In Part Two of our interview with hip hop icon Snoop Dogg, he offers more insight as to why his Gospel album, Snoop Dogg Presents: Bible of Love, is just an extension of his real life persona. His rap releases have remained consistent with an image of a slick-talking, gangsta rap playboy, but he tells This Gospel Life that there’s so much more to the artist born Calvin Broadus.
Snoop addresses it on Bible of Love’s spoken word song “Pain.” He says in the song, “A lot of times, you see me performing for thousands of people, filling their hearts with love and joy, not knowing that I’m going through so much pain.” During our interview he elaborates, “Snoop Dogg is like a superhero to everybody, people think he doesn’t have any problems..I had to express that, no, I’m natural, just like you.”
He continues, “I cry. I’m sad a lot. I have problems and issues. I’m human. I’m just like everybody here,” he adds. “Sometimes I am about to perform and I get some bad news, ‘Hey somebody in the family died, or this or that happened,’ and I have to get on stage and perform. While I’m performing for you, I really want to cry, but I can’t because I have to stay focused. I just wanted to express that…I am not some tough guy that’s just tough all day. I like to cry. I like to be emotional. I like to tap into that side. I explain that to some of the kids on my football team, because they try to be so tough and don’t understand that a real man has to cry. You’re not tough because you don’t cry. You’re tough when you do cry and you understand that you could get that side out and become a better person.”
Was there a record on the album that forced you to look at the man in the mirror and reevaluate something that is going on in your life or your spiritual growth?
It’s a song called “Sunrise.” I cry every time I hear this song. There’s certain parts where it says “blessed and highly favored” and “second chances come with every sunrise.” It’s so heavy what that song is saying. It just touches my spirit. It’s one of those songs that gets me weak. I don’t know why…It’s a heavy record. That’s the record that sticks out to me, and there are some great records on there.
Were there every any supernatural moments that you can share that may have happened when you guys knew you were on the right track?
Man, when Kim Burrell was here. [On the song “Sunshine”], she hit a note. Oh my God. I ain’t never heard a note like she hit this note. She hit the note, and we all just looked at her. She just did that. Kim Burrell is fantastic. I think I took the mic and framed it.
What would be your Granny’s favorite track on the album?
Probably the Patti LaBelle song [“When It’s All Over.”] When she sings, “put on my robe and tell the story how I made it over, how I made it over.” Lord have mercy! Did y’all hear Patti sing on that? Did she do it? She didn’t like it at first. She was like, “I want to go do my parts over.” I was like, “Ugh, sorry Patti. No, you’re not. We like them the way they are. You are special.”
Was Patti surprised that you wanted to do a project like this?
No. She knows my mama. My mama is an evangelist. She was like, “I’m going to get on the record because your mama has been telling me and I know it’s in your heart.” The older women, they are elders. They recognize when a youngster got it in him and they compliment. They don’t criticize. She could have been mean and said, “Nah, my brother.” But she said, “Nah, I’m getting down with you. Because I see what you are doing. I want to let people know I’m standing firm with you.”
Why was this project 32 tracks? Did you have a harder time editing things down because each selection was motivated so spiritually?
I didn’t even know how many songs I was going to make in the beginning. We were just making songs, making songs, making songs. Then, about time we got to songs 15, 16, it kept getting good. It was like, “Fred Hammond on the phone. John P. Kee on the phone. Whoop, whoop on the phone.” Well, how am I going to say, “No” to this? Man please. I’m a rapper. To have the kings and queens of Gospel saying they want to get down, “What’s happening?” “We waiting on you.” I had to fulfill the prophecy. When we got to the end, it was 31 songs. And then the song with me and B. Slade, we already had that song “When My Words Are Few.” And we were like, “We should just put that on there too because it says so much about the project and who I am.” On that song, you can just see me double dutching. ‘Is he going to go to church or stay in the streets?’ By time we get to the end when B. Slade comes in singing, it’s like, ‘Oh they not playing.’ So that’s an analogy of what I’m trying to do. What I am doing. And how I’m doing it. But it’s so hard to do when you got skepticism and negativity, but you trying to do a positive project. Trying to do something positive, and when I make a gangsta music record, I don’t hear none of this. I killed 40 [dudes] in my songs and church ain’t said nothing. But here I am making a Gospel record, and the church got something to say. Come on church.
Do you feel a sense of responsibility using your platform, your light and darkness, to maintain that message that people are going to be able to follow? Are you still able to do secular music and non-secular music without comprising?
I just dropped an EP, 220, for my neighborhood. So it doesn’t stop me from doing what I’m doing. The person is what matters, not the creativity. Let me give you an analogy that you may be able understand. Put Snoop Dogg’s life on a record. If my life was a record, my life would be more in the Gospel side as far as the work that I’ve done in my life. My life is not based on me being a gangbanger or a drug dealer. It’s based on me making it, becoming successful, given opportunity, going back, being positive, finding ways to help others, to better myself, to be a better father, to be a better person and to enlighten people along the way. Take them on my journey whether it’s going to Jamaica and finding Rastafari or coming back home to a Gospel record. It’s a journey that I’m taking people on, and I’m enabling people to find themselves.
Tell us about your new label, All the Time Entertainment.
God is good all the time. That’s why I call it All the Time Entertainment. We plan on putting out a lot of projects just because there was an over pour from this album and there are so many people that didn’t get a chance to get down with me that want to get down. This is the only way I can accomplish that is by putting out a label that just puts out great Gospel music. We got Mali Music, and we are putting out his project next. Mali Music is with RCA, but All The Time Entertainment, we have been tightening up his music. Lonny Bereal has been in there working with him, getting him right and making sure he is on point. Then, I’m going to Mississippi to do a project with the Williams Brothers, Coming Home. I am just trying to do different things in the Gospel world, but it’s got to feel good to me. It’s got to be a project that I could stand on and say I did it for this reason and I love it, and hopefully you will.