New At The Dogg House
© Brant Publications, Inc.
By Eric Berman
ERIC BERMAN: What were you trying to do with your new
album, Tha Doggfather?
SNOOP DOGGY DOGG: This album was more of a change from
a boy to a man, you know what I'm saying It wasn't just
a lot of horsin' around. Like on the first single ["Snoop's
Upside Ya Head"], didn't cuss and I didn't even try
not to. With a lot of the things I did [on the last
album, Doggystyle], I was just being a youngster growing
up, and now I'm more of the father-type figure.
EB: And you have a child now, right?
SDD: Yeah, I have a son. He's two.
EB: Do you let him listen to "gangsta" rap?
SDD: I do. Whatever I play at my house, he listens to,
Whether I show it to him or not, it's going to be out
there in front of his eyes every day. The streets don't
have no love for him. They're not going to teach him.
I'm going to love him and show him the right way of
going about it. I didn't have no father in the home
to stop me from gangbangin', but he does.
EB: Do you think that rap has an influence over kids
and their decisions on the streets?
SDD: No, I don't. It's an expression. And it's a legal
way out for those who don't have opportunities. A lot
of times, people don't see all the positivity inside
of this gangsta-rap thing. We all come from violent
backgrounds, but yet and still we find time to do the
right thing for Mother's Day. We look out for the homeless.
we look out for people who don't have anything. Rappers
Against Violence is a group that I'm a part of - we
work to unite with real gang members who are trying
to stop the violence. I made it from a community that
doesn't expect people to make it. My job is to make
sure I'm doing the right thing, and that's the best
example in the world.
EB: Do you still live in Long Beach [Calif.]?
SDD: No, I stay in Chino Hills.
EB: What type of neighborhood is that?
SDD: Nine-to-five, upper-class, Republican.
EB: How do you get along with your neighbors?
SDD: I don't. Their kids love the hell out of me, but
the grown-ups really don't understand because it's a
bad hat that I've been wearing for the last three years.
EB: How did your trial affect you?
SDD: The trial hurt me. I had to deal with the pressure
of someone's death and being held responsible for it.
That's nothing to brag about. But it also helped me
develop as a man. It taught me to respect life and understand
that I now have a son who needs me to provide direction.
EB: Tupac wasn't with Death Row very long. What was
your relationship with him?
SDD: We were more or less like brothers. That's a powerful
relationship, so a lot of times we had disagreements
between us. He could comment on my shit and I might
not like what he said, but at the end of the day we'd
both say, "I appreciate you leer telling me, because
if you didn't love me you wouldn't a said nothing."
There was real love there.
EB: What is your understanding of what went down in
SDD: I don't know. I'm still trying to get over that
he ain't here no more. I really started getting close
to somebody that was the same as me, like, on a success
level and on an understanding of the streets, and he's
taken away from me. Pac was a blessing and now he's
gone. But he'll always be here through his music, and
it's up to people like me to keep it movin' on.
EB: The news reports were saying that Tupac's shooting
broke the L.A. gang truce, and triggered a lot of gang-related
shootings during the time immediately following his
SDD: Fuck the news. They're gonna tell you what they
want you to hear any motherfuckin' way. But not once
did they cover the peace treaty. Did you see that on
the news? No you didn't. Didn't get no live 20/20, Barbara
Walters coverage on that shit. But when the peace is
oven everybody knows about it.
EB: What do you ultimately want to achieve as an artist?
SDD: Respect from everybody around the world, like the
respect that country music gets. You don't never see
nobody on TV bad-mouthing country music, saying, "Hey,
Willie Nelson's doing this, or Kenny Rogers or Garth
Brooks did that." I'm sure they have problems just like
we do, but they're always getting respect and love.
I just want that same respect. Thank you.