Dogg Serves Up "Tha Last Meal"
By Pat Charles
Even though it's over now, how often do you think about
the success of the Up in Smoke tour?
Man, to this minute I can't stop thinking about it.
Up in Smoke was a piece of history and I was happy to
be a part of it. It was some shit that was long overdue.
It just proved, to me especially, that me and Dre are
survivors in the biggest way possible. We began our
quest together in '92, and at one point it looked like
we had fallen. But, now that I look at it all . . .
we never fell down. We stumbled. We stumbled but we
refused to fall.
Despite public perceptions about rap tours, with the
exception of Detroit, it seemed to go without incident.
There was actually a time when things could've been
worse. We showed up at one of the venues down south,
and I walked by a sign that said, "No Smoking, $300
fine." I was like, "No Smoking???!" I wasn't havin'
that, 'cause you know that Snoop Dogg's gotta be smokin'
his trees. So I told the niggas in charge that if I
couldn't smoke, I wasn't steppin' on stage. They didn't
even try to contest that, 'cause that shit could've
started a riot. They were immediately like, "Smoke all
you want, my nigga. It's all good." In all reality,
they should've known better than to try that shit. Nigga,
this is Up in Smoke -- not no mothafuckin' after-school
How would you describe the relationships between those
of you on the tour?
realize that we operate like a basketball team. Actually,
we're the L.A. Lakers of hip-hop. We got Dr. Dre who's
the Shaquille O'Neill of it all, the one who makes it
all happen in the middle. Give him the ball and he'll
dunk on everybody. I play the role of Kobe Bryant, you
know what I'm sayin'? Eminem is the power forward, the
Horace Grant in our click. I see Nate Dogg as our Small
Forward, because he comes in with roles that seem small
but, in reality, they're so big. Xzibit is the point
guard who brings the ball up the court and hits us when
we're open. And he's also the guy who makes his shots
when he has to. And God plays the role of [coach] Phil
Jackson. I believe God is the one who put our team together.
You feel me?
I picture Eminem as the guard in the equation, probably
because he's small and quick with his delivery.
The reason why I think of Eminem as a power forward
is because he's such a powerful rapper. I would've compared
him to Dennis Rodman, if he still played basketball
-- Rodman was on the Lakers for a minute. Regardless,
Eminem is definitely a power forward, though.
Your upcoming album, Tha Last Meal, is the last one
you owe to both Priority Records and Master P's No Limit.
There seems to be a message in the title.
The reason why I named it Tha Last Meal, is 'cause it's
the last time these redneck label executives is gonna
be eatin' off Snoop Dogg. And I'm not talkin' about
Master P or No Limit. I'm talkin' 'bout Priority Records.
I have nothing against P at all. If it wasn't for P
and No Limit, I wouldn't be where I am today. If you
think about it, No Limit is one of the best things that's
happened to the rap industry. 'Cause before No Limit
became so big, Death Row was the dominant force. Think
about it this way: When niggas wanted to leave Death
Row, there was violence and there was beef. They ran
Death Row like a street company. No Limit, on the other
hand, is run the way a business is supposed to be run.
Back when I was on Death Row . . . if a nigga wanted
to leave, ma'fuckas would have the attitude, like, "This
nigga's a bitch. Fuck that nigga." But that shit never
happened with No Limit. Mystikal left, and there was
no beef at all. Other people have left, and it was all
cool. I'm leaving, and I'm gettin' nothin' but love.
No Limit is full of positivity. Look what I did while
I was on No Limit: I created my own record label [Doggystyle
Records, distributed by TVT]. Master P didn't come to
me and say, 'No Snoop. You can't do that.' He let me
go about my business. P's a real nigga. That's why,
with Tha Last Meal, I'm giving Master P the best record
Snoop Dogg has ever put together, ever. It's because
I feel he gave me the best chance in the world. He broke
me free from those suckas on Death Row. He gave me a
new life and helped me breathe easier. Show a nigga
love, he'll show you love back.
Death Row continues to release your old material without
paying you. It must upset you.
I'm tryin' not to sweat it, and I'll tell ya why . .
. You see what the musical factors of Death Row was,
right? The musical factors was Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
After Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg left, Death Row Records
saw their fall. Now you see where Dr. Dre and Snoop
Dogg are now. Where we at?
That's right, my nigga. We on top. Say it like you mean
it next time. You see any negativity around us? You
see anybody wantin' us dead? Are we out here beefin'
with anybody? The only beef we got is with Death Row
Records. And it's not even us havin' beef with them;
it's them havin' beef with us. And why do they have
beef with us? It's because we actually bounced out of
that situation and eventually became even more successful
than we would've become under Death Row Records. And
that's the truth. It's because Dre is bein' Dre and
Snoop is bein' Snoop.
How do you think your new frame of mind will affect
I honestly feel that the work that I'm doing will keep
getting better than anything I've ever done. My mind
is right, Dre's mind is right, everyone affiliated with
Dre is in the right frame of mind. I feel that this
album is really setting the tone for the work I'll be
doing in the future. No more pressure, no more bullshit,
no more greed. Just amazing music with no strings attached
to it. This is the best state of mind I've ever been
in. Ever. When people listen to my new album, it's not
like they'll be thinkin', "Damn, this is Snoop's last
album." It's more like they'll be sayin', "Damn. This
nigga's back on track -- it's official."