggy Bear, in the 2004 remake film of the 1970s TV-series of the same name, Starsky & Hutch. He appeared as himself in an episode of the Showtime series "The Weeds," and made an appearance on the hit TV shows Entourage and Monk, for which he recorded a version of the theme, in July 2007. In 1998 Snoop had a cameo appearance in the film Half Baked as the "Scavenger Smoker." In 2003, Snoop had a cameo appearance in the film Old School as himself. Snoop also performed Sad But True at MTV Icon 2003, where Metallica was chosen as the band to be tributed.
On May 8 and May 9, 2008, Snoop appeared as himself on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, with a new opening theme recorded by the artist presented for both episodes. In the episodes, Snoop performs at the bachelorette party for character Adriana Cramer, and credits Bo Buchanan with helping him get his start in show business.
In 2008, Snoop made his Bollywood 'debut' by singing and featuring in a video for the movie Singh Is Kinng. Wearing a maroon Indian kurta, beige pants and diamond studded turban, the music video shows Snoop Dogg relaxing on a large armchair draped in pink and blue silk. The song reportedly became immediately popular in India and Snoop Dogg has vowed to follow up the success with a tour of the country.
Snoop is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and is often seen wearing Pittsburgh Steelers apparel in his music videos. Snoop has mentioned that his love for the Steelers began in the 1970s during the team's dynasty years while watching the team with his grandfather growing up in L.A. In the 2005 offseason, Snoop mentioned that he wanted to be an NFL head coach, "probably for the Steelers". The following year, he was in attendance for the Steelers' victory in Super Bowl XL. Snoop is also a fan of the Anaheim Ducks NHL hockey team, where he is frequently seen at games.
Snoop Dogg is a certified football coach and has been head coach for his son's youth football teams. Snoop can be spotted at John A. Rowland High School in Rowland Heights coaching the football team.
In August 2008, Snoop Dogg announced the launch of a new streetwear line called Rich & Infamous, via a partnership with Robert Thorne Co. to launch the line, a Beverly Hills-based brand management firm that built a billion-dollar business out of creating clothing and other licensed merchandise around Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The line, which is aimed toward males aged 18 and 35, was unveiled during the Magic tradeshow in Las Vegas.