Snoop Dogg
Weight of the World

snoop-1.jpgThe past two months have been problematic for Snoop Dogg. Last week, he pleaded guilty on two felony counts of gun possession, stemming from an incident at Bob Hope Airport in October 2006. Last month he was scheduled to perform with Diddy on the British leg of their One Love Peace Tour but was denied a visa to the UK due to his arrest in April 2006 for allegedly starting a brawl at Heathrow Airport in the UK.

With all of the bad press stemming from Snoop’s police contact, many have overlooked the rapper’s positive contributions. In 2004, the Doggfather formed the Snoop Youth Football League. In 2005 he organized the Western Conference, an event with a goal to bring together West Coast artists in order to promote unity and end petty beefs.

Now, Snoop is looking to expand his mission of West Coast solidarity with his new compilation on KOCH Records, The Big Squeeze. The album features the Top Dog on 12 tracks alongside Tha Dogg Pound, Warzone, Western Union and JT Tha Bigga Figga. Snoop also made 16 of the beats on the album, introducing his production moniker, Niggaracchi. Just home from his One Love Peace Tour, Snoop talks with XXLMag.com about The Big Squeeze, his work as a producer and the controversy surrounding his ban from the UK.

Is the goal of The Big Squeeze to promote West Coast unity?
Yeah, that’s the main focus. Actually, this is the first project I’m releasing since I put together the Western Conference, the day I brought all the West Coast artists together to squash all the beef and find a way for everyone to settle their differences. We need to find a way to work together and make music. This is the first project were I actually took some of those people that were there and put them in groups. I produced this whole record and brought them to the light so they could be heard over my music.

A lot of people in hip-hop talk about unity, but you’re one of the few who actually take action.
For me, it’s a way of life. It’s not an act. It’s not like somebody is making me do it. This is what I was bred to do. I was raised with the peace movement every time I got into violence. It was never me; it was always situations around me. So I was always able to watch situations, learn how to bring shit to an end and put water instead of gas on the situation.

Is it tough having all of that responsibility on your shoulders?
I don’t have the responsibility; I choose to make that my responsibility. My responsibility is to make good music and be all that I can be when I’m in the studio doing what I do. But anything extra, as far as extending my hand and putting peace out there, is something I do on my own. It’s something I choose to do [so we can] make it last for a long time. I realize how strong this music thing is and how good it can be for the future and the kids behind us. We were kids too that dreamed about it and now we got control over it. So we need to respect and appreciate it so we can pass it on to those coming behind us.

Was it tough bringing together a lot of different egos and personalities for this album?
It wasn’t hard because they all love to work with me. They believe in my vision and they know that when I stand behind something, it usually gets a lot of attention. That’s all these artists are looking for. Any artists’ first focus is to get attention. So what better way than to let me put you on some music that’s going to make people focus on you as an artist? Then you can set up your career, with your group scenario and solo [work], after this.

snoop-2.jpgYou’re producing on this album. When did you start making beats?
I’ve been getting down since like ’94, ’95. I’ve just been off and on. I just decided [now] to get back involved heavily because I have a lot of artists that I always wanted to put out and do things with. Sometimes it’s so hard to find producers who are willing to take that risk and put their all into a project if they’re not really getting any money up front. But I’m musically inclined. I understand music, drum machines, patterns and sounds. So I decided to give it my best shot, go ahead, put together some music, and see what it do. Shit, it’s sounding good and it’s feeling good. I believe in it, they believe in it and hopefully you’ll believe in it.

How do you find time to make beats with your busy schedule?
I take the shit with me. I got a laptop, keyboard and all my drum programs with me. My studio moves with me everywhere I go, ya dig? I’m a walking studio. I try to do like five beats during the day. And I just don’t make rap music. I try to make music for everybody. I got music for the European people, Australian folks, the Asian crowd, the pop crowd and the country crowd. I’m more into creating stuff that feels good. Sometimes we get restricted by walking to the liquor store, going to the hood and doing regular old hip-hop. I wanted to extend my styles and do different things, so when I do get back into rap mode and make my next record, it will be a little more diverse.

