SNOOP DOGG LIFE BIOGRAPHY:
Snoop was born Calvin Broadus, in Long Beach, California, USA, on October 20, 1972. He was origianlly nicknamed 'Snoop' by his mother because of his appearance. Snoop was once a promising young basketball player from Long Beach. Although gangbanging, drug dealing, and jail time soon ruined his chances at athletic scholarships, Snoop was nonetheless connected in all the right ways. He got his first break when Warren G passed his tape to Dre which lead to Snoop's distinctive nasal monotone rap being displayed on Dre's work. 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 was a member of a group called "213", which also included Warren G and Nate Dogg. But all three are now better-known for their individual careers than they are as a group. Snoop began recording homemade tapes with 213, and Warren G, who happened to be the stepbrother of N.W.A's Dr. Dre gave a tape of Snoop to Dre, who was considerably impressed with Snoop's style and began collaborating with the rapper In 1992. When Snoop first emerged -- the West Coast was known for giving birth to the careers of such rappers as Eazy E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Ice T. These artists had a clever, albeit hardcore, approach to rap and spewed lyrics that painted an often disturbing but very realistic picture of their lives.
Us Rap Heads first heard Snoop Dogg when he introduced his mellifluous rap style on Dr. Dre's "Deep Cover" from the movie of the same name. He later appeared on Dre's classic double-platinum album, "The Chronic," which featured his most notable performance on the No. 1 hit "Nuthin But a G Thang." Dr Dre, was taken by Snoop's style, and the two formed what would become a lasting musical bond.
Snoop Dogg's appeal was broad and contagious, thanks in large part to his affiliation with Dre and a string of hits like "Murder Was the Case," "What's My Name," "Gin and Juice" and "Doggy Dogg World." But the Snoop Dogg phenomenon has been as much about him and his life as it has been about his music.
Plagued by controversy and a well-documented criminal past, Snoop Dogg embodies rap's philosophical staple of "keepin' it real." For him, the gangsta lyrics were not just fabricated hype churned out to sell records -- they were the product of a life of drama.
As I said previously, Snoop Dogg was arrested for drug possession shortly after leaving high school and spent subsequent years in and out of jail. He was a member of the notorious Crips gang and in 1993 was charged with murder in connection with a drive-by shooting. In 1995, Snoop Dogg, leaning on the legal arm of renowned O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran, stood trial for accessory to manslaughter in the case of a rival gang member who was allegedly shot by Snoop's bodyguard, McKinley Lee. A year later, Snoop Dogg and Lee were acquitted.
Snoop was now on the most notorious label in music history, DeathRow Records, which went on to house artists such as Dr Dre, Kurupt, Snoop, 2pac, aswell as the controversial owner himself, Mr Suge Knight. Snoop would soon very quickly become 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. This helped his career as listeners respect his words and music more as its truthful, or seems so, The arrest certainly strengthened the basis of his lyrics, and it helped his debut album, 1993's "Doggystyle", become the first debut album to enter the charts at number one, and the statistics were staggering: It was the first debut album to enter The Billboard 200 chart at No. 1, and it received advance orders in excess of 1.5 million units. But in the long run, his arrests and trouble he was in outside of music was now hurting his career instead.
Snoop had to fight charges throughout 1994 and 1995, and while he was eventually cleared, it hurt his momentum. But Snoop kept himself in the forefront of the music scene, appearing on the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence film, "A Thin Line Between Love & Hate", and on a collaboration with Tupac Shakur, "2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted," from Shakur's post-prison, Death Row Records debut, "All Eyez On Me", which went on to be over 12x platinum. "Tha Doggfather", Snoop's second album, wasn't released until November 1996, thats a gap of 3 years between his own album releases, and by that time, pop and hip-hop had began to burn itself out on gangsta rap. However his sophomore album, "Tha DoggFather" teamed him with Gap Band lead singer Charlie Wilson on the single "Snoop's Upside Your Head." The album did not yield the acclaim of "Doggystyle", however Snoops release "Tha 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. This was perhaps because of its inopportune timing: It was released only weeks after the gangland stlye "drive-by" shooting death, of his friend and fellow rap artist, Tupac Shakur -- this was also cleary a time when there was an adamant backlash against gangsta rap, and Snoops sales suffered as a result of these two factors.
Consequently, Snoop's 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 toward 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.
By 1998, while controversial Death Row Records chief Suge Knight served a prison bid for parole violation, Snoop exited the label to join the ranks at Master P's No Limit Records. Snoop's first No Limit album, "Da Game Is To Be Sold Not To Be Told" proved that Snoop's usual, infectious slow drawl was a poor mesh for the thunderous, production sound of the New Orleans based No Limit. In 1999, Snoop's second No Limit album, Top Dogg re-teamed him with Dr. Dre, and scored an underground anthem with the song "Bitch Please" featuring Xzibit that helped Xzibit achieve further notoriety. Snoop's "Tha Last Meal" album, released in 2000, was his final record under Master P's tutelage. The album showcased Snoop's growth as an artist, finally finding his artistic comfort zone with producers other than Dr. Dre, the album went on to sell many times platinum and once again showed Snoop's tightening grip on the rap game, in the departure of the rap legends that was Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, both murdered in '96 and '97 respectively.
