Snoop Dogg is one of the world’s most famous rappers, as well as inventor of G Funk, lover of northern British soaps and star of his own reality show. He recently visited the UK for a series of performances, including a much lauded turn at Glastonbury. Dazed Digital was lucky enough to grab a quick chat with 'tha Doggfather' himself before his London show. Given the setting, it was obvious that a tracksuit chat was on the agenda, but so too was some valuable relationship advice for all the ladies out there...
Dazed Digital: How does it feel to be back in the UK?
Snoop Dogg: It feels good to be back for all you people who have been holding it down for so long, loving my music and appreciating what I do, so I’m very honoured to be back.
DD: Where’s your favourite place to hang out in London?
Snoop Dogg: My hotel room (laughs).
DD: Have you seen any fashion trends in London that you’ll be taking back to LA with you?
Snoop Dogg: I just love the whole vibe of London, which is why it’s always been one of my favourite places to come to and do my thing. I just marinade and try and become a part of what this is so I can some of this back home with me, whatever that is.
DD: Are the rumours about you appearing in Coronation Street true?
Snoop Dogg: Some big people in some big places are trying to make that happen, so it might happen, stay tuned in.
DD: Are there any other shows you’d like to appear in?
Snoop Dogg: Well, my favourite show isn’t on any more – The Benny Hill Show. I always dreamed of being on that show!
DD: What other TV shows do you enjoy watching?
Snoop Dogg: I like old-school TV shows, things like What’s Happening! and The Jeffersons. The latest thing I’ve liked on TV is The Wire, that’s a great show.
DD: What is left for Snoop Dogg to achieve?
Snoop Dogg: I’m just naturally doing what I’m supposed to do right now, so it’s not about achieving or goals, I don’t really have those. I’m just doing what I do, I guess it’s just a natural part of who I am.
DD: What’s the Snoop Dogg mantra you live by?
Snoop Dogg: I go hard, that’s my motto. I don’t know how to go half speed, I go full speed. Even if it’s a practise or a rehearsal I’ll treat it like there’s a 1000 people in the crowd even if I’m by myself. If there was no one in the crowd you wouldn’t tell – I go hard, that’s what I do.
DD: Who are your personal music heroes and who are you touting as being the next Snoop Dogg protégé?
Snoop Dogg: It’s hard to walk in these shoes (laughs). I always tell aspiring artists to be the best that you can be, as you never know what this is gonna be for you. I didn’t know I was going to be as successful as I am, or that people would love what I do so much. I just did it as I loved it so much, and it was about having a little bit of luck, and a bit of opportunity, capitalise and maximise and stay on top.
DD: We have a lot of great grime artists in London at the moment, would you ever consider a collaboration with one of them?
Snoop Dogg: Yeah, definitely. I like what they do. I’ve got a remix with Tinie Tempah, I’m gradually moving my way in to the scene. It’s very well respected and deserves to have worldwide attention on it.
DD: You always rock really sweet sportswear – who’s your favourite tracksuit wearer?
Snoop Dogg: Run DMC as they were the ones who made it cool to wear their tracksuit everywhere, no matter what type of event it was. They were the symbol of the tracksuit, and they helped me see that’s what I wanted to do.
DD: You played Wireless and Glastonbury, how was playing a festival compared to your usual shows?
Snoop Dogg: I just love being in front of the people who love me. I never pay attention to how many people, to me it’s about the expression, and the feeling people give. So if I’m playing a show for five people that have a great energy, then sometimes those five people can bring out a better show from me than 90,000. Sometimes a larger crowd hasn’t got the same energy, and I like being intimate anyway – being up close and personal, so you can really see me, feel me and touch me on that stage.
DD: What’s your pre-performance prep?
Snoop Dogg: Thirty minutes before I go on stage I listen to some real good, old-school music, drink a bit of herbal tea, get my voice right.
DD: You’ve broadcast shows on YouTube before, how do you think the internet is affecting the way artists interact with their fans?
Snoop Dogg: It’s a great way of being up close and personal with your fans, it gives them a chance to be with you. It’s not about a script, it’s just about you being you. It allows you to see what the fans love about you, without somebody telling you what they love about you.
DD: What inspires you to carry on making music, and not sit back and just admire what you’ve achieved?
Snoop Dogg: I take my job seriously. It’s fun to me, make music, give interviews, take pictures, I enjoy every minute of this ‘Snoop Dogg world’.
DD: Do you think hip-hop can bring about positive change in people?
Snoop Dogg: I think music is a positive change in anybody, as anyone doing music isn’t going to be doing anything else. Look at musicians, not just rappers but people who make music in general. There was some sort of struggle they had to go through to get where they’re at, so it’s a beautiful thing to be able to make music for people who understand and appreciate it.
DD: What’s the thinking behind your current album, Malice In Wonderland? How did the collaborations on the album come about?
Snoop Dogg: This album is about my growth as an artist and where I am right now. Me enjoying working with artists who I felt could assist me on the songs I was working on. When you get so far in to the music industry like I am, it’s about making the right decision to continue doing what you do. It was always about finding some people who I really love working with, who I had an opportunity to work with. I never have a problem with calling or asking, if I love you or appreciate your music I’ll tell you, “Hey, I love your music, I wanna make a song with you as I’m a fan of yours”, and hopefully you’ll say yeah. That’s what this record is about.
DD: There are some crunk influences on the album. Are you still G Funk at heart?
Snoop Dogg: I’ve always been a fan of music, so no matter if music is brand new or old school, I’ve always had a love for it. I feel like I’ve been able to take what is considered new and bring it in with the old and always make it work. I just have a natural love for music in general, no matter what kind of music, or what country or state it comes from. I just love the sound of good music.
DD: What are you working on at the moment?
Snoop Dogg: My next project is a record and a movie called A Woman’s Touch. It’s going to be a very heartfelt album, and will be dedicated to all the women in my life. My grandmother, my mother, my wife and my daughter. It will be a very special, soft-toned Snoop Dogg record that you’ve never heard before, and I’m writing the movie too.
DD: So, what advice do you have for women out there that want to keep their man happy?
Snoop Dogg: You gotta be friends first and foremost. You have to be friends as you have to understand them as they understand you. That’s what keeps anything together. Look at how many friends you have that you’ve had ever since you were seven or eight years old. It’s because you’re friends, nothing more, nothing less. You have to take that friend mentality in to your relationship. It’s more about being friends than ‘I need to please my man’. You need to think ‘I need to be his friend, to understand my man’. So if he’s playing video games with his homies in the living room, don’t come in real loud, come in and offer some drinks, be a lady, you know what I’m saying?
Snoop Dogg is one of the Adidas Originals 2010 brand campaign ambassadors. Adidas Originals is available at Foot Locker stores nationwide