Rap star reveals how he finally learned to balance the most important parts of his life.
By Sentinel News Service
He was born Cordozar Calvin Broadus in Long Beach, California, but his galaxy of fans around the world know him better by his popular name, Snoop Dogg, a nickname derived from his childhood family nickname, Snoopy. And like his multiple names, a complex mix of influences have helped mold this accomplished rapper, record producer, entrepreneur and actor, and helped make him into one of the most recognizable stars in the world today. The entertainer opens up about all the diverse parts of his life – including his off-again, on-again marriage to Shanté Taylor Broadus — in a candid and revealing interview with Cathy Hughes, host of TV One on One, Sunday, Dec. 12 from 9-10 PM ET, repeating at 1 AM. Shanté Broadus joins the duo later in the program.
The devoted father and husband, multi-platinum chart topper, reality TV star and the recently named Creative Chairman of EMI’s newly reintroduced Priority Records didn’t always appear to be on a path to success in his early years.
The “Doggfather of Gansta Rap” a Crips gang follower in high school who spent time in jail for drug possession as a teenager, tells Hughes he also grew up with a strong and caring mother who imposed discipline, and even imposed a 10 PM curfew on the budding teen age rapper who was gaining popularity at house parties in Long Beach.
“My momma was serious,” Snoop tells Hughes. “. . .She was like the mother and the father. You know what I’m sayin’? So, we had discipline in my house. But at the same time, you know, I still ventured out ‘n’ joined a gang, sold drugs; because that’s what, you know, misled youth do. . .You know, my mother tried her best, but at the same time, I was influenced by what I was seein’ when she wasn’t there.”
Shortly after his release from jail, however, the teen was discovered by Dr. Dre, and Snoop’s music trajectory soared, with best-selling albums ultimately including Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather; Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told; No Limit Top Dogg; Tha Last Meal; Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss; R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece; and Malice n Wonderland.
Whether it’s in music, movies or TV, Snoop has always reached out to the widest possible audience, no matter their ages or background. As he tells Hughes, “My thing is appealing to many walks. It’s not just the under 30. It’s 45, 50. I go to concerts sometimes where it’s 60-year-old ladies in the crowd, and they rockin’ all night, and they come backstage, and they tell me how much my music means to them.”
Two key areas of his life that are as important to him as his music is Snoop’s marriage to his high school sweetheart Shanté Taylor in 1997 and his devotion to his two sons and daughter, as seen in his popular TV reality show, “Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood.” Despite contemplating divorce in 2004, the couple weathered the storm and on January 12, 2008, renewed their wedding vows. As Snoop tells Hughes, “My dream was to be a rapper, first and foremost. That was my dream, and to make it and be successful. Along the way, I fell in love with my wife, and I had to explain to her later on in my career that I was chasin’ my dream, and I was puttin’ my dream before her and not realizin’ what my real dream was – that was to have a family. So, now I learned how to put ‘em in the proper perspective and put my wife and kids first and put my career second, and that’s why I think it’s so productive for me right now – because I got it in the proper prospective.”
In addition to making wildly successful music, Snoop Dogg has moved solidly into popular culture, making mainstream movies (“Training Day,” “Old School,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Bruno”), television shows (Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood and Dogg After Dark) and commercials while still connecting to veteran and on-the-rise rap musicians who play an important part in his ongoing artistic evolution. “I’m still a part of who they are,” he tells Hughes, “because I come from where they come from. I’m that little bit of hope that you can make it. And by me stayin’ connected to them and givin’ them hope and givin’ them life, it’s showin’ that it’s okay to come from where we come from, but we try to better ourselves once we understand what we want in life”.
Becoming Creative Chairman at EMI, Snoop says, is the final piece of what he wants in life — greater artistic control. As he explains to Hughes, “I wanna do what the great ones have done, James Brown, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield. These guys went out ‘n’ took control and owned their own record labels became their own bosses and created a style of music and a style to where it’s their own. I just wanna set a trend so when I drop my seed, my little plants can start to grow, and 20, 30 years from now, we have so much different and fly music – like today.”
Another major goal for Snoop and his wife is finding a cure for lupus, an autoimmune disease that struck their young daughter in 2005. They agree that their fight to combat the disease has impacted their relationship. Says Shanté Broadus, “It brought us closer because we were going through a divorce; and when we reconciled, that’s when we found out. And we were like, ‘How would we have done this if you were over there, and I was over here?’”