Interview: Snoop Dogg
Mon, 21 Jan 2008 08:30:52
Snoop Dogg has once again redefined the rap game. On his classy, slick new record, Ego Trippin,' Doggy Dog proves that he's still one of the best, pushing soulful beats, trippy rhythms and downright catchy rhymes. The first single "Sensual Seduction" channels classic MoTown soul, and gives it a spacey, modern spin. Snoop spoke to ARTISTdirect about his evolution, his hit E! TV show [Snoop Dogg's Father Hood], Ego Trippin' and why everyone else needs to step his game up.
The new material definitely feels like an evolution from Tha Blue Carpet Treatment. What was the creative process like?
I took it back to the '80s—2080. We're in a new generation. I was inspired by a lot of '80s music, as well as the video for "Sensual Seduction." [Producer]Teddy Riley did his thang on this album. We reconnected when we were both honored at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors, so I wanted him to work on Ego Trippin'. The shit he's created is on a whole new level.
Why'd you decide to get more soulful on "Sensual Seduction?"
Shawty Redd from Atlanta had a track down there that was huge, and I wanted something like that. So he and I hooked up, and we made a hit. I was inspired a lot by Zapp, Prince, and people from that generation. That's why I wanted the video to look like that. Melina [Director] really did her thang on that.
The video's pretty slick. How did the concept come about?
I've been a huge fan of Melina, and we talked about what I wanted. I had the outfits, image and all of that to go along with the concept. She put her touch on it, and next thing you know we've got a number one video and radio hit, ya dig!?
Is there one vibe or consistent thread throughout the album? You've always had a cohesive feel and flow.
When it drops on March 11th, you tell me! Big Snoop Dogg stepped his game up to a whole 'nother level.
Is there anything else you want to try musically that you haven't or anyone else you want to collaborate with?
That's a tough question. I'm sure there is, but I can't think of anyone else right now.
Where do you still find inspiration to make music after all these years?
The industry, hip hop, what's hot and what's not. My kids are very influential in what's crackin'—listening to old music from the '60s, '70s and '80s. There's inspiration everywhere. I've just got to be in the right mood and state of mind.
Is it hard to juggle having a family, having a TV show, acting in movies and rap?
I'm "Snooperman!" I go in the telephone booth, and I make it happen. I'm blessed with a beautiful wife and kids. They are supportive of what I do, and that goes a long way.
Is there anything else you want to branch out into?
Look out for "Snoopermarkets." That's my next big thang, coming to a hood near you.
Next tour, will you be bringing out a full band again? It would totally fit the vibe of the new material.
Definitely, the crowd and fans love the Snoopadelics.
What do you think of the current state of hip hop? You're one of the few to still make whole records instead of ringtones.
Step yo game up!
Are there any new rappers you're down with?
Hurricane Chris, Glasses Malone, Mistah Fab—I got a joint with him on Ego Trippin'—and Shawty Redd out of ATL [producer of "Sensual Seduction"].
You've been such an inspiration; you'll definitely be in the hip hop hall of fame! What's it like to look back over all of these years in rap?
A lot of hits—I've got a new joint on Ego Trippin,' and it really tells the whole story since 1992. I've had so many ups and downs, but I'm still relevant. Going on over 16 years now, I've worked with everyone in the game. I've been blessed.
What's the next evolution for you as an artist?
Let's get through Ego Trippin' first…March 11th, 2008…chuuucch!