Has anyone helped you learn the ins and outs of producing?
Soopafly helped me, as far as learning how to work the machines, making the beat, bringing the sound out, laying the track down and all that shit. Battlecat was on the road with me, helping me do this shit. Then there’s Terrace Martin…you know, I got my in-house producers, they all lend a hand and an ear. They let me know what’s right and wrong. Like, “Nah, that’s weak.” Or, “That’s a hit.” Because that’s what we do. We compliment each other. It’s not so far fetched from who I am, that I’m not supposed to be doing this. All of the great musicians who I look up to—Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke—they were all were great producers, songwriters and singers. So I’m just following in the same path. This is something that had to gradually grow with me, as far as mastering the craft. As far as rapping, I got that shit down pat. That’s me. That’s easy; I don’t really have to try hard at that. So this music thing is something I really had to stretch for. But it’s not so far fetched where it doesn’t sound good. It’s me and it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

How do you feel about the UK banning you? Do people fail to see the bigger picture of what you bring to the table, as far as your community work?
I mean, it’s a part of life. I don’t think it’s that, I think it’s reality. It is what it is. I’m not the first one for that to happen to. So it’s going to continue to happen. I’m just an example. I’m a pawn right now that they are using. But once they realize and see how good I am for the community and the youth, they’ll reverse that decision. In the meantime and between time, I’m going to continue to do things like my youth football league that helps kids around the inner city and Southern California. I ain’t really trippin’ off that bullshit. I’m gonna do what I gotta do.

  • Yo its me

    Fuck First………do your shit Snoop

  • JIMMY CA$H

    that’s my dog Snoop is the king of the west!

  • http://www.fotolog.com/jimmycent JIMMY CA$H

    that’s my dog! Snoop is the king of the west mophukaz!

  • comptongeorge

    Why don’t you try bringing together the crips and the bloods and all the gang members you try putting in a good light you uncle tom sell out.

  • Ry Diggah

    Snoop has the most ignorant producer name ever, Niggaracci

  • north cak boss

    yo boy snoop commin by for tha game

    recongize dawg

  • Spyda 213

    Reppin da 213! Cali iz active n niggaz betta watch they backs cuz we bout to bring the cheese toast down!

  • Holla

    Snoop ain’t producing any beats – he’s got ghost producers. Battlecat is probably doing them and Snoop’s putting his name on it.

  • Drey Ward

    Snoop is the shizz-nit!!!
    15 years and counting….

  • http://XXlmag.com YounGuttaBkaBlaqueCzar(LongliveDaking)Mw

    snoop gon do wat a king does…Make mufukkas feel salty…Fuck ya’ll haters….

  • http://www.myspace.com/arkaplan - OZ – www.myspace.com/arkaplan

    IF SNOOP MAKE THA BEATS

    HE MUST SHOW VIDEOS ABOUT IT

    CUZ I DONT BELIVE HIM

    I RESPECT HIM AS A RAPPER NOT A LIER

    SHOW US WHAT U GOT BIG BOSS

    I DONT WANT GHOST BEAT MAKERZ AFTER GHOST WRITERZ

    DAT MAKES HIP-HOP UNQUALITY

    SMELL ME???

  • C. Cart

    Snoop says rapping is easy and he doesn’t have to try hard. No wonder his lyrics have been so garbage lately.

  • London City

    Big Snoop Dogg! You a OG in the game, keep doing what you do. Man we missed you out here in London

  • West Best

    This is nigga is bullshit.. he’sthe reason the west is fucked up… everybody on that damn comp is 35 yrs old. He only put 2 new niggaz on Bad Lucc & Damani other than that its the usual suspects. Snoop is basically surviving off these lil budgets to create bullshit projects.

  • http://hotmail.com Face

    Snoop will never fall off! Why would he need to lie about producing beats? He’s sold more records than just about anyone.

  • John Cochran

    Many rappers claim King of their area, but you can only be king if the people make you king. Snoop really is king of the west.

  • http://blogs.hiphopdx.com/meka Meka Soul

    > I try to do like five beats during the day. And I just don’t make rap music. I try to make music for everybody. I got music for the European people, Australian folks, the Asian crowd, the pop crowd and the country crowd. I’m more into creating stuff that feels good. >

    swooot.

  • Holla

    Come on now, Timbaland don’t even produce his own shit – Danja does. U think Snoop is gonna sit down and work an MPC or play the keyboard? He ain’t making shit. He’s too high to even function. Trust me – he probably tells producers what type of sound he wants like Dre and Battlecat makes the beat.

