From The Archvies: Snoop Dogg, “The Coolest” [Originally Published April 2008]

I noticed that painting of Tupac over there. Did you ever view him as competition?

He was never competition for me, because he was my brother, my homeboy. Anybody that I get down with, I don’t ever view them as competition. Even, like, Game. I view Game like my family. He’s not competition to me. So when people say, “Game said that he brought the West Coast back, and Game was saying this…” That’s my brother. He’s supposed to say that. He’s a young gorilla. When I was a young gorilla, Ice Cube had the game on lock. And in so many ways, I was saying I was the baddest muthafucka. No disrespect to him, but you have to say that and mean that and feel that.

Suge Knight has said that you and Tupac got into it right before he died.

He told you that?

He didn’t tell me that. But it’s been printed. He told XXL.

He said me and ’Pac got into it?

You’ve heard that before, c’mon.

We had a misunderstanding. Our thing was, if someone is on you, they on me. He had a problem with Biggie and Puffy, and I did an in- terview with Angie Martinez when we was in New York, and she asked me how I felt about Biggie and Puffy, and I said I was cool. That trig- gered an emotion in him, because he wanted me to say, ‘Fuck Biggie and fuck Puffy.’ But I didn’t feel like that about them, for the simple fact that they didn’t really even want to fight him. He was fighting some guys that didn’t even want to fight him. It’s like, if I act and step in, we’re going to kill these niggas. And it don’t even matter. I’d gotten to the point in my life where I just beat my murder case, and I was more forgiving and humble and sympathetic, and the gangster in me just turned down. And he was so used to me being Snoop Dogg the muthafuckin’ killer that, when he heard that, it just fucked him up, like, “These niggas tried to kill me, and you ain’t riding with me.”

But it wasn’t like that. We didn’t even talk about it. We went to the plane, and them niggas didn’t say nothing to me all the way home, five and a half hours. My Rolls was there. His Rolls was there. I got out the plane. I was like, “Cuz, you going to the fight?” [Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon, Sept. 7, 1996, Las Vegas] He looked at me like, “I don’tknow.” I jumped in my car and rolled out. Next time I seen him, he’s laying in the bed, half-dead.

Right before that fight, the night Tupac was shot, he and Suge were caught on camera beating Orlando Anderson. If you went to Vegas, you might have been involved in that. That could have been you going to jail, too.

That could have been me going to jail forever. You see how they gave Suge, what, nine years for that shit?

For kicking somebody on the floor.

Half-kicking somebody. I got my faith in who I believe in, and I know how I move. And it’s been like this for a long time. Even when I sold dope back in the ’80s. Right before niggas got robbed, I would always leave. I remember, one time, we were all selling dope in front of this apartment, and most niggas had their dope on them or put away so they can get it when their sale came out. A car pulls up and pulls down the street. Two dudes come out. One had a plastic bag in his hand. And they walking to us looking like they were going to buy some dope. So I run to the back to get my dope. And when I come halfway back, these niggas had pulled guns out and were robbing the homies. I get into my house, ’cause I live right there, and I’m hearing this shit like, “Please don’t shoot me.” “Give me your rings, give me your dope, give me your money.” The niggas don’t shoot them, just hit them in the head, and then they made them lay down while they jumped in the car and drove off. So I come out after- wards, and my homeboy fires on me—Poomp! Because he thinks I set him up. I fire back—Poomp! Me and this nigga fighting. That’s how my conscious is. I’ve always been able to get away.