It has been exactly ten years since Snoop Doggy Dogg -- or "Snoop Diggity Dogg," as Damon Wayans memorably called him in Major Payne -- languidly coasted his way into the public consciousness like a hellacious cloud of blunt smoke. After appearing alongside his mentor Dr. Dre on the tune "Deep Cover" and then, introduced again as Dre's secret weapon on that G-funk classic "Ain't Nuthin' but a G Thang," this lanky, lackadaisical MC from Long Beach was touted as gangsta rap's new prince. With Dre and the Death Row Records empire getting his back, he would be known as the prodigal son who would hop in his '64 Impala and guide all us rap fans to the promised land -- albeit one you wouldn't head out to at night, alone and unarmed. His rep as a straight-up menace received a boost when he got wrapped up in a murder case in 1993, which gave him all the hype and buzz he needed for his debut album, Doggystyle, which dropped in stores months later.
But in recent years, the public perception of Snoop Dogg has changed, a feat mostly choreographed by Mr. Dogg himself. No longer is he seen as the enigmatic loner whose deadpan indifference indicated a man bereft of a soul. In 1998, he severed ties with Death Row and soon declared himself a No Limit soldier. By hopping over to Master P's burgeoning dirty-South operation, Snoop Dogg licked himself clean of his gun-toting past and became the new Snoop Dogg, the Snoop Dogg who's a playa, not a fighter.
Dropping the "Doggy" from his name (to save time, he claims), Snoop Dogg has spent a fair chunk of time re-establishing himself as a pimp for all seasons, a man who would rather be out on the track, rolling in his Caddy, with his eye on his cash and another eye on his ladies.
Snoop Dogg with Lil' Flip
Numbers, 300 Westheimer
Saturday, June 8; 713-629-3700
The finest example of Snoop Dogg's detour into big pimpin' can be found in the first volume of his exclusive porno film series, Doggystyle, that was released last year. Oh, yes, Snoop's a porn star now. While rappers claim to be dark-skinned John Holmeses whose mere presence makes the ladies lose their shit (nearly every rap album includes a smirk-inducing skit where the MC is heavily laying the smackdown on one or two girls), Snoop Dogg went that extra inch -- no pun intended -- to show that he does, in fact, roll with big-breasted porn starlets and the low-paid men who hump them. (Although he doesn't partake in any of the video's sexual activities, he does make it known he condones it happening at his house.) The days of hollering 1-8-7 with a gat in some fool's mouth are long gone for Snoopy Snoop.
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