  • http://xxl Djana

    i love u snoop keep on doin what u do and i think the football team is great i lived in diamond bar and wanted to get my son on ur team but i had to move to las vegas so when i cum bacc home to cali i will defiently hit ur football team up number 1 fan

  • sk

    HOW THE FUCK YA’LL CLOWNS KNOW WHAT THE FUCK SNOOP DO YA’LL WITH HIM 24/7? OH I FORGOT WE ALL GOT ASSHOLES. MY BADD

  • OliviaGotDroppedFromTheUNiT!!

    snoop should retire and make a joint cd with my nigga dr. dre

  • Jbo

    If West Coast Rap wants to make a differece squash all that bullshit Hispanic on Black and Black on Hispanic violence.There needs to be some kind of peace record.Im from fucking Texas and I still have never seen such racism like in Cali.Everyone needs to chill the fuck out and stop resenting each other.

  • cali boy

    FUK SNOOP ICE CUBE IS THE KING OF THE WEST,LAUGH NOW CRY LATER IZ A CLASSIC WITHOUT DR DRE AND SOLD MORE THAN SNOOP!

  • cali boy

    i suck

  • yadadafeelme?

    fa sho, snoop dogg is that nigga. he’s a hella good rapper, now he’s makin’ beats, squashin’ beefs, that’s that shit. he’s just tryin’ to make good music, and that’s what it’s all about. he’s makin’ his money fa sho, in many ways. he doin’ hella shit wit’ my niggas in the yay area too, him and jt the bigga figga are makin’ a dvd together. but yeah, snoop and dr. dre should do a collaboration album, or snoop and ice cube, whichever. snoop and ice cube are the best from the west right now, hands down. the game is for sure hella good, got hella lyrical talent, but he got too much beef shit goin’ on. snoop dogg, ice cube and the game should make a song together, produced by my nig dr. dre. now that would be straight up classic. and fuck y’all who think snoop ain’t makin’ beats, he is makin’ ‘em. why would he want someone to ghost-produce for him, for money? he’s gettin’ enough scrilla as it is. now that’s real talk. peace

  • yadadafeelme?

    U do suck

  • kidkron3

    ice cube is the king
    snoop is 2
    game 3

  • http://hptt//xxl china

    whatado snoop im wanna your biggest fans i go way bacc to deep cover i think what u do with the kids is great i use to live in diamond bar and wanted to get my son in your football league but missed the season. so now im in vegas but when i move back home ill be sure to hit u up. keep on doin what ur doinfucc the haters keep ur head up and god bless u love always china

  • jojochicago

    Do it Snoop! COntinue to grow and discover your talents as well as others. They attacking the hip hop now and its time to show and prove to the haters that this movement and culture isn’t going anywhere and that comparing hip hop to some BS white racist is crazy. They trying to put pressure on corporate sponsers taking food out yall mouths!

    • http://www.bing.com/ Yancy

      Thanks guys, I just about lost it lokoing for this.

  • jacquez
  • harlem B

    man how is it a compilation album if you appear on 12 out of 16 tracks. I saw the track listing and is the same artist we hear on a snoop dogg album. This is bullshit cause i wanna hear some new artist. This is the same shit Jay-z did with the dynasty.

  • sammuel jones

    just wanted to say keep that head up playboy and just do what you have to love yo bro sammuel jones

  • Lo

    This album is probably gonna suck, but I give snoop respect for promoting unity.

    no one else in hip hop is doing that shit. 50 stay beefin with cats. Jay only cares about himself.

  • M.O.

    “U think Snoop is gonna sit down and work an MPC or play the keyboard?”

    yes. he said he uses drum programs on his laptop, so no mpc dumbass. what

  • http://xxl.com YounGuttaAkaBlaqueCzar(longliveDaking)MW

    Snoop gon do wat a king do…make da rest of em feel salty…big ups snoop

  • Jazz Man

    Snoop is doing the damn thang fa sho!!! But as far as king of cali I would have to say awww nawww it ain’t snoop dogg. You have to pay respect to those that have help raise snoop. And whoever put game in the top three done lost they damm mind and should be pimped slapp.
    E-40 could be up there, DJ Quick, Ice Cube and then Snoop. Snoop is definately doing his thang and there is no hate here, but remember those who did before him and consistantly also!!! It would be different if he was Baby(Cash Money) or Diddy, but snoop don’t have to front on the shit he does! NO ghost writing or ghost beats!

  • MaXimuM

    I like snoop dog, I like his style, i give him a big RESPECT. Ты гангстер, хвалю. Тебе большая уважуха!

