Says You Can't Teach an Old Dogg New Tricks?
By Josh Freedom du Lac
CDNOW: With the Peanuts comic strip retired, you gonna
Snoop Dogg: Aw shit, I didn't know they was retiring.
He was a good man, Charlie Brown. Anyway, how'd the
Eastsidaz project come together? Why a trio?
Snoop Dogg: I just felt like it was the thing to do.
We all was seasoned, and they needed to be in the game.
Being up under Master P as long as I've been -- he's
the best businessman, and he taught me how to do business
-- I felt this was the proper time.
Were there any challenges in recording a trio record
that you don't get doing a solo album?
Snoop Dogg: There's going to always be challenges. Every
time we come out, we want it to be the best record we've
made in four years, you know what I'm sayin'? But it
was easy, because everybody can carry they own weight.
Tray Deee: We know what Snoop expects from us, and we
didn't feel like we needed to compete with him; he let
us shine equally. We didn't feel like we needed to change
anything, either -- just keep bringing forth what we're
known for, which is spitting hard gangsta lyrics. And
it fell into place; it was a natural progression for
us to be a group, because when we rap together, we rap
like we're one. The main challenge was tocome out with
something to introduce Snoop's new label to the world.
He put a nice weight on our shoulders that we don't
What's your favorite trio of all-time?
Snoop Dogg: Damn -- probably UTFO.
Goldie Loc: I liked the Westside Connection; they was
banging. Also, the Fat Boys [laughs]. They used to kill
Tray Deee: A Tribe Called Quest. It seemed like Tribe
always had fun with what they was doing and vibed off
each other. Q-Tip didn't try to be Phife; Phife didn't
try to be Q-Tip; and Ali Shaheed kept the beats on point.
They had a nice career.
What, no Crosby, Stills, and Nash?
Tray Deee: [Laughs, and laughs, and laughs.] How about
the Allman Brothers?! Wait, there was more than three
You should give props to Crosby, Stills, and Nash in
your next interview.
Tray Deee: Yeah, then they'll be like: 'OK, what was
your favorite song of theirs?' 'Uh, 'Still of the Night'?'''
Seriously, how about the Beastie Boys?
Tray Deee: Oh, man, I love the fucking Beastie Boys
-- all the way from "Paul Revere" to that damn digital
shit, "Intergalactic." That was the shit; they had heat
like a motherfucker. I liked that they never tried to
be black or nothing like that; they were just a white
rap group, and they were successful at it.
Tray, is the plan to have both you and Goldie Loc come
out solo after this?
Tray Deee: Yeah, my solo album will be entitled 21st
Century: The Ice Age. Look for that in maybe August
or September; a little bit after, you can expect Goldie
to drop Second-Hand Smoke Kills.
Will there be another Eastsidaz album after that?
Goldie Loc: We might give y'all another Eastsidaz album
every year or every eight or nine months. Or, we might
concentrate on my solo and Tray Deee's solo, and help
Snoop bringout his album after this. There's a lot of
things we can do.
Tray Deee: Really, we just laid the groundwork for the
label. We wanted to try oursuccess together as a group
and see what the public wanted from the Eastsidaz after
that. It's up to the public to decide if they'd like
the Eastsidaz to do another album.
Snoop Dogg: Just trying to put DoggHouse Records in
What else will the public see from the label?
Snoop Dogg: I've got a female West Coast group called
Doggie's Angels coming out in summertime 2000.
Tray Deee: There are also plans to bring out RBX and
CTO, Soopafly, Nate Dogg -- a whole roster of talent.
We want to make DoggHouse the largest label of the millennium.
Snoop, what's going on with N.W.A? Is there still going
to be a reunion album with you replacing Eazy-E?
Snoop Dogg: Yeah, we're still kind of just talking right
now, but I believe that's going to get worked out. It
would be like a dream come true more or less. But, you
know, I'm just going to try to do my best and make sure
I handle my business musically like I'm supposed to.
