Exclusive: Snoop Dogg details how he's been able to move between musical genres so effortlessly throughout his career.
Snoop Dogg released his reggae-inspired Reincarnated album as Snoop Lion in April and the 7 Days Of Funk as Snoopzilla with producer Dam-Funk in December. He’s also sang, rapped and used vocoder throughout his recording career, which spans more than 20 years.
The Long Beach, California rapper says he has an idea why he’s able to record acclaimed music in so many genres. "I think just being me, and not trying to be nobody else,” Snoop Dogg says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX.com. "Even when I did 'Sensual Seduction,' that was me. It looked like I was clowning, but once you really look at the video and look at the effort that I put forward to give you something that was special to me, a Prince dedication. You see the efforts of the song and the singing and arrangements and the vocals on time and on point, and it sounds right, the right key.
"You know, those types of projects help me to do what I want to do, not that I ever had to check with anybody, but I've always wanted to give the fans what they want from me," he continues. "And I stay in tune with them. A lot of times they'll say, 'Well Snoop, we like when you was singing that hook, when you did this, and you doing that little melody, da da da da da, why you won't sing?' I just go ahead and do the whole thing and I give them what they want. It becomes what it is, and that's all this [7 Days Of Funk ] project is about. Me going back to my funk roots, with somebody who understands funk, that knows how to produce, and that produced me from top to bottom. Every song on the record produced Dam-Funk.”
Snoop Dogg & Dam-Funk, who released the video for 7 Days Of Funk selection “I’ll Be There 4 U” today (January 15), benefitted from the respective love of funk music and Snoop Dogg’s extensive time spent recording and hanging out with such funk practitioners as Bootsy Collins and Charlie Wilson.
"It helped me to know that…to take the lead, because Dam know what he doing,” Snoop Dogg says. "So to get behind Dam-Funk because he was already a force. But to take the lead…It's like when George [Clinton] and Bootsy come together. Somebody got to take the lead. They both great, but somebody got to take the lead. And I didn't know that Bootsy took the lead, until I got around them, and seen. But George allowed him to the lead because he laid the paint. So that's what Dam did, he laid the paint, and let me drive. You know when I said, ‘This going to be the name of the album. This going to be the name of the group,' he didn't fight it and say, 'Well I think…' He was like, 'I'm with whatever you with, Dogg.' And when he sent me songs, I said, 'Dam, take the high hat down. Change this. You ought to do this.' Nah man. We riding.
"When you ride with somebody, I could fall asleep and I ain't gotta worry about shit, cause he gon' grab the wheel, and I could stay asleep," Snoop Dogg continues. "'Stay asleep, Dogg, I got it.' That's being sure. So working with a producer like Dam, and working with the guys like Charlie Wilson and all them, you have to be sure that you can trust. The first value is trust. You have to be able to trust him with my vocals. Trust him with my concept, just like he trusted me with his music. He gave me his music, he knew I wasn't going to just put some gangbanging-ass bullshit on it that didn't amount to nothing. I put songs on there, so now we both looked at as song writers.”
The video for “I’ll Be There 4 U” is as follows:
Photograph by Soren Baker