Originally from Long Beach, California, Snoop Dogg rose to prominence as one of America’s most famous rap artists after being discovered by Dr. Dre of N.W.A. His debut album, Doggystyle, sold almost a million copies in its first week of release and, by 1994, was certified platinum four times over. His hits “Gin & Juice” and “What’s My Name?” fueled the ascendance of West Coast G-funk hip hop, reaching the top ten of most played songs in America.
Although he is considered one of the art form’s most talented practitioners, he has the dubious distinction of having seventeen Grammy nominations without a win.
Here are a few other things you might not have known about the Doggfather himself: Snoop D-O-double-G.
Snoop Dogg Facts
1. What’s His Name?
His real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., which totally explains why he changed his name to Snoop Dogg.
2. High Q
Rumor has it that Snoop has an IQ of 147 which would qualify him as a genius.
3. Parenting 101
As a boy, his parents nicknamed him “Snoopy” because of the way he looked and because every good parent knows to refer to their son as a cartoon dog.
4. Bloods and the Crits
Snoop was a member of the Rollin’ 20 Crips in the East Side of Long Beach. Something tells us that Rollin’ 20 wasn’t a reference to Dungeons & Dragons.
5. Bro Code
Snoop, along with his cousins Nate Dogg, Lil’ ½ Dead, and his pal Warren G recorded homemade tapes as a group called 213, which was the Long Beach area code. It’s kind of like how Pitbull refers to himself as Mr. 305, except actually, y’know, cool.
6. Free Your Mind
One of his early solo freestyles over En Vogue’s “Hold On” made it onto a mixtape that was heard by Dr. Dre, who invited him to audition and helped to kickstart his career.
7. The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
Snoop Dogg first collaborated with Dr. Dre on the theme song for the 1992 film Deep Cover and then on Dr. Dre’s debut solo album The Chronic with other members of his former starting group, Tha Dogg Pound.
8. A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Former N.W.A. associate The D.O.C is the one credited with teaching Snoop how to structure his lyrics and separate the thematics into verses, hooks, and chorus. If it weren’t for The D.O.C, Snoop could have been the most famous limerick writer in history.
9. Risky Business
Snoop was famously on trial for murder and got off without any charges when the whole affair ended in a mistrial. The publicity of case helped boost sales of Snoop’s debut album, Doggystyle, to over five million copies which, although successful, is not an entrepreneurial tactic they recommend at Wharton.
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10. Case Closed
Murder Was the Case, a short film about Snoop’s murder trial was released in 1994, along with the accompanying soundtrack. The song by the same name debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one.
11. Here’s Johnnie!
Snoop’s lawyer was the famous Johnnie Cochran, the same lawyer who got OJ acquitted.
12. Mama’s Boy
Snoop’s favorite track on his 1993 album was “Gangsta Life,” a gospel-inspired tribute to his mother.
13. Speak Softly and Carry a Big…
Rolling Stone said that part of what separated Snoop from other rappers was his soft-spoken delivery. This was in contrast to other rappers who scream for no apparent reason. We’re talking to you DMX.
14. Forgot About Dre
Snoop’s second album, The Doggfather, was co-produced by Daz Dillinger and DJ Pooh. Dr. Dre had left Death Row earlier due to an ugly contract dispute and the resulting album had a very different sound and did not perform as well as its predecessor.
15. Biting the Hand That Feeds You
Snoop’s relationship with Suge Knight deteriorated rapidly following Dr. Dre’s departure, and Snoop was actually one of the first to start firing shots, with a subtle diss track cryptically entitled “F**** Death Row.”
16. Tree Hugger
In 2016, there was a Change.org petition out there calling for Snoop to narrate the entire Planet Earth series which would be absolutely amazing and, seriously, shut up, take all our money, and make this happen.
17. Under New Management
When he first started performing, he called himself Snoop Doggy Dogg. He had to change his name to Snoop Dogg when he signed with a new label, Master P’s “No Limit,” a label that had the muscle needed to get Snoop out from under Suge Knight’s thumb.
18. Dead to Rights
In addition to the “Doggy” portion of his moniker, Snoop also had to give up his rights to the catalog he had made with Death Row which meant that he didn’t see any of the profits from some of his biggest hits including “Gin and Juice,” “What’s my Name,” and “Murder Was the Case.”
19. Location, Location, Location
Due to money troubles, Snoop had to sell his California mansion and ended up moving to New Orleans because of the vibrant music scene, the wonderful Cajun cuisine, and that Suge Knight allegedly ordered a hit on Snoop if he ever returned to California. But mostly because of the jambalaya.
20. Map to the Stars
Suge even went so far as to put down the directions to Snoop’s and Dre’s homes on the Death Row Uncut DVD so people could find them and hurt them. If we’re learning anything from this, it’s that Suge Knight is a gentle and forgiving person.
21. We Are Family
Snoop is first cousins with Brandy the famous R&B singer who hit the small screen in Moesha, and Ray J, the famous R&B singer who also hit the small screen...
22. Sad Story
In 1997, Snoop married Shante Taylor, his high school sweetheart. And then, like so many people these days, he divorced his high school sweetheart.
23. With a Twist!
But in 2008, Snoop and his high school sweetheart got back together and renewed their vows.
24. Any Given Sunday
In 2005, Snoop started a youth football league that has helped launch a few NFL careers, including Greg Ducre, Kam Jackson, and Ronnie Hillman who was the first Snoop Youth Football League alum to win a Super Bowl.
25. Better than Tylenol
Snoop is famous for his love of marijuana and, since 1997, has been certified in California to receive medical marijuana to treat migraines which are brought on by the lack of marijuana.
26. To Put it Bluntly
Snoop claims that he no longer smokes weed when he coaches youth football after a kid at practice told him he smelled “like my mama’s boyfriend.”
27. The Jordan of Pimps
Although many rappers claim to be pimps, Snoop actually was a pimp from 2003 to 2004 saying it, “was my natural calling and once I got involved with it, it became fun. It was like shootin’ layups for me. I was makin’ em every time.” He gave up pimping to spend more time with his family because family comes first.
28. One Love
Snoop was a member of the Nation of Islam, but after a trip to Jamaica, claimed he was “born again,” joined the Rastafari movement, switched his focus to reggae music, and changed his name to Snoop Lion.
29. Drop That
For reasons passing comprehension, Snoop started an Instagram feud with Iggy Azalea but apologized after rapper T.I told him in “a very, very, very cordial” conversation to chill. And you know it was cordial because T.I said it three times.
30. The Bigger Dogg
Snoop claims that Death Row Records and Suge Knight turned their backs on him because he wanted to end the east/west coast rivalry that had already taken the lives of Tupac and Biggie Smalls by publicly making amends with P. Diddy and The Notorious B.I.G. And here we thought that Suge Knight seemed like such a reasonable fellow.