Snoop Dogg rose from the streets to the suites to become arguably the most recognizable rapper in the mainstream. He has released many albums and mixtapes—ranging from gangsta rap to reggae to gospel—and he has made many film and television appearances in his decades-long multimedia career. Outside of the media, Snoop is also a youth football coach with his own league and he also has multiple business ventures, which includes owning and running Death Row Records, the record label that gave him his start in the music business.
Snoop Dogg was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. on October 20, 1971 in Long Beach, California. As a child, he was nicknamed “Snoopy” due to his likeness of the canine character from the Peanuts cartoons. Snoop grew up in the church as he sang and played the piano there before getting into rapping. During his teenage years, Snoop became affiliated with the Rollin' 20s Crips from Eastside Long Beach and was arrested several times, leading him to seek a new path in life.
Snoop began making demo tapes with his cousin Nate Dogg and their friend Warren G, and the crew called themselves 213 to match Long Beach’s area code at the time. Their name was inspired by the group 415 from Oakland and the group’s lead rapper Richie Rich was an influence on Snoop’s laidback rap style. Warren G was able to get one of the demo tapes into the hands of his stepbrother, producer Dr. Dre, who helped Snoop Doggy Dogg become a household name.
Snoop’s introduction came in the spring of 1992 on Dr. Dre’s single “Deep Cover.” A few months later, Snoop’s star began to rise with his appearance on Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin' But a G Thang” and The Chronic album, leading into the highly anticipated release of his debut album Doggystyle in 1993. The album debuted in the number one spot on the Billboard 200 with over 800,000 records sold in its first week and it went on to sell over 11 million copies worldwide. The Chronic and Doggystyle are hailed as two of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time as they helped further popularize West Coast gangsta rap and the G-Funk sound.
In the summer of 1993, while working on Doggystyle, Snoop was charged with first degree murder along with his bodyguard McKinley Lee in the death of gang member Philip Woldemariam. This incident inspired the track “Murder Was the Case,” which was later made into a short film with an accompanying soundtrack released in 1994. Snoop and Lee were acquitted of all charges in February 1996, which Snoop celebrated with new Death Row labelmate 2Pac on his single “2 of Amerika'z Most Wanted.”
After working on Tha Dogg Pound’s Dogg Food album in 1995, Snoop was working on his sophomore album, Tha Doggfather. Prior to the album’s November 1996 release, Death Row experienced two major blows with the departure of Dr. Dre for his own Aftermath Entertainment and the death of 2Pac on September 13, 1996. Despite the drama, Tha Doggfather also debuted atop the Billboard 200 and sold millions of copies. That would be the last Snoop Doggy Dogg album as he escaped Death Row in 1998 to sign with Master P’s No Limit Records.
Snoop would go on to record for several labels, releasing multiple platinum albums and singles, including his collaborations with The Neptunes and Pharrell Williams on the 2003 single “Beautiful” and the 2004 single “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Snoop also released a few group projects, including two albums with Tha Eastsidaz (2000’s Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz and 2001’s Duces ‘N Trayz…The Old Fashioned Way), one album with his 213 crew with 2004’s The Hard Way, 2013’s 7 Days of Funk with Dâm-Funk, a 2016 album with his cousin Daz Dillinger entitled Cuzznz, and in 2022, he released the MOUNT WESTMORE supergroup project Bad MF’s with Ice Cube, E-40 and Too $hort. He also collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Willie Nelson, Gorillaz, and Katy Perry among others. Snoop also ventured outside of rap, releasing the reggae album Reincarnated in 2013 under the name Snoop Lion, and he also released the gospel album Bible of Love in 2018.
Snoop has appeared in a number of films, including Half Baked, Baby Boy, Training Day, and he starred in The Wash with Dr. Dre. He has also made a number of television appearances as himself, as well as hosting the game show The Joker’s Wild and forming an odd couple partnership with Martha Stewart, which resulted in the VH1 show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party as well as a collaborative cookbook. He has also been a sports commentator for boxing, hockey, wrestling, and he even served as an Olympics analyst with Kevin Hart.
Snoop has a number of business ventures, including establishing his Snoop Youth Football League in 2005—which has produced several NFL players—as well as doing deals within the marijuana industry, investing in Reddit and owning space in the Metaverse.
Snoop has sold millions of albums and won numerous awards since his 1992 debut. He was inducted into the Celebrity Wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016 for his multiple appearances and he was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. 2022 may have been the most eventful year of his career as he shared the stage with Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent in a historic headlining performance during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. This performance would later land them all an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Variety Special category. Prior to the show, it was announced that Snoop would release his album BODR—Bacc on Death Row—symbolizing Snoop’s full circle moment of acquiring the rights and becoming the owner of Death Row Records.