Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (aka Snoop Dogg) released a gospel album on Friday. That’s right, the man who coined the term “bitches ain’t shit” is now urging us to “praise Him.” Yet the career transformation itself is signature Snoop. In fact, the pot-smoking, gang-banging multi-hyphenate has reinvented himself on a seemingly near-annual basis since bursting on the scene back in the early 1990s. Let’s count the ways…
Snoop has been a member of the Rollin’ 20 Crips since the 1980s. Nor has he ever forgotten or downplayed his gang ties. If anything, he played a leading role in spreading Crip culture through his music. It also led to his prison stint as a teenager as well as his infamous 1994 court case for murder.
This is the Snoop we met back on Dr. Dre’s “Deep Cover,” the theme song to the 1992 movie of the same name that also happened to be Dre’s first single after N.W.A.’s break-up. On it, Snoop’s smooth flow and intricate lyrical scheme was like a rap alien from outer space. We got a lot more of Snoop’s G funk style on Dre’s iconic The Chronic, a lot of which Snoop ghost-wrote and which also dropped in 1992. A year later, Snoop’s much-anticipated debut solo album, Doggystyle, broke first-week sales records for a new artist, selling more than 800,000 units — a record that would stand for close to a decade.
The most natural progression, Snoop’s first film role was in Dave Chappelle’s 1998 stoner classic Half Baked, which led to other roles in Training Day, Starsky & Hutch and even a starring role in the 2001 horror film Bones. Currently, Snoop has more than 111 acting credits and 29 producer credits on his IMDb page.
In 2008 — right around the time when Puffy, Jay-Z and Russell Simmons proved that rap moguls could also be fashion moguls — Snoop launched his own clothing line, too. I myself owned a few of Snoop’s Rich & Infamous shirts and jeans; unfortunately, the line never caught on and faded into the abyss within a couple of years. Undeterred, though, he gave it another go last year.
More than once, Snoop showed up on Howard Stern (often with Don “Magic” Juan by his side) in the early aughts claiming that he still worked as a pimp, even as Stern’s longtime sidekick Robin Quivers pointed out, “you make a living doing other things.” All that pimping and rapping culminated in 2001’s Snoop Dogg’s Doggstyle, half music video, half porn film that he produced with Hustler founder Larry Flynt (and which was shop at Snoop’s house).
While Snoop was a pioneer of G-funk, no one thought he’d ever go full-on 1970s funk. Yet, that’s exactly what 2007’s “Sexual Eruption” (better known as its more PG-13-rated radio friendly name “Sensual Seduction”) was. It was a huge hit and put Snoop back in the Top 10 of the Billboard charts.
Five years after Funk Snoop, Snoop made a pilgrimage to Jamaica and returned as Snoop Lion, a rasta convert who released an album and documentary (both entitled Reincarnated) about his new rasta ways.
Snoop was a solid wide receiver at Long Beach Poly (a national high school football powerhouse), and his son, Cordell Broadus, had a full ride to play receiver at UCLA. In between, Snoop created the Snoop Youth Football League. Its aim is to give kids from at-risk communities a place to go after school so they’re not susceptible to gang influence. League alumni include rapper Vince Staples and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross. Snoop’s role in it all is documented in the Netflix series Coach Snoop.
He’s a Hall-of-Famer, though, in the WWE, gaining entrance to its celebrity wing (which also contains Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mr. T) in 2016.
Snoop got jokes. Though he’s never done stand-up, he can roast with the funniest comedians in the world.
He’s great at roasting other celebrities too:
And let’s not forget Snoop’s short-lived MTV sketch show:
His funniest pairing by far, though, is when he brings his straight outta LBC gangster vibe to Martha Stewart’s yuppy Connecticut environs.
Around the time Snoop started his football league, he made major headlines for publicly declaring that he was done with weed. “I went to practice high one day and one of the kids said, ‘Coach, you smell like my mama’s boyfriend, and I had to check myself,” he said at the time. “I stopped smoking from that day for 180 days straight. And it made me a better coach, a better person.”
On his GGN YouTube network, Snoop interviews everyone from Nipsey Hussle to Kathy Bates. Here, his affinity for weed is back full force — he continues to abstain while coaching — as most of the interviews take place during a Snoop smoke session.
Game Show Snoop
All the while, Snoop has been hosting a “Snoopified” version of the 1970s/1980s game show The Joker’s Wild on TBS since late last year. He smokes weed throughout and riffs with contestants while they compete for (what else?) cash prizes.
My favorite version of modern-day Snoop. This is the Snoop we usually get late at night on his Instagram feed, when his hair is wrapped up and he’s letting us have it. Whether it’s his thoughts on #OscarsSoWhite or his observations about Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, Aunty Snoop has no filter and no fucks to give.