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Snoop Dogg: God Bless My Enemies

MTV Interviewer

MTV: "Tha Last Meal" is your last album on No Limit. Is that a sense of freedom for you?

Snoop: Yeah, but I got to thank Master P for creating that freedom vibe for me. I always had freedom. From the first day I was on No Limit, he showed how to use it and how to get it and how to distribute it, and how to make quality records and not focus on the fact that I am free, just focus on making good records. That's all I've done ever since the moment I got on No Limit. Every record I've done has gotten better, and I believe this is my best record yet.

MTV: What would you say is the biggest thing you actually learned from being on the No Limit label, or from Master P?

Snoop: That you should believe in what you are. Everyone over there, he made them all superstars, and that's how I feel about my own label and the artists I try to develop. I believe in them enough that if I put in all my time and energy, then the whole world will believe in them, just like Master P did with me and all the other No Limit soldiers.

MTV: You have your own label now. Is that something you've been thinking about for years, but it just kind of started coming about?

Snoop: I was able to execute it while I was on No Limit because I saw how P took a small label and made it into a big label, and I was a big name so I felt if I took a small label and made it into a big label and a big name and a corporation with good music, it would be cool. So I started chipping away, putting together the Eastsidaz project, and it worked, so I'm going to continue to do it as an avenue for new talent.

MTV: How much input did P have on the new record?

Snoop: None as far as direction, but as inspiration about 100 percent. Because getting away from Death Row is what he helped me do, so it made me want to create the best album possible. When you look 15 years down the line, you could see that just like I created Death Row classic records, now I look forward to creating Doghouse classic records, constantly building my own situation.

MTV: A lot of the No Limit albums we've been listening to since the first kind of had that distinct sound, like a little bit of that Southern sound. We kind of got a little hint of that on your last two records.

Snoop: I kind of realized in the middle of the last record that it was like an 85 percent west coast record. The first one was 100 percent Southern, so after the second record I started getting Dre involved, getting all my producers and establishing my record label and getting my production team together. So once I started coming back to the west and getting around in the environment and making records, before you knew it I had an album finished.

MTV: Did some of that kind of evolve for you since you live out here, and you hear their stuff and reach out to them, or is it just that you happen to run into each other?

Snoop: I think it's more that we admire what we do. I'm a fan of the game, so any time you got two people who make great music and they see each other, it's either going to be one thing or another. Nine times out of ten when I hang around people who make great music, we usually end up going to the studio.

MTV: How many tracks did Dre actually produce on this album?

Snoop: The intro, and three tracks.

MTV: What do you think of a lot of these pop stars kind of biting off hip-hop trends?

Snoop: It's cool because that's what we do, inspire people. Everybody is inspired by somebody. I'm inspired by the macks of the '70s, the players and hustlers and strong politicians that were in the streets.

MTV: One of the more interesting things I was reading about Doggie Style records, all your artists get 100 percent of the song rights. How?

Snoop: That's what it's about. If you write the song and you do your thing, you're suppose to get paid for it. I feel like I shouldn't rob or continue to rape artists like the system is set up to do if I can give opportunity.

MTV: How have you been able to find time to write lyrics for this album, as you've been doing movies?

Snoop: S***, I'm a workaholic. When ya sleeping, I'm working. I keep it cracking. Before I went on tour I had four songs, then I made some more songs, and before you know it I had 20 songs and chose from them.

MTV: Who do you find yourself talking about and wanting to write about?

Snoop: I'm just having a ball, the whole record, dealing with issues that affect me. I always put the cold shoulder like it didn't effect me, but it bothers me so I had to speak on it, and I'm having a great time doing it.

MTV: What kind of issues?

Snoop: You know, a lot of people speak bad about me and put out records about me, which is a small situation but it's so big to me because I'm trying to kick positively and somebody tries to block me. I try to keep everything moving and let it slide but it comes a point where you get backed to a wall you got to speak on it. I mean as I get older, I get wiser, and I feel like sharing my knowledge and not try to hurt people nowadays.

MTV: What does the name "Tha Last Meal" mean to you?

Snoop: The last time these motherf***ers are going to eat of me. It's not negative in any way, it's just said like that because I appreciate everything that was done for me as an artist in this music industry, but a lot of this sh** I did and I didn't make nearly as much as the companies made off of me. So it's like the last time ya going to eat off of me, because now I'm going to become a company and see what it feel like to eat off of Snoop Dogg.

MTV: How do you feel about Death Row putting out an album of all your songs, "Dead Man Walking"?

Snoop: God bless my enemies. I can't really focus on what they doing. Why is my life the focus of your life? Why is my life the answer to your life? As you see I don't really pay attention to them. I try to do my thing. I don't make records about them or make any comments. It's just them constantly tagging me, make references to me, trying to pull me out of my mode. I'm a peaceful, positive role model making records. What they try to do is take me down the back roads of where I use to be. Let's keep it real, ya keep doing what you're doing and I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

MTV: I am assuming that they are not going to give you any money at all for your words or your work.

Snoop: It's not a thing at all, because that's dirty money. I'm over here making clean money. I don't even want anything to do with that, they can do what they want to do, because what I'm doing is establishing myself for me and representing myself for me, as me. And I'm actually getting respected for who I am and what I do, and I really like that.

MTV: When someone says Tupac, what do you think of?

Snoop: All the good times that we had together, and I look at certain people, how they view him and how they viewed him when he was here, and I look at the real and I look at the fake, and I see who really cared about him and who didn't.

MTV: What do you think is his biggest contribution to the hip-hop community and culture?

Snoop: Awareness. Tupac gave hip-hop awareness through his death. It was sad, but it made everybody aware of the fact that if we want to keep this rap game alive, we got to work with each other, because working against each other is always gonna open the door for violence.

MTV: Do you hear any of Allen Iverson's stuff?

Snoop: That's my homeboy. I'm down with Allen. I'm down with anyone who's down with this hip-hop movement in a positive way or negative way, it don't matter. Because the whole thing is, he's only rapping, it's an expression. He's a basketball player. He ain't done any thing that he's saying he's doing. You know a lot of people offend other people everyday by small things that they say. At least he's man enough to say it.

MTV: He changed his lyrics.

Snoop: The NBA made him do that. You got to understand, he's in a league that he can't control. He's not just a rapper, he's a basketball player first, and that's what is more important to him. But they couldn't do us like that. They couldn't make us change our lyrics. We don't give a f*** about what the commissioner has to say. We're our own commission.