If you went up to a person on the street in this country, scratch that, any part of the world, and asked them to quickly name five famous rappers or hip-hop artists, who do you think they would name?
Chances are, Snoop Dogg is making everybody’s list.
At this point, the man born Calvin Broadus Jr., who first became a West Coast hip-hop superstar under the tutelage of rapper-producer Dr. Dre in the 1990s, has transformed into a multi-hyphenate pop culture icon. Over the course of nearly three decades, Snoop Dogg has remained in the public’s consciousness through an atypical transformation and multiple avenues that go far beyond music.
If you’ve been near a TV this decade, you may have seen Snoop Dogg hawking Hot Pockets or baking (the kitchen kind, not the other kind) with culinary queen Martha Stewart on the pair’s VH1 cooking show “Snoop & Martha’s Potluck Dinner Party.”
Plan on doing some Christmas shopping at Barnes & Noble? You may end up spotting his new cookbook “From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes From Da Boss Dogg’s Kitchen.”
And if you are in certain states where recreational marijuana is legal, one of America’s most well-known pot smokers now sells his own brand of marijuana products called Leafs by Snoop.
You’ve undoubtedly noticed his presence in TV and film, whether he is making a cameo as himself or playing a character that is not too far off brand from the Snoop persona (you can see him in 2019 opposite Matthew McConaughey in “Beach Bum”).
Heck, he’s been so crucial to the history of hip-hop that he’s actually been portrayed on screen by three different actors for three different biopics in the last nine years (2009’s “Notorious” about The Notorious B.I.G., 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” on N.W.A. and the 2017 Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez On Me.”).
This doesn’t even factor in that he practically invented his own slang (“Fo Shizzle, Dizzle…”) that only he himself could legitimately pull off.
While Snoop Dogg has managed to reinvent himself from a being a rapper with a legit rap sheet to a businessman, actor, author, entrepreneur and television personality, it’s his consistent presence, smooth delivery and flow, and frequent reinvention as a musical artist that has kept him relevant and on listeners’ radar even now as one of hip-hop’s elder statesman.
Snoop Dogg has been a hitmaker a few times over in multiple decades. He contributed verses to two of the biggest hits off of Dr. Dre’s legendary 1992 debut “The Chronic” (“Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang,” “Dre Day”) before thoroughly asserting himself as the following year as a solo artist with his multi-platinum debut “Doggystyle,” featuring some of the rapper’s most well-known hits like “Gin and Juice” and “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?).”
Snoop would once again team with Dr. Dre to put his signature style on Dre’s “2001” album the following decade on smashes like “Still D.R.E” and “The Next Episode,” but also struck gold (or platinum, rather) teaming with hit-making super-producers The Neptunes (Pharrell and Chad Hugo).
This led to Snoop having a fresh new sound and some of his biggest hits of the ‘00s, including 2002 single “Beautiful” from “Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Boss” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot” off of 2004’s “R&G: Rhythm & Gangsta: The Masterpiece.” Since then, Snoop Dogg has kept releasing albums and occasionally tried on some new musical outfits.
Some of it was pure funk (2007 single “Sexual Eruption”). Other times, he went Rastafarian, changing his name to Snoop Lion and releasing the reggae album aptly titled “Reincarnated.” This past year, he even released a straight-up gospel album “Bible of Love.”
Regardless of which version of Snoop Dogg people have grown to admire and celebrate, Lexington fans appear to be excited for any and all versions of Snoop that may grace the stage at Rupp Arena with his Puff Puff Pass Tour this weekend. Much like the hip-hop star, Lexington appears to be undergoing its own evolution as it becomes more welcoming of large-scale hip-hop concerts. This was apparent at the sold-out Nelly, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Juvenile concert at Whitaker Bank Ballpark this past May.
Sheila Kenny, director of marketing and communications for Rupp Arena, said this concert is on track to be the biggest hip-hop show to come to Rupp since Drake performed there in 2012.
Adding to the intrigue of the Snoop Dogg coming to the Bluegrass State is the fact he is bringing notable supporting acts like returning Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and fellow West Coast hip-hop artists Too $hort, Suga Free and Warren G along for the ride. People will get the chance to see the hip-hop star up close and personal this weekend and after that, they’ll probably see him any number of places away from the concert stage.
Turns out, the chorus on one of the singles from his debut album may have come to fruition: “It’s a Doggy Dogg World.”
If you go
Snoop Dogg’s Puff Puff Pass Tour featuring Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Too $hort, Suga Free, B-Legit, Baby Bash, Afro Man, Spice 1, East Sidaz, The Luniz and Warren G.
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8