Born Calvin Broadus, Snoop Dogg was nicknamed thusly due to his looks. In his hometown of Long Beach, Calif., the young man had numerous run-ins with the law, including an arrest for cocaine possession which earned him some jail time.
Music became his salvation, with home-grown demo tapes as his outlet. Snoop collaborated with Warren G, stepbrother to Dr. Dre of N.W.A. After Warren got a tape to Dre, Snoop had his first break. Dre brought Snoop along on his first solo project in 1992, a song for the movie Deep Cover.
The buzz was immediate and solid, especially after The Chronic, Dre's solo debut album, was released. It featured Snoop in equal parts to Dre. The singles "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" and "Dre Day" became crossover hits in 1993.
Snoop was all set to make his own solo stand with Doggystyle, but got sidelined by a shooting incident. The record finally came out in late 1993 and debuted at the top of the charts. Snoop's legal woes and two Top 10 singles, "What's My Name?" and "Gin & Juice," managed to keep Doggystyle at the head of the class for a number of months. His controversial lyrics, featuring sexist, violent rhetoric, also helped keep his name out there.
When a brouhaha in England erupted over him, Snoop responded with a short film based on "Murder Was the Case," a cut from Doggystyle. The companion soundtrack came out at number one in 1994 while Doggystyle had sold more than fou... Read more