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Snoop Dogg is a very busy man these days. Not only has he just starred in a new commercial for the BIC EZ Reach lighter with his pal Martha Stewart and doled out sage advice as a Mega-Mentor on The Voice Season 20, but he also just dropped his 18th album, From Tha Streets to Tha Suites, and a music video, “Look Around,” that pays loving tribute to his hip-hop roots.
Given what a natural the Doggfather is on screens both big and small — and what a box-office blockbuster the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton was — it makes perfect sense that the old-school rapper might be involved with a Straight Outta Compton sequel or companion movie of sorts. (Straight Outta Compton concluded just as Snoop’s mentor, N.W.A. member Dr. Dre, founded Death Row Records; Snoop was portrayed by Oscar-nominated Judas and the Black Messiah actor Lakeith Stanfield in the film.) When asked about such a prospect, Snoop seems intrigued... but apparently this man of ambition and vision has even grander plans.
“It depends on whose eyes is told through,” the rap renaissance man, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, tells Yahoo Entertainment. “You know, if it's told through the right eyes, through the right lens, and it makes the most sense for me. But I think what makes the most sense to me is the ‘Snoop Dogg anthology,’ the life story of Snoop Dogg, where it starts with my mother and father meeting each other before I was even born, to me being born, to me growing through the ‘70s and ‘80s and the ‘90s. Me being the ‘Black Forest Gump,’ so to speak, seeing me in all of these highlighted moments in American history.
“We're developing that, putting it together as we speak, just trying to take my time and put the right information out. I don't want to rush to it just because [Straight Outta Compton] was successful, just to come behind it. I want to take my time and make sure that I've put together the right infrastructure of how I became me — you know, the people that inspire me, my upbringing, my mother, my father, my friends, community influences, inspirations that shaped and molded me. I don't see it being a biopic, because I can't give all of this great information and entertainment in two hours. But if I give it to you in an anthology, you’re likely to get six or seven seasons of this.”
Snoop seems to already have the series scripted in his mind, but while it will start with the childhood he looks back on so fondly, it will eventually take a darker and grittier turn. “Definitely my childhood in the ‘70s, seeing how people loved each other, seeing how racism really didn't exist to a maximum, how I grew up in school with different nationalities, teachers with different colors, and we loved them. They loved us in the community and there were certain rules and regulations. It was just a love thing, and if you messed up, you could be disciplined by anybody on the block. It was always like a neighborhood watch. That era of the ‘70s taught us how to love and how be kind to people,” he explains. “Then the ‘80s era, that's when the cocaine, drugs, violence, my teenage years and all of the things that were brought to our community by the government and the C.I.A. — that has been revealed now. But when we were living in that life, in that era, we didn't know why we were being given guns and drugs out of nowhere. And then we became drug dealers and gang-bangers based off of tools that were given to us. They didn't deal with no schools or no trade techs or anything. They just dropped off guns and drugs and gave us a path to destruction. And then they locked us all up.”
Snoop turns 50 years old this year and will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his recording debut (on Dr. Dre’s “Deep Cover”) next year, but he describes his teens as “indefinitely dark” and confesses that there was a time when he didn’t even expect to make it to age 21. “In that era of drugs and gang violence, to see 21 years old was a blessing. That's what we was always striving to, to actually make 21. To see 21 meant a lot to my era, to my generation, because a lot of us wasn't making it to that number,” he says matter-of-factly.
While fans eagerly wait for that sure-to-be-fascinating series to hit Netflix or Hulu, Snoop, who has dabbled in everything from country to reggae, is already looking ahead to his next musical projects — including a blues album and a jazz album — that will also traffic in nostalgia. In fact, he’s currently “20 songs deep” into an old-school R&B album that will hearken back to that ‘70s era he loves, and will feature Mary J. Blige, Anderson. Paak, Raphael Saadiq, Stokely Williams of Mint Condition, rising soul star October London (“he’s the rebirth of Marvin Gaye”), and other special guests. And since Snoop’s many interests and talents include football (in 2018, he starred in Coach Snoop, a docuseries about his Snoop Youth Football League), it seems that another ideal way for him to celebrate 30 years in the game would be at next year’s Super Bowl LVI. The 2022 Super Bowl is set to take place in Los Angeles, and it’s Snoop’s dream to play the halftime show with a troupe of hometown hip-hop heroes and fellow Death Row/Aftermath Records superstars.
“Hopefully the NFL will be smart and make the right decision. It’s in Inglewood, Calif., and it will make the most sense in the world,” says Snoop. “I'm available, Dre’s available, Eminem’s available, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent — whoever Dr. Dre wants to pull out of his hat to make this thing a professional event and make it big and the biggest effort they can have. It's just a matter of the NFL pulling the trigger.” And Snoop, who almost a decade ago was part of one of concert history’s most talked-about spectacles alongside Dre, when they performed with a Tupac Shakur hologram at Coachella 2012, promises that he and Dre would pull out all the stops once again. “I wouldn't just walk out. I would definitely do something that would be mind-blowing, you know what I'm saying? People will be talking about it for the next 30 years. I'm open to anything that's dope, unique, edgy, and cunning. This will be cutting-edge, just for my people.”
Somehow, despite incredible odds and the general fickleness of hip-hop and pop audiences, Snoop has made it to the big 5-0 and his career is bigger than ever. So, is there any advice he would give to his younger self? Snoop smiles and answers without missing a beat: “Don't change a mother***kin’ thing.”
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— Video produced by Jen Kucsak, edited by Jimmie Rhee