Snoop Dogg Biography
Snoop Dogg was a Crip gang member while in high school; shortly after graduation, he was arrested for cocaine possession and sentenced to three years in prison, then began his music career in 1992 after his release. He was discovered by Dr. Dre and collaborated on several tracks on Dre's solo debut, The Chronic and on the titular theme song to the film Deep Cover. Snoop's debut album, Doggystyle, was released in 1993 under Death Row Records. Doggystyle went quadruple platinum and spawned several hit singles, including "What's My Name" and "Gin & Juice."
In 1996, Snoop Dogg was cleared of charges over his bodyguard's 1993 murder of Phillip Woldemariam. His second album, 1996's Tha Doggfather, was his last release for Death Row before he signed with No Limit Records, with which he recorded three albums from 1998 to 2001. Snoop then signed with Priority/Capitol/EMI Records in 2002, which released his album Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss, and then he signed with Geffen Records in 2004 for his next three albums. He also joined forces with his cousin Nate Dogg and emcee Warren G as the supergroup 213 for an album in 2004.
In addition to music, Snoop Dogg has also starred in motion pictures and hosted several television shows: Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, and Dogg After Dark. He also coaches a youth football league and high school football team. He has also run into many legal troubles, some of which caused him to be legally banned from the UK and Australia. He is the cousin of emcees Nate Dogg, Daz Dillinger, RBX and Lil' Half Dead and the cousin of R&B singers Brandy and Ray J.
Starting September 2009, Snoop was hired by EMI as the chairman of a reactivated Priority Records. His tenth studio album, Malice n Wonderland was released December 8, 2009.
Calvin Broadus was born at the Los Altos Hospital in Long Beach, California, the second of three sons born to Beverly Broadus. His father, Vernall Varnado, was a Vietnam veteran, singer, and mail carrier who Calvin says was frequently absent from his life. Calvin's parents nicknamed him "Snoopy" as a child because of his appearance and usually referred to him as Calvin at home. At an early age, Calvin Broadus began singing in Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church and playing piano; when he was in sixth grade, he began rapping. He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, then transferred to Jordan High School, and was convicted for cocaine trafficking and served six months at the Wayside County Jail. Snoop Dogg was a member of the Rollin' 20 Crips gang in the Eastside of Long Beach. Snoop Dogg's conviction caused him to be in and out of prison for the first three years after he graduated from high school. Snoop, along with his cousins Nate Dogg and Lil' ½ Dead, and friend Warren G recorded home made tapes as a group called 213, named after the Long Beach area code at the time. One of his early solo freestyles over En Vogue's "Hold On" had made it to a mixtape which was heard by influential producer Dr. Dre, who phoned to invite him to an audition. Former N.W.A member The D.O.C. taught him how to structure his lyrics and separate the thematics into verses, hooks and chorus.
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.
To fuel 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 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. His video "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with 2Pac chronicled the difficulties each rapper was dealing with as a result of their unrelated but concurrent criminal prosecutions. 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."
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 hip hop industry deaths and convictions were the death of Snoop Dogg's friend and labelmate 2Pac 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 as compared to Doggystyle, and the leadoff single, "Snoop's Upside Ya Head," featured a collaboration with Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson. While the album sold reasonably well, it was not as successful as its predecessor, 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. 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.
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.
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 from No Limit were No Limit Top Dogg in 1999 and Tha Last Meal in 2000. In 2001, his autobiography, Tha Doggfather, was published.
In 2002 he released the album Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, on Priority/Capitol/EMI Records, which featured the hit singles and videos "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace" and "Beautiful" featuring guest vocals by Pharrell.
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, 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 & 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 joined Warren G and Nate Dogg to form the group 213 and released album The Hard Way in 2004. Debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, it included single "Groupie Luv".
Snoop Dogg's appeared on two tracks from Ice Cube's 2006 album Laugh Now, Cry Later, including the single "Go to Church", and on several tracks on Tha Dogg Pound's Cali Iz Active the same year. 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" was a dedication to Tookie Williams and a diss to Arnold Schwarzenegger. 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.
Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Snoop's album for 2006, debuted on the Billboard 200 at #5. 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)".
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, which was "It's the D.O.G." On July 7, 2007, Snoop Dogg performed at the Live Earth concert, Hamburg.
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. Snoop Dogg also fell in love with Frances Stonier as soon as he saw her.