IN CONVERSATION WITH…
SNOOP DOGG, Rapper, Producer, TV Host, Author
“I latched onto being a rapper, and I loved it so much to where I stopped gangbanging and stopped selling drugs. And it found a career for me, and it found a lane for me to where I had to put my all into it and just go all out about it.”
Long Beach born and raised
Husband to Shante Broadus for 21 years+
Father to Corde, Cordell, and Cori
A fun guy.
A big kid.
Serious when I need to be.
More than 35 Million albums sold worldwide
When I left Death Row Records and went to No Limit Records with MASTER P, Master P gave me a business mind. Death Row Records, it was so much creative: "Be creative and we'll handle the business." No Limit Records was, "Be creative and learn the business. Learn how to micromanage your money. Learn how to invest. Learn how to create. Learn how to brand. Learn how to make your name live on after the music." So, it was like I was in college on Death Row, but then I went to another level when I got to No Limit because they were actually teaching as opposed to just letting me be dope and fly and make mistakes and do things that would ruin my career or ruin my life.
At Death Row it wasn't cool to laugh. That's what the problem was. We was so gangster that it wasn't cool to laugh. But if you listen to all of the of the records on Death Row, we had comedy in every fucking album we put out. It was comedic moments. It was joking. It was clowning. If you look at our interviews, we was always smiling and laughing and having fun. But they only wanted to portray what they wanted you to see. "These niggas is ignorant. They'll shoot you. They'll kill you. They're gangers. They're this."
But gangsters smile too. They laugh. They have a good time. That's what we do. So, for me to finally be able to do it on my own is the key.
I hate doing shit that’s not fun. The majority of what I do and what keeps me inspired is having fun. It's fun for me to do things that make people want to do what I'm doing. So, I try to find ways to be different. I don't think I done nothing twice yet. I don't want to do shit twice. I want to do it right the first time. I have a formula now to where I don't care about what the results is, I care about the feeling. If it make it feel good to you, that's all I'm looking for.
THE WORK MANTRA
Dedication, discipline and desire.
Work smarter, not harder.
I find ways to not put myself in positions where my body and my mind is being drained. I think smart and strategically with how I move and what I'm doing now. Back in the day, I didn't care. I was probably on tour like 200 days out of the year. I would do 100 after parties. Now it's like, "Snoop, they want to give you a million dollars."
"I ain't fucking with it."
All money isn’t good money and sometimes it's not a strategic move to me and my plan, or where I want to be at the end of the day. I want to be an owner. I'm tired of being a slave. I'm tired of being a ho. What people don't understand about the music industry–I have to explain it like this so they get it and a lot of people get offended, but it's the facts: Either you're a pimp or you're a ho. Ain't no in between. And once you realize what this industry is based on, it's your job to flip the script and become the pimp and stop being hoed out, because that's what you can become if you allow that to happen for so many years.
THE LIFE MANTRA
Happy wife, happy life.
That's the most important thing. If that part’s not right, then nothing else going to be right. And that's the part that keeps me able to do my thing and have stability. That makes you straighten up or get your shit together or stay in line. When we become successful, we don't really want to listen to nobody: "Fuck you. You can't tell me nothing. I'm a star. Shut up." But you got to have somebody that can tell you, "I remember before all this and when all this shit is gone I will still be here.” 28 years together. 21 years married.
FOR LOVE OF COCO
When raising our kids, I try to be a strict parent but not a mean parent. I think my teachings and my wife’s teachings has helped [our daughter] reach the point of her realizing that she's supposed to love herself, and she should be a voice for that. I don't have no problem with my complexion and my skin. I know what it is. But if that's an insecurity that she had and she found security, and is speaking on it, that's beautiful. That's what we hope for because we don't want you in a depression to where you get so sad and mad that you feel like you not worth nothing because of your skin tone. You're beautiful regardless. And you're supposed to realize that because we showed you that.
I want to be a cool grandpa. I don't want to be the grandpa sitting in a wheelchair or in the rocking chair like, "Bring me the paper."
I was playing with my grandson before he could really walk and I let him go and he did like two steps. Then he faked me out like he was getting ready to fall. I reached for him and then my knee went out trying to save him. I don’t heal like it used to. It took three weeks to recover and then there I am again upstairs playing with him. He seen me like, "Grandpa, chase me." So, I'm chasing him and he’s not stopping. We five minutes into the chase and I'm like, "Son, I'm tired. So, he like, "OK, let's play. Let's play football now." So now we playing football. This child don't take no timeouts! Then he want to play soccer. I'm like, "Grandpa got to sit down." And in the back of my mind, I was like, "Damn, that's wrong. I need to get myself together. I got to get in shape," because there’s no way in the world this little boy supposed to be beating me to where I'm quitting.
So, I started working out and did like 95 days straight and I finally got his little ass. He said he was tired. So that's what inspired me to work out; to have the energy for my grandson.
6:00AM – 9:00AM Usually between this time I hit the gym. Maybe before, I smoke a blunt, eat some fruit. I do like grapes, cherries, apples. I get me a Coca-Cola and have a smile. If it's a great day, I'm there at 6:00. If it's a bad day, I'm there at 9:00. If I start early I can get more done and I'm more focused and by the time 8:00 come, I'm beating everybody the fuck up because I'm on it. But if it's 9:00, then I'm just basic. I hate being basic.