Additionally, he released two albums with Tha Eastsidaz through a label deal with TVT Records, performed songs with everyone from Keith Sweat to Kid Rock to Tyrese, and appeared on a half a dozen soundtracks.
His comical disposition, also earned him a stack of roles in movies including John Singleton's "Baby Boy", Denzel Washington's "Training Day", "The Wash" with Dr. Dre, and a starring spot in the horror film "Bones".
In 2001, Snoop released his autobiography and also secured a second label deal. This time with MCA Records, and issued the compilation, "Snoop Dogg Presents Doggy Style Allstars: Welcome To The House, Vol. 1" in 2002. Snoop broke into the adult entertainment business in 2001, recording adult videos to some of his music tracks for the DVD, Doggystyle, Vol. 1, which received two AVN Video Awards. He followed Doggystyle with his own installment of the "Girls Gone Wild" series dubbed "Girls Gone Wild Doggy Style".
Ironically just before "Girls Gone Wild Doggy Style" was released, the long-time marijuana advocate announced that he had stop smoking the illegal herb, and drinking as well. He said his son was a motivation, as he coached the young Broadus' football team. Also in 2002, "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. The album came out on Priority/Capitol, Snoop Dogg has now since moved on to MCA.
As a testament to his entrepreneurial skills, Snoop is also running a full-fledged record label, Doggystyle Records, which is distributed by MCA. Frank Cooper, president/GM of Doggystyle, says the label "shows the breadth of own creative energy and fills a void in the marketplace. He felt that no one had truly established a presence in the past few years" in terms of rap, hip-hop, and R&B; music. Describing Snoop Dogg as an astute businessman with a great deal of vision, Cooper says the rapper "relies on his instincts as to which way to go. He usually makes the right decision. Vision is simply having the confidence to rely on your own intuition." Projects slated for release by Doggystyle include a 213 reunion project, as well as albums by Soopafly, R&B; singer LaToiya Williams, and R&B; vocalist Delano.
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. Later that year, he collaborated again with his old friends Nate Dogg and Warren G, as part of their rap group 213. They released an album The Hard Way, which featured the single "Groupie Luv", and reached #4 in the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts.
In 2004, Snoop signed to the Star Trak record label, headed by the Neptunes, who produced several tracks for his 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 his 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.
He also notably played the drug dealer-turned-informant character of Huggy Bear, in the 2004 remake film of the '70s tv-series of the same name, Starsky & Hutch
Snoop Dogg recently announced to British radio that his next album, The Blue Carpet Treatment, will feature production by long-time partner Dr. Dre, dispelling rumors of a rift between the two in recent times. In addition, Snoop will be featured on Dre's proclaimed (and much delayed) Detox.
On 26 April 2006, Snoop Dogg and members of his entourage were arrested at Heathrow Airport for "violent disorder and affray" — or creating a brawl or disturbance — after being turned away from British Airways' first class lounge. Snoop and his party were not allowed to enter the lounge because although some of the entourage were flying first class, other members of the party were flying economy class. After the group was escorted outside, they vandalized a duty-free shop by throwing whisky bottles. Seven police officers were injured in the fracas. After a night in the cells, Snoop Dogg and the other men were released on bail on the 27 April but he was unable to perform at the Premier Foods People's Concert in Johannesburg on the same day. As part of his bail conditions, he has to return to the police station in May. The group has been banned by British Airways for "the forseeable future."
On 11th May, when he presented himself at a London police station, he was cautioned for affray under Section 4 of the Public Order Act for use of threatening words or behaviour. On 15th May, the Home Office decided that Snoop Dogg should be denied entry to the UK for the foreseeable future, most likely forever, due to the fracas at Heathrow, along with his previous convictions in the US for drugs and firearms offences. He has also been banned from flying with British Airways ever again.
Confused? Here's a brief history of Snoop's tour of duty:
Label: Death Row
Albums: Doggystyle (1993), Tha Doggfather (1996)
Snoop as: Young, gifted and laid-back. Snoop liked girls, homies and house parties.
Era: No Limit Soldier
Label: No Limit
Albums: Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told (1998), No Limit Top Dogg (1999)
Snoop as: Gangsta. Tried out the role of smooth-talkin' hustler while getting down with Master P's camp.
Era: Da Pimp
Album: Tha Last Meal (2000), Paid Tha Cost to Be Da Bo$$ (2002)
Snoop as: Ballerific pimp who loved his women and his power.
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