Snoop Dogg is an American rapper who is famous for his gangster image and rap meets reggae style of music. He was born Calvin Broadus on October 20, 1971 in Long Beach, California to Beverly Broadus and Vernall Varnado. His father was a war veteran and singer, who was rarely present in his life, and Snoop was named after his stepfather, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Sr. He was nicknamed “Snoopy” by his mother because she thought he looked like the dog in the cartoon “Peanuts”. He began singing and playing the piano at an early age for his local Baptist church, and also began to rap as early as 6th grade.
After high school, Snoop was arrested for possession of cocaine and was also likely a member of a violent gang, although he denies this. After being in and out of jail for three years, Snoop decided to focus his energies on music. Along with his cousins and friend Warren G., he started recording homemade tapes and formed a group called 213. This tape reached the famous rapper Dr. Dre, who was impressed by Snoop’s talent and invited him to audition. Snoop and Dre then collaborated on the latter’s album titled “The Chronic” as well as the title song of the movie “Deep Cover” released in 1992. This gave him invaluable exposure, and the success of Dre’s album also helped to launch Snoop’s own career.
Adopting the stage name “Snoop Doggy Dogg” he went on to launch his own debut album titled “Doggystyle” in 1993 with Dr. Dre’s recording label, Death Row Records. The album reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard hip hop and Top 200 charts with singles such as “What’s My Name” and “Gin and Juice” which reached the status of top 10 most played songs in the United States. It stayed on the charts for many months, despite controversy about the violent and misogynistic nature of the lyrics. However, his fans felt that his lyrics were real and they could connect with his feelings. His second album, titled “Tha Doggfather” was released in 1996 which reached the No. 1 spot on pop and R&B charts. When his friend and fellow rapper Tupac Shakur was murdered, and the CEO of Death Row was jailed, Snoop decided to leave Death Row Records.
In 1998, he signed with a new label called No Limit Records, and released his album “Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told” the same year, which also reached the No. 1 spot on pop and R&B charts. The very next year, he released another album titled “No Limit Top Dogg”. He then started his own label by the name of Dogg House Records. In 2000, he toured with many major artists such as Eminem, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube for the “Up In Smoke” tour. He released several more hit albums such as Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$ in 2002, R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece in 2004, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment in 2006, Ego Trippin’ in 2007, Malice n Wonderland in 2009 and Doggumentary in 2011.
Snoop Dogg is notorious for his run ins with the law. He has been accused of sexual assault, drug and arms possession and even murder. He changed his name to “Snoop Lion” after a visit to Jamaica where a priest told him “You are the light; you are the lion” which inspired him to immediately add the title to his name. Snoop has also appeared in television shows and movies such as Starsky & Hutch, The L Word and Weeds. He had his own reality TV show by the name of “Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood” which featured his domestic life with his his wife Shante and three kids.