  • MaXimuM

    I like snoop dog! i like his style! RESPEKT

  • yadadafeelme?

    oh yeah btw, why the fucc did cali boy say “fuck snoop, ice cube is the king of the west…laugh now cry later sold more than snoop” if snoop dogg and ice cube are hella good homies and snoop was ON ICE CUBE’S ALBUM and ice cube was ON SNOOP’S ALBUM? use your fuckin’ head dumbass, just cuz one rapper is good doesn’t mean the other sucks. both cube and snoop are hella good rappers. also, cube’s album has been out for almost a year now and it got platinum. snoop’s has been out for less than 6 months and it has sold over 800k. i’m not hatin’ on either rapper, i’m just statin’ the facts. i love both cube and snoop. so cali boy, stop hatin’ and start appreciatin’. duce.

  • Krgn

    u punk ass bitches, its not about who is the best snoop and cube dont give a god dawm about who is the better rappers. dont u suckers understand what is snoop talking bout? he sayin that he is tryin to stop that fucking beef about who is the best in the west. thats why he is THE MOTHA FUCKING KING. but the silence king is the motha fucking D R E, without him there would be a snoop dogg or an ice cube, not even nobodys like game or “for 50cent I suck dick”. u know what im talking bout? so shut the fuck up u bitch ass hoes and listen to theire music, and off course buy the albums otherwise they all be gone. and what would he get for sayin that the beats are his own production, if they aint… he wont sell more, only mathers that the shit is good, thats all. so sit back smoke some buddah and shut the fuck up. peace snoop i love what ya doin

  • Dizzy Dez From Dtown

    Snoop’s been on hit from jump.So fuck all the haters that ain’t got shit to do but talk a gang of shit but the first mutha fucker to groove to the music when it hits the block.Still a fan in Denver………….

  • BILLYBUMP

    >JUST BE YOU BROTHER

  • http://xxlmag.com snoop

    kvo staa moi 4ovek dani6 li treva. are
    from smoker

  • http://none Pam Richardson

    Will Mr. Dogg please honor the veterans of America and visit us at West LA Veterans Hospital.

  • http://myspaceSNOOPSWIFE MICHELLE/GARY IN

    I LV U KING SNOOP. U WILL ALWAYS BE MY #1 ARTIST IN THE NATION. I CRAVE EVERY NOTE OF YOUR BEATS. PLUS U FINE AS HELL. I HAVE MY #2 & #3′S ARTIST LIKE 50 IS #2 AND AFTER THAT I REALLY DON’T GIVE A FLYIN FUCCCK. MY BEEF IS THESE M.F.s THAT’S TRYIN TO TELL US WHAT TO SAY & HOW TO SAY IT. SPEAK YO PEACE. MASSA CAN’T DO SHIT TO US NO MO. I WISH I RAN UP ON ONE OF THEM BITCHES DISSIN MY PEEPS.DON IMUS DIDN’T NEED TO BE FIRED. HE NEEDED MY BIG BLACK FIST DOWN HIS BIG WHITE MOUTH. AND I’M STILL LOOKIN FOR THAT M. F. FROM SEINFELD. HOLLA. BY THE WAY, I’M AN OLE G. (REAL OLD)

  • PaGurl4Life

    KiaOra Snoop!str8 dropn lyriks 4rm Aotearoa New Zealand Dogg!jus had 2 hola & let it be known th@ u truely are a KING in your own rite its your earn such a title is so fitting without a doubt!you tell it how it is 4real & we hear u we see your purpose & you giv us balance,guidance,hope & belief in so many ways.you on da uda syde ov da world dog & New Zealand cud neva & wud neva deny u coz dey no 2much luv 4 u hur.FUK dem muthafukaz in Austrailia dey dont wnt 2 hear da truth dey aint strong like us how dare dey disrespekt u like d@ u wil always b welcomed wit open arms coz your soldiers here fight 4 your honour hard!pleze bleve it!we press noses a sign of greeting maori styles uncut i look 4wrd 2 duin so nxt time u touch down upon our shores g!we love u 4 life dog our maori people ov Aotearoa N.Z fuk ozzy cum bk 2 us ya hurd.roll out da red carpet treatmnt blaze up wot jus wot u love only da best 4 KING ov da west.

  • http://nothavingone Jennvael

    I wanna know more about Snoop Dogg and i wanna explore his crib too

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