Snoop Dogg’s longstanding legacy in the culture is incredible: he is a “one of one.” The California-bred rapper born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. has remained relevant since the beginning of his career. The rapper, who now owns Death Row Records, got his start by being featured on Dr. Dre’s “Deep Cover” and throughout several songs on Dre’s debut solo album The Chronic which was released in 1992. From a murder trial to hosting a baking show with Martha Stewart, and most recently performing at Super Bowl LVI and hosting a music competition TV show with Kelly Clarkson, Snoop is always front and center in our culture.
Take a look at 10 of the West Coast rapper’s best songs:
Snoop puts his own West Coast twist on Doug E Fresh’s classic “La Di Da Di”, which featured Slick Rick. The 1993 track "Lodi Dodi" is on the California rapper's debut album 'Doggystyle.' The song also features a guest appearance from vocalist Nancy Fletcher. Many have covered “La Di Da Di,” but Snoop's version of the New York classic is arguably one of the best covers in hip-hop history.
The name of this track seemed to mirror Snoop's life at the time. Before releasing "Murder Was The Case," the 'Doggystyle' artist was charged with the murder of a gang member named Philip Woldemariam. Snoop didn't pull the trigger but he was driving the Jeep when his bodyguard McKinley Lee pulled up on Woldemariam and shot him. Lee and Snoop were both charged with murder and freed on bail on Death Row's bill. In 1996, both Lee and Snoop were found not guilty. The line "murder was the case" comes from a Snoop Dogg verse on the Dr. Dre song "Lil' Ghetto Boy," which was released on Dre's debut solo album 'The Chronic' about a year earlier.
Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa co-starred in the film 'Mac & Devin Go to High School' also decided to make a song after their "Black & Yellow" collaboration. Snoop told MTV News how the song came together: "[Bruno Mars] sent me the music and I played the music for Wiz and he loved it and we came together," he said. "That's what we do: We make good music. If you've got a great idea, which was started by Bruno, and me and Wiz, we take it to the next level, gave it back to Bruno. He tightened up the edges, and now it's a complete situation." "Young, Wild, and Free" was nominated for "Best Rap Song" at the 55th Grammy Awards. The song is currently six-times platinum status with the RIAA.
"Beautiful" served as the second single on Snoop Dog's 2002 album 'Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss.' The song features superstar producer and rapper Pharrell Williams and R&B legend Charlie Wilson. The song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B chart. "Beautiful" was nominated for two Grammys "Best Rap Song" and "Best Rap Song Collaboration" at the 46th Grammy Awards.
On Dre's first solo album 'The Chronic' after leaving N.W.A., the superstar producer tapped in Snoop Dogg for the iconic classic "Nuthin but a 'G' Thang." This was first single from 'The Chronic,' which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Nuthin but a 'G' Thang" was nominated for "Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group" at the 36th Grammy Awards.
This was Dr. Dre's debut solo release after the breakup of his group N.W.A. This was also Snoop Dogg's first released song (he was known at the time as Snoop Doggy Dogg) and his first appearance in a music video. The track is also referred to as "187" which is California slang for murder. The song was part of the 'Deep Cover' soundtrack which stars Laurence Fishburne as a cop who goes undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel. The song debuted at No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on the Billboard Rap chart.
In "Who Am I? (What's My Name)" Snoop Dogg introduces himself in his first single as a lead artist. When the song was released in 1993, the West Coast rapper was up on murder charges but was found innocent with the help of the late high-profile attorney Johnnie Cochran. The song was produced by frequent collaborator Dr. Dre who samples and uses interpolations from George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" in its chorus and throughout the track. "Who Am I? (What's My Name)" is certified gold by the RIAA.
"Still D.R.E." is a hip-hop classic and one of Dr. Dre's best-produced and most memorable beats. Snoop Dogg raps on this track with Dre (which was written by Jay-Z). Hov flew to L.A. and wrote the song in 30 minutes. He told Lebron James and Maverick Carter on their HBO show 'The Shop' that he wrote the rhymes as if he were them. "You gotta have like somewhat of a reverence for them, the music they were making," he said. "'The Chronic' and all of that. In order for me to really nail the essence of Dre and Snoop, it had to be like a studied reverence of what they were doing." "Still D.R.E." peaked at No. 93 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000. In the week after Dr. Dre's and Snoop Dogg's Super Bowl performance, it re-entered the chart at No. 23. The song was nominated for "Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group" at the 42nd Grammy Awards.
"Drop It Like It's Hot" is one of Snoop's most memorable classics. Pharrell Williams is featured in the first verse of the song along with his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo who produced the track. The track is a club anthem about dropping your butt down onto the dance floor. The song earned two Grammy nominations for "Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group" and "Best Rap Song" at the 47th Grammy Awards. "Drop It Like It's Hot" is certified gold status by the RIAA.
You can't think of Snoop Dogg and not think about his '93 classic hit "Gin and Juice." "Gin and Juice" is featured on Snoop's debut album 'Doggystyle' which was produced by Dr. Dre. "Gin And Juice" was Snoop Dogg's second single, but the rapper had gotten a headstart and began establishing himself as an artist by featuring in several songs on Dr. Dre's 'The Chronic.' Snoop talked about the origin of the song per HipHopHero: "Gin and juice was the choice of drink for a young playa. 1991, 1992, you didn't really have a lot of money, you go get that gin. When it came time to make the record, 'Doggystyle', that was my thing: Every day I would come to the studio with my bottle of gin and juice in it, and Dre would have a big-a-- milk jug full of gin and juice. We were in the studio one day and someone was singing that Slave song, 'Watching You.' We flipped it into 'Rollin' down the street, smokin indo, sippin' on gin and juice,' and made it happen from there." The song was nominated for "Best Rap Song" at the 37th Grammy Awards.