West Coast legend Snoop Dogg is one of the most well-known rappers in the world and has been a formidable force in hip-hop for over three decades. Born and raised in Long Beach, a small city south of LA, the emcee (real name Calvin Broadus) was brought up in a religious home by his mother, who hailed from Mississippi.
As a youngster, Broadus was a relatively innocent child. He played the piano and sang in the choir at his local church, the Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church. However, as an adolescent living in the impoverished Eastside neighbourhood of Long Beach, Broadus got caught up in the gang culture that plagued his area.
Slowly but surely, Broadus stopped attending church and became a permanent member of his region’s gang, the Rollin 20s Crips, that operated South of 21st Street and East of Long Beach Boulevard, where Snoop lived.
One individual who was heavily involved in the Rollin 20s is Swoop G, whose uncles, cousins and siblings were all highly respected and sat atop the gang’s hierarchy. In 1992, when Warren G introduced Broadus to Dr Dre, many other Long Beach natives began seeing music as a way out of poverty. Swoop G (real name James Parker) was one individual determined to break out.
In an interview with bomb1st Parker explained how he became a part of the Rollin 20s, eventually meeting Snoop Dogg and detailed, “My momma her family is reptables [high-ranking members] of Rollin 20s, so when we moved to Long Beach they put me under their wing. We moved from Compton to Long Beach, and when my momma finally got me around them, it was like day one sh*t like, ‘Ya’ll gonna be from right here, y’all ain’t gonna do nothing else'”
He continued, “Snoop was the little homie compared to my cousins in the hood. That’s Long Beach royalty. That’s the it, like the core of the hood. So when they took my music to Snoop, they was like ‘You gonna do it regardless! We don’t care if you like it. If you don’t, you gon’ do it!” Effectively blackmailing Broadus, as a result of their superiority within the gang, he gave Swoop G’s music to Dr Dre, who signed him in 1993. Parker featured on the 1994 Death Row soundtrack, Murder Was The Case on the track ‘Who Got Some Gangsta Sh*t’ He also featured on a leaked unreleased Snoop Dogