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Behind the Mic: The story behind Snoop Dogg's 'Gin and Juice'

There are many reasons to love Snoop Dogg. The ultimate hip hop uncle, Snoop has presided over one of the most untouchable legacies in the rap game. Not because he has potent rhymes or has a fearsome discography but because, like many before him, he has an effortless swagger that seems to captivate generation upon generation of listeners. He’s done that by providing a “vibe” that few artists can avoid being intoxicated by.

Even as time has pressed on and rappers, who usually go the way of flabby innuendo and determined musical flatulence, Snoop has managed to remain creative, relevant and one of hip hop’s most beloved figures. Even his dalliance with the world of NFTs hasn’t seen his social stock plummet. That’s largely because songs like ‘Gin and Juice’ still exist and remind us just how brilliant Snoop is.

Snoop Dogg is an originator of the G-Funk sound that dominated airwaves throughout the 1990s and beyond, and his place in the development of hip hop can’t be underplayed. Snoop Dogg is just about the only man able to make a jingle for fast food delivery service JustEat a bonafide anthem that plays up to his character’s playful side and, somehow, still maintain his credibility. Aside from all the cartoonish elements to his image, Snoop is one of the most influential figures in hip-hop history, and no one should ever underestimate his mercurial talent.

You need only go back to his debut album, 1993’s Doggystyle to get a reminder of just how impressive Snoop was on his debut. Coming out alongside Dr Dre’s new incarnation as a solo artist, Snoop made a serious name for himself with the LP. There are no prizes for guessing that Snoop Dogg’s legendary album is the best-selling album in his discography. Topping 11 million albums sold worldwide, with nearly 7 million in the U.S. alone, Doggystyle beats the nearest challenger, 2000’s The Last Meal by nearly 9 million units sold.

What buoyed the record was cold and classic singles like ‘Gin and Juice’ which took on N.W.A.‘s ability to speak to the streets that surrounded him but plaster it with a smoky and sultry production that evoked feelings of backyard cookouts over front porch shootouts. It was typified within the song as Snoop and Dre rhyme on the “paradise cocktail” and how, if it’s being served at a party, there’s a good chance the night will be a good one.

“Gin and juice was the choice of drink for a young playa,” Snoop told Pandora. “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-ass 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 track will go down in history as one of the best of Snoop’s reign, however, it should be more fondly remembered as perhaps the greatest party-starting anthem the world has ever known.