As hip hop icon Snoop Dogg celebrates a happy 44th birthday today, he’s also enjoying the fruits of a successful 23 year career. One of his hugest wins being that he’s now the lovable, all-American face of hip hop branding was becoming the rapper even your mother and grandmother loves. And what’s surprising is he predicted this change while sitting on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1994. You can watch below.
“She know one day my life will change,” Snoop explained to Hall, who’d asked if he thought of his mom when he wrote his lyrics. “And I won’t be as much as I’m like this, and I probably will become more of a positive image. But that’s way down the line.”
When Snoop uttered those words, he was the world’s biggest-selling gangsta rapper. As an idol of young America he was also the target of America’s anxiety over the violent and misogynistic lyrics steadily becoming popular in ‘90s hip hop music. Snoop’s road to redemption and evolution would come with the implosion of his label home, Death Row Records, following the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.
Snoop’s initial change-out from hardcore gangsta persona came via his music as he replaced his gang banging image for that of a smooth pimp, his sound and lyrics — from cuts from “Beautiful” to “Drop it Like it’s Hot” to “Sensual Seduction— were made to celebrate the ladies instead of dis them.
The megastar rapper also evolved his career via film roles that gave audiences a new look at Snoop’s range. He’d flex his laid back, playerlistic persona in the horror film Bones as well as in comedies like The Wash, Starsky & Hutch, Old School, Soul Plane and the straight to DVD film Mac and Devin Go to High School. He’d even venture into a mainstream dramatic role in the Oscar winning film Training Day.
But the TV screen is where Snoop let America see who he’d become since the turbulent start of his rap career. His hit reality TV Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, featuring his wife and three children, not only showed him as caring husband and father, but as winning little league football coach who offered hope and compassion to inner city youth. We’ve even witnessed Snoop’s spiritual and musical awakening when he publically converted to Rastafarianism, rechristened himself Snoop Lion and released the reggae LP/documentary Reincarnated. And while Snoop predicted his positive career change 22 years ago he absolutely couldn’t predict his latest venture, being paired with Martha Stewart for the upcoming VH1 celebrity cooking competition show Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. But more than his foresight on The Arsenio Hall Show, Snoop owes much of his longevity to his willingness to evolve as many a great rapper — from LL Cool J to Queen Latifah to Ice Cube to Jay Z — have.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SNOOP DOGG!
Watch the guests of Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party wish Snoop D-O-Double-G a Happy Birthday!