Snoop Details How He Recruited An All-Star Cast Of 70s Black Actors For “Doggy Dogg World” (Video)
On the latest GGN episode hosted by Snoop Dogg, Jidenna joins Tha Doggfather to break down his style and influences. As a result, Jidenna is also treated to an account of the making of one of Snoop’s most memorable music videos.
This part of the conversation starts around 16:00. When Snoop asks him about his style, Jidenna speaks about the root of his album, The Chief. He links it to 1973 film The Mack. “I will say that we named my album The Chief, partially because we were inspired by other albums that began with ‘The,’ but [also 1970s films like] Goldie and The Mack, Tha Doggfather or The Godfather. It was a lot of those [movies like] The Boss. We felt it was right because it took me a while to try and explain to people what a chief was in Nigeria, to Americans. I really understood it when I watched The Godfather, and I was like, ‘Oh, I get it. A chief is an African don.’ That was when I knew that the kinda pimp elements I’d seen as a kid, and then mostly in magazines and in movies, that the fantasy element was always in a chief. So that’s mostly where the style came from,” explains Jidenna. He adds that his father’s disability caused him to use a cane. He was also an engineer who donned “cold” tailored three-piece suits, giving him an image not unlike the leading men in many of those films. Jidenna’s image followed suit.
Upon hearing Jidenna’s inspiration, Snoop dials The Mack himself: actor Max Julien. After a quick “boss call” with Julien, Snoop breaks down the story of how he met “The Mack” for Jidenna. “When I [came] out, I [made] ‘Doggy Dogg World.’ For my video…if you ever see that video, I got Ron O’Neal, who was ‘Superfly.’ I [also] got Fred Williamson, who was in Three The Hard Way, motherf*ckin’ Rudy Ray Moore, who was ‘Dolemite,’ Max Julien who was ‘The Mack,’ Pam Grier who was ‘Foxy Brown,’ Antonio Fargas who was ‘Huggy Bear.’ I went and got The Dramatics. I went and got ‘Rerun’ from What’s Happening!!. I went and got all of ’em! but I reached out to ’em personally,” Snoop recalls. In 1994, he personally dialed the veteran actors, declared himself a fan, and offered them money to appear in the colorful Doggystyle video.
“Ni**as showed up. They was lookin’ fresh again. I had them looking the part,” Snoop details. He claims to have met each 1970s-era actor for the first time on the set. “I came in as the life of the party because I called them, and I loved all of them. They’ve never been in nothing together like that. Check the files. You’ve never see a movie with all of them ni**as like that. This was like my Harlem Nights.” Snoop compares his music video to Eddie Murphy’s 1989 film, which boasted a cast including Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Della Reese, and others.
“[It was] where I could take all of the greats that I love and put ’em on some sh*t that make ’em fresh again. I converted [myself] to [their era]. I didn’t bring them to 1990-something. I went back to 1970-something.” Snoop adds that in some cases, the actors wanted no compensation. Instead, they were flattered by the inclusive gesture.
History has proven the importance of “Doggy Dogg World.” Ron O’Neal died in 2004. Fred Berry, who played “Rerun,” died in 2003. Rudy Ray Moore passed in 2008. Notably, Pam Grier’s career would turn up following “Doggy Dogg World.” She was the title character in Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film, Jackie Brown.
Elsewhere in the GGN chat, Jidenna discusses his experience and networking in Stanford University and his appearances in Luke Cage and Insecure.