12:00PM+ Then it's usually something scheduled out for me, some sort of engagement that I have–television, movies, the studio or something in that vein–or a meeting and something to do right after that, which gets me going into the middle of the day. If there's nothing really on the schedule, like a real engagement, then there's time to come to the studio, be creative, come up with TV, movie, film, music ideas–anything creative, I have the space to do it and the abilities to create whatever I want. So this [compound] is what it's for; to brainstorm. Then when it come out, we throw it on the wall, see what it do. If it stick like glue, we make it work.
2:00AM – 3:00AM I may be up in the studio, on Instagram, making music, playing a game, watching something on TV, or looking at something that's creatively giving me something to be creative about. Boom. So, I got to take my juices for what they worth. That's how they come to me. And if I don't go to sleep, that's even better, because then I can make that 6:00 morning workout because I'm like, "Fuck it. I ain't went to sleep. I might as well go on, get all of this shit out."
I got a little bat cave behind my mic booth. I may go back there and grab a couple blunts. I got a TV back there and a little bed. It's so small, but it keeps my mind on when I didn't have shit and I just drift off. I’ll also sleep on the floor because I want to be close to nothing in case I lose it all. That's my train of thought. I always been like that from the moment I got in this industry and got successful. I never sleep in beds in a hotel room. I'll sleep on the floor or the couch. Motherfuckers be like, "Damn, Cuz, you got this big-ass suite and you didn’t get in the bed?" I want to be close to nothing. I don't want to get locked into this shit thinking that this is going to be like this all the time. I always have an apartment on the side.
HIATUS? FOR WHAT?
I never knew what a vacation was because we didn't work for vacations, we worked to eat. I had a different philosophy. Like, a lot of people worked so they can get in a place of, "Well, I'm going to retire. Now I'm comfortable." We worked so we don't do nothing stupid, because when we were kids, we was always doing shit that was stupid. Whenever we could find a job or something that we loved to do, we latched onto it, even if it was a wrong thing. If it was being a drug dealer or a gang banger, whatever we loved to do, we latched onto it. I latched onto being a rapper, and I loved it so much to where I stopped gangbanging and stopped selling drugs. And it found a career for me, and it found a lane for me to where I had to put my all into it and just go all out about it. And that's when I became a rapper that had to get rid of his past to create a new passage for who I am.
And I'm looking back at it like it was hard because I had to shake a lot of friends that I thought were really my friends and a lot of situations that I thought were good for me, but not knowing as I know now, I'm glad I went through everything I went through because it makes me who I am, to be the one who have wisdom and the teachers. A lot of people in the industry consider me as their uncle. They come to me for knowledge and understanding, and I'll have it, and I give it to them, and I'm not selfish with it. This industry is fucked up. They don't give out no information, no handbooks, no instructions.
I used to say I was going to retire at 35. Then when I got to 35, and my career was popping like a motherfucker. And then I got to 40 and I was like, I got a new drive because I was old, but the young ones still was reaching for me. And I had never seen that before.
Questions I ask myself often are, How do you stay relevant with what you created off of something that was years ago, which is probably not in style anymore? How do you stay in style? Stay on that quest of doing you. Even if you grow old, so what? I respect all of the guys that grew old in front of me, CHARLIE WILSON, GEORGE CLINTON. I'm friends with all of these guys. And to watch them grow old and they still fresh and they still dynamic and they got a lot of information and wisdom and they living they best life. That's the shit I want to do. I want to be able to be that guy.
MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN : I love the truth that he speaks. I love the fact that he's about his people. He don't back down and he's intelligent and he's articulate and he's very knowledgeable. He'll tell you the question and see if you can out-wit him or out-speak him. And he's a loving brother; never taught hate, never preached hate to me. Only taught love.
MUHAMMAD ALI – Ali, rest in peace, was a friend of mine. I'm tripping that I even knew him and he knew me. That's one of the greatest ... I told my son, "That's the greatest that ever walked this earth."
SNOOP DOGG - He is inspirational. I love watching him grow. He something else. I could watch him any day. I love me some Snoop Dogg. For real. If I don't love me, who else is? That's what I was taught. You got to love yourself first.
“Why Have I Lost You” – CAMEO
There is a particular lyric that I love from that song that would be the key. "Today I'm just a lonely man/ But tomorrow I'll be a king/ Blessing all my subjects/ Cast afar in security/ The whole wide world will watch me/ As I walk up to my throne/ Knights in shining armor/ Stand around to heed my call." Mmm mmm! Them lyrics was cold.
“The Makings of You” – CURTIS MAYFIELD
Oh yes, lord! That’s cold!
5 THINGS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Marijuana–Snoop Dogg Bubble Gum
Be certain to catch Snoop Dogg’s theatrical debut in a new stage musical, Redemption Of A Dogg, co-starring Tamar Braxton. Redemption Of A Dogg will kick off in Houston, TX on October 5 and make multiple stops across the US. For tickets and tour dates, go to www.jecaryous.com.
As told to Jessica Herndon.
On location at the Dogg Pound (Inglewood, CA).