Back in 2010 I did an e-mail interview with Snoop Dogg, and here it is in all its glory. Snoop is playing in Oslo Spektrum on Sunday, August 3rd.
ØH: What are your plans for the next decade? Will music still be your main concern, or are you planning to get more into movies? Or is the secret to staying afloat in the entertainment industry today to diversify?
SD: Im just tryin to stay busy and keep it movin’. Whether it’s through music, videos, film, tv, sports, commercials, etc – you are definitely gonna be seein’ me around for many more decades to come. I stay ready so I ain’t gotta get ready, u hear me?!?
ØH: You’ve almost been 20 years in the game. What’s the secret to your longevity?
SD: Smoking Kush. Making Timeless Music. Doin it my way jacc!!!
ØH: N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and your own Doggystyle are among the most important records of the last 20 years. You performed on two of them, but what were your reactions when you heard the first? Why was the N.W.A. album so important?
SD: It was a movement of the time – it had everyone goin nuts and everyone wanted to hear it. It was something that had not been heard before and people wanted more of it. Classic gangsta shit.
ØH: Do you feel that many critics have missed the humorous element in your work? I wonder if you have been inspired by any comedians or actors?
SD: Richard Pryor is one of my biggest role models. I don’t feel that they have missed the humorous element, perhaps just overlooked it or taken it for granted.
ØH: Were you surprised and disappointed when the media used your troubles with the law to turn on both you and gangsta-rap in the early 90’s, especially the British press. What personal or professional significance did this have on you?
ØH: I just did a story on Tupac Shakur, and his continuing relevance. Norwegian teenagers, who weren’t even born when Tupac was killed, are among his biggest fans. Where do you think Tupac was on his way, musically and personally, before he died?
SD: One of the greats. One of the best who ever did it. A dear friend as well. He was my homeboy and always will be.
ØH: At the time, your move to No Limit Records was seen by many as a career misstep. But looking back, you were actually in front of the dirty south dominance in American hip-hop. What did your years at No Limit teach you?
SD: It taught me a lot. Master P taught me a lot of stuff on the business tip and I will be thankful forever for him on that. It was great to be down in Louisiana – all my family is down there. But at the same time, after three albums it was time for me to do me and go my way.
ØH: Why did you branch out into movies, television and clothes? Was it a necessity or a need?
SD: I just wanted to give the fans what they wanted. If you are gonna be a boss in life, u gotta branch out and do other things. I can’t make music my whole life 365 days a year. I have other interests and hobbies that give me direction in what I wanna do in life. Acting is just one of those things. My main goal in acting is to play a lawyer one day.
ØH: Many people say that albums like Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Bo$$ and Rhythm & Gangsta were a comeback. I feel that if any record should be seen as a comeback, it was Tha Last Meal. Do you agree?
SD: I don’t believe in comebacks because I never went anywhere. 9 studio albums? I may have gone other routes, but I damn sure didn’t go anywhere. They all classic.
ØH: Getting older, do you feel that Snoop Dogg is getting to be more of a role? And that your music career as Snoop and private life as Calvin Broadus is getting more separated? Is hip-hop a good tool when it comes to roleplaying?
SD: I just do me man. I don’t know about roles, characters or nuthin. I do Snoop Dogg. It’s what the fans want and it’s what imma give to them. Some times I go into the phone booth and change from Calvin Broadus to Snooperman – that’s the only time I change roles. haha!
ØH: Is it harder to make albums in American hip-hop today than in the 90’s? It seems to me that the industry today is more focused on single tunes and an endless stream of mixtapes and guest appearances?
SD: You are right about that. Its a tough time for today’s industry and we are at the crossroads – looking for what is next to come. All I can do is continue to be me and continue to keep it movin and things are gonna work out. Been here for 20, gonna be here for 20+ more.