Snoop Dogg says: ‘An argument or dispute is a conversation away from peace.’
(FinalCall.com) – Since emerging on the scene in 1993, Snoop Dogg began by winning the 1994 Best Rapper MTV Video Music Award along with the 1994 Source Awards New Artist of the Year (Solo), Lyricist of the Year and Best Rap Video for “Doggy Dogg World”.
Since then he has amassed an impressive discography and musical career spanning two decades. Along with acting roles in close to sixty movies, Snoop Dogg is one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, and a certified mega-star. He sat down with The Final Call’s Ashahed M. Muhammad during a trip to Chicago to launch the Snoop Youth Football League, which has been in operation successfully on the West Coast for over six years.
Ashahed M. Muhammad (The Final Call FC:) What’s something that the general public would be surprised to find out about Snoop Dogg?
Snoop Dogg: (SD:) It’s kind of hard to say because I’m so different in many different aspects, but I think probably the way I love. A lot of people don’t know that I love to love. To have a different kind of mask on me where people feel like I’m not a loving individual. I just love to love, I love everything and everybody, I’m about peace that’s my spirit.
FC: Now, sometimes people have a certain image in their minds and they have a different perception of you. People who may not know you, have an idea of who they think you are and who you are being marketed as. As somebody who is totally exposed to the media, you go out of the country, everybody goes crazy, they know words to your songs and they don’t even speak English, they have seen your movies everywhere, you are a mega star–how do you stay grounded and keep yourself sane? How do you stay rooted?
SD: I never forget where I came from. I remember eating a bowl of Wheaties and sharing hot dogs with my brothers, taking baths with my cousin. Not really having much, wearing hand-me-down clothes from my cousin. Waiting to get his clothes that he couldn’t fit no more. You know those things inspired me to do what I’m doing now. And once I made it, I always had that reflection in my mind to go back.
And I always wanted to help those who couldn’t help themselves because I was in a position to help. I would always go back and give jobs to my homies that had just got out of jail, paroled couldn’t get a job because they had to put (makes a motion as if to write on a job application) “Were you ever arrested?”… “yes”… “Are you on parole?”… “yes” … You ain’t getting a job! So I would give them jobs, I would help them out.
FC: What do you say to people who are critical of you and see you as one with a negative mindset, doing ads for liquor, doing the movies with these women, and make up their minds based on that? Then, for them to hear you saying that you are a cool brother who loves and cares. What do you have to say to those people?
SD: Well I’m a business first and foremost so whatever my business is, it’s separate from my personal. It’s like whatever I do business wise, it’s done in the business fashion whether it’s promoting , marketing, whatever I’m doing. But personally you can’t judge that and that’s what speaks volumes for me in my personal works, in my personal attributes as far as what I bring away from the business and that’s like what I’m doing today. Coming into the community, touching hands, giving hope and really trying to put something in the community that they really need. Not being from this community shows how my concern is about people and not just about me and where I come from.
FC: You are considered a legend in hip-hop. You’ve been around a long time. A lot of new rappers look up to you, may have grown up listening to you, yet we still see the brothers in the industry falling for some of the same tricks such as signing contracts and not understanding the details and losing their money or getting caught up with the law. Do you have a chance to influence them in any way? And when you run into them and talk to them what do you say?
SD: I’m Uncle Snoop. That’s the name I’ve been given in the industry because I’m like an Uncle to all of the rappers whether they are older than me or younger than me and I love giving advice. If I feel like they need some information, I give it to them, I sit them down and talk to them. I try to get all of the rappers on one page of peace, love and just having soul and just being about representing this music. This music is not made for us to fight each (other), to kill each other. It’s made for us to make people have a good time, it’s a universal language of all people.
So what I try to push and promote is peace through the whole music industry. So if I see a particular rapper, and I know he has a problem with this particular rapper and I love both of them, I’m going to pull this rapper to the side and bring him in my room and talk to him and give him some understanding on why he need to stop acting stupid. And I am going to get with the other rapper and tell him the same thing. I have been in beefs and wars with rappers and conflicts with people but to be the bigger man is to end it and to put the peace hand out there to show … “hey man I don’t really have no problem with you … I don’t even want to go there with you brother.
What can we do to work this out?” I try to get the rappers to understand that. It is serious when you’re having an attitude with this rapper because his friends might not take it as a joke, they might see you and take it for real and then we have another tragedy like Biggie and Tupac and we don’t need that in hip-hop right now.
FC: And what about in your interaction with some of the brothers when you go back to the West coast or across the country as you travel and you talk to those who may still be involved in street organizations?
SD: I just try to teach them about unity as far as bringing different organizations together that would have never been together because I’m cool with everybody. So if I got somebody from this organization that doesn’t like that organization I can find a way to pull them together and then both their organizations will become one and that’s how we work on a common ground. It’s just a matter of communication.
An argument or dispute is a conversation away from peace. It’s just a matter of who is going to be man enough to say ‘I was wrong’ or ‘I’m willing to hear what you’re saying’ instead of jumping to conclusions and wanting to fight and hurt somebody. That’s not the mentality that I push and promote. That’s why I’m so successful because peace is my main thing, it’s not about money. It’s about making sure everybody is having a good time and loving and living and enjoying life.
FC: Years from now when the testament is written about Snoop Dogg and what kind of man he was, what do you want people to say about you?
SD: I don’t even care what they say about me. I’m here to impress only one man. He don’t live here with us. He’s on top. So that’s all I’m concerned about. My work is not for the public or for man to view or make judgment on me, I work for one person … period. That’s it. That’s all.
FC: Anything else you want to share or add?
SD: You’re sharp! You were back here breaking it down. This interview need to be on NBC, CBS you hear me?! For real though this is the uncut. I want to say this too, when I do these kind of interviews … these are the interviews that mean me the most because you are coming after my heart. You are not coming after exposure and trying to make a name for yourself off of doing an interview with Snoop Dogg. You are trying to really put out there what I’m doing. I appreciate you all for giving me your time and putting me on your camera and letting the whole world know what it is. Real talk.
FC: Real talk.
For more info regarding the Snoop Youth Football League visit http://www.snoopyfl.net