Snoop Dogg is one of hip hop’s most beloved MCs. Rising to prominence by the side of Tupac and Dr Dre on Death Row Records, the rapper (real name Calvin Broadus) is loved for his unique tone, funky West Coast raps and laidback delivery. Known as hip hop’s marijuana maestro, Snoop is definitely an iconic figure within the culture.
With the Long Beach rapper’s rise to fame commencing during the early 1990s G-Funk era, his mainstream commercial success was almost instant when he was introduced to the world as Dr Dre’s protégé on the legendary track ‘Deep Cover’ in 1992.
His first and second albums would lay the foundation for a career that would accelerate at lightning speed leading the rapper to work with the likes of Ice Cube, Jay-Z and The Neptunes. In fact, he would work extensively with the latter and achieve a tremendous amount of success alongside them.
The Neptunes, comprised of Virginia Beach school friends Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, were instrumental in crafting the sound of hip hop and R’n’B in the 2000s. Their beats were smooth and catchy. Furthermore, their amazing bridges and knowledge of musical theory were unparalleled as a producer duo.
Upon listening to many of the hits made by The Neptunes, one can find stylistic similarities and consistencies. For example, the 2003 R’n’B hit ‘Frontin’ produced by The Neptunes features the same funky guitar sound that features in ‘Rock Your Body’ by Justin Timberlake. This legendary guitar sound can also be found in ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis and ‘I Just Wanna Love You’ by Jay-Z. Hit records, known the world over. All these artists, while not so relevant today, were ruling the charts in the 2000s and a lot of their success is down to The Neptunes. However, the same can be said for Snoop during this period.
Having parted ways with Death Row in 1998, and with the east coast vs west coast feud over, Snoop knew he had to give the G-Funk sound a break if he was to survive in the industry for another decade. Looking to diversify his sound, Snoop worked with many different producers during the 2000s but saw the most success alongside the Neptunes. Together, they collaborated on a number of tracks such as ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, ‘Signs’ and ‘Beautiful’.
Snoop Dogg and The Neptunes, by the late 2000s, had a winning formula, with everything they made going to the top. Their first collaboration was ‘Beautiful’. Talking to Pharrell Williams and Scott Vener for a special live taping of OTHERtone, Snoop Dogg even credits Pharrell with teaching him as he revealed, “you taught me how to tap into that, how to write for the women instead of about the women.”
However, their most renowned song is their 2005 hit ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’. You can hear the isolated vocals for the track in the video below.