Name: Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Doggy Dogg aka S-N-Double-O-P D-O-Double-GAge: 32Occupation: Rapper, actor (well, kinda), budding porn mogul, modern iconHometown: Long Beach, Calif.History: Unlike most rappers, Snoop’s moniker didn’t originate from his own ego. Actually, his mother nicknamed him Snoop when he was a kid because of his uncanny resemblance to Charlie Brown’s top D-O-G (You can see how they’re practically twins). Yet, the iniquitous name seemed to fit him from an early age.Starting in his late teens, Snoop has had multiple run-ins with the law. Shortly after high school, he was arrested for cocaine possession and spent the next three years in and out of prison. But just like any good made-for-TV movie, Snoop’s escape from crime and punishment was music. And when friend Warren G slipped his stepbrother, Dr. Dre, a homemade Snoop tape, the Dogg’s meteoric rise began.With the release of Dre’s The Chronic, on which Snoop raps as much as Dre, Snoop developed massive street cred singles “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” and “Dre Day” became standards in the city and ‘burbs. So, after a brief hiatus from recording (Snoop had to take a break when he was charged with participating in a murder) Snoop released Doggystyle. The album became the first debut album ever to enter the charts at No. 1 and went on to sell millions of copies worldwide propelled by the Top Ten singles “What’s My Name?” and “Gin and Juice.”In February of 1996, Snoop was cleared of charges and released “The Doggfather.” Considered a commercial disappointment, the album sold a mere two million copies domestically. “Doggfather” was followed by a string of moderately successful albums, but Snoop’s popularity as an icon didn’t wane. Over the past half decade he’s appeared in a dozen movies, headlined Lollapalooza, written an autobiography and created his own franchise of the Girls Gone Wild video series. He’s also had continuing problems with the law he was busted for marijuana possession during his Puff, Puff, Pass tour (Amazing, the cops suspect heavy drug use on a tour called Puff, Puff, Pass).Selected Discography:The Chronic (1992)Four BonesThis was the album that forever ended Public Enemy’s strangle hold on the genre. With its G-funk production, Dre updates George Clinton for the ’90s. He also unleashes Snoop on the world. While The Chronic changed the face of hip hop, some find one major flaw with it: Snoop’s doesn’t get enough time on the mic.Doggystyle (1993):Four BonesAfter dominating The Chronic, Snoop goes solo. And millions of fans are ready. Doggystyle is nothing but The Chronic part two same production, guest stars and lazy Snoop sound but that’s what the listeners wanted. While the rest of the gangsta rappers are raising their fists and 40s with anger, Snoop is halving the tempo and smokin’ a blunt. Next to his contributions to The Chronic, this is widely considered to be Snoop’s best work.Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told (1998)One BoneNobody’s perfect and Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told is bold proof of that. After half a decade, Snoop’s creativity is lost in a haze of bong resin and fermented juniper berries. Any traces of Dr. Dre and George Clinton are gone. What’s left are rambling raps over played out beats.Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$ (2002)Three BonesMost musicians never get a second chance. But most musicians don’t recruit producers like The Neptunes (MC Lyte, Ice Cube, Britney Spears) and Just Blaze (Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes). Back is the Parliament influence and the pimp/godfather motif with lots of songs about, well, gettin’ it on.R&G – Rhythm and Gangster: The Masterpiece (2004)Three BonesThankfully, Snoop is trying to better himself (or at least better his records). He’s back with The Neptunes and the result is “Drop It Like It’s Hot” Snoop’s biggest and best single since his days with Dre. He also branches out with samples from Steve Miller and collaborations with Justin Timberlake (this is not a misprint!) He also is branching out into new ways of insulting his listeners with some (maybe, and then again, maybe not) tongue-in-cheek misogyny. VT– Jed Gottlieb
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