Snoop Dogg Previews His Upcoming LP For KXNG Crooked & Details Suge Knight Song
After more than 25 years in the game, Long Beach, California MC/producer/DJ Snoop Dogg is gearing up to release his 17th studio album, I Wanna Thank Me, later this year. A few weeks ago, Snoop released the single and a video to the title track of the album. In the video, Snoop is captured giving an acceptance speech last year while receiving his place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His memorable “I Wanna Thank Me” speech is then followed by nostalgic clips of Snoop’s Hip-Hop history and bars congratulating the Dogg himself on a heralded career. Now, Snoop sits down with “Guess Who’s Back” collaborator KXNG Crooked and his Crook’s Corner series to discuss and digest Tha Doggfather’s upcoming album.
To open the interview (1:30), Snoop discusses the now viral “I Wanna Thank Me” speech, and how it inspired him to integrate the concept with his forthcoming project. Snoop divulges to Crooked, “What’s wrong with patting yourself on the back every once in a while? Especially when you do what you do. Especially when you the bread winner, you the provider for the whole family. You gotta get up and go get it. That’s where I’m at with it, career wise. I gotta say something…You gotta use your moments to say something on your platform, especially when you got so many people listening and watching. You know what I’m saying?”
After listening to more snippets from the project, Snoop unveils a track he recorded that pays homage to his former boss, Death Row Records co-founder/former CEO, Suge Knight. Snoop provides insight into the track and his history with Suge (3:00), “You can see it right? You can see all the good times we had instead of the bad times. Don’t want to showcase that. Showcase the great times and the greatness of this. He’s the reason the music industry is like it is, on the positive side, like ni**as being CEOs and having their own sh*t, and being able to do your thing. Wasn’t nobody able to do that [before Suge Knight],” Snoop asserts. “He showed ni**as a different mentality that you can be the owner, you can be the boss. So you gotta highlight that, or they’ll never highlight it. They’ll take credit for that too. ‘Cause it’s real love.”
Snoop continues, “I never hated him. Even when [Suge Knight and Death Row Records artists, employees, and affiliates] tried to do whatever they tried to do to me. I don’t have that. It ain’t in my system. And we have became like this now.” Snoop claps his hands together to describe the bond the two men formed since making amends in 2013. This armistice follows 15 years of near-deadly beef. After Snoop’s Death Row contract was sold to No Limit Records, Crooked I became a flagship artist at the label for approximately five years. “So that’s what the beauty of it is, that I can express that. And when [the song] comes out, [Suge Knight] already knows, and now the world [is] gonna know. It’s going to feel good. It’s going to shock a lot of mothafu*kas. [People] thrive off the negativity, ‘Kick him when he down.’ That’s why I say real ones know not to kick ni**as when they down, especially when we was down that ni**a’s picking ni**as up, gangbangin’ on NY stages, hittin’ ni**as up. When y’all was scared of it, he wasn’t afraid. That’s why I said he made the way. We just want you to win. If you win, we win.”
In the recording studio within his compound, Snoop plays some snippets from the upcoming LP. One song samples both Bob Marley and Slick Rick. KXNG Crooked recalls witnessing Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur record a St. Ides malt liquor ad while at Death Row during the mid-1990s. Later, Snoop acknowledges how far back Crook’s career goes. The host, who also hails from Long Beach, was signed and mentored by Big C-Style, who is a longtime Dogg Pound affiliate.
Elsewhere in the interview, Snoop Dogg explains creating a lane for his cousin, Daz Dillinger. The smooth MC reveals that he wrote Daz’s debut verse (and chorus), “Deeez Nuts.” Although Dre was reportedly resistant to Daz’s rapping prior to the spot, the delivery ultimately convinced Dre to leave the song (eventually included on The Chronic) as is, and be open to a verse from the rapper/producer hopeful. “I wrote that whole song, ’cause I wanted him on the song—’cause I liked his voice,” he says. The would-be Dogg Pound co-founder earned the trust to eventually make significant contributions to other songs on the acclaimed 1992 album. “The next three days, him and Dre done did ‘The Day The Ni**az Took Over,’ and then he did, ‘Lil’ Ghetto Boy.’ He [wrote] all that on his own. Ni**a, Daz wasn’t playin’! After I wrote [‘Deeez Nutz,’ cuzz got hungry! He started breakin’ in the studio.”
Snoop recalls how Daz and Warren G broke into SOLAR Records through the night to make songs for Dre’s solo debut. Snoop credits Warren for bringing “Lil’ Ghetto Boy” to the sessions. That song would introduce the world to Nate Dogg. “That came from Warren G,” he says of his 213 band-mate.
Snoop attributes his work ethic in those days to ultimately make him the star child of Death Row, securing the label’s second release, 1993’s D*ggystyle.
Bonus Beat: Snoop Dogg’s “I Wanna Thank Me” Music Video