An album with Dre might happen before the N.W.A project,
though. I'm just stayin' busy.
You've sold more than 10 million albums in your career.
In rap, that's a monumental number; but for a pop star
like Mariah Carey, it's all in a year's work, give or
take a couple million. Do you ever envision the day
when rap is so dominant that the top MCs will regularly
post sales figures that rival those of a Mariah Carey?
Snoop Dogg: I think it is the dominant thing now. That's
why people like Mariah Carey have to incorporate it
into her music, because it's the biggest thing moving.
Do you pay attention to numbers? With DoggyStyle, you
set a record for one-week sales, but you've since seen
it surpassed by a few other artists, including Garth
Brooks and the Backstreet Boys. Do you want that record
Snoop Dogg: Nuh-uh. I didn't even trip when I got it;
I'm just trying to make good music, so I don't even
focus on that aspect of it. Making the good music is
all we really into it for.
Well, what gives you gratification if it's not seeing
your sales figures? Is it just making a good record?
Winning awards? Hearing a car next to you bumping your
Snoop Dogg: Yeah, yeah -- that's better than the Grammys
and all that shit.
It seems like that might even be better than having
fans dap you up, since they could be frontin' when they
talk to you. When they're banging your records, they're
doing it just to do it.
Snoop Dogg: Yeah, like you ain't really faking the funk
-- you really just enjoying it. I like that.
It must trip you out when you roll up next to somebody
and hear your music, then look over and see a mom in
a minivan or some shit.
Snoop Dogg: Uh-huh -- exactly, exactly [laughs].
Can a project like the Eastsidaz have widespread mainstream
appeal? Or is it more for the underground?
Tray Deee: We're actually receiving a good response
from a mainstream audience, as well as the underground.
I think rap fans know this is something that was well
put-together; it's not something where somebody said,
"Let's throw this together and make us some money."
We put our heart and soul into creating it. And people
are able to hear it through the music, and one man's
word is going to spread to the next man to the next
woman to the next child. There's songs on there for
everybody. I think it'll do well as the word spreads.
Well, it should be a smash because, as your song says,
Tray Deee: Oh, you know pussy sells.
What's up with that skit where Snoop says, "I don't
play basketball -- I play bitches"?
Tray Deee: That's big. People always mention that. It's
something he needed to do. He's a fool. But we had fun
working with him. It's a blessing for us, being able
to get together and collaborate and talk about where
we really came from without feeling like we might be
censored, or worrying about if it's OK to say this.
Of course it's OK. Our CEO is a gangsta. You can't go
wrong if you're a gangsta, and your CEO is a gangsta,
Snoop, do you remember about the first few years after
you first came out on Deep Cover? There was so much
hype, so much success -- and so much drama, too -- that
it might have been a blur.
Snoop Dogg: I really don't remember those times too
much. I'm having so much fun now doing what I want to
do and being able to work with who I want to work with.
It's freedom. I have a whole lot of room to breathe.
That makes me a better artist, creatively.
How would you say the game has changed in the eight
years since you came out?
Snoop Dogg: It's a lot more money involved now. It's
just rappers able to make money; you have more opportunities
now, like being able to do movies. When I first came
out, we were doing songs for soundtracks. Now we're
not just the soundtrack; we're also the movie. We have
a 90-minute Eastsidaz home-video movie we're putting
out in April. All three of us are in it. It's about
betrayal, deceit, honesty, and trust. I really can't
explain it; you have to see it. It's a good little 90-minute
What about big-screen stuff?
Snoop Dogg: That's what I'm getting ready to do right
now. I've got a trip to Canada on March 1 to start shooting
Bones, a big movie with New Line Cinema. I'll be over
there for two months. It's a horror movie, and I'm the
If you're the star, I guess that means you won't get
killed in the first two minutes, then.
Snoop Dogg: [Laughs] Ah, you never know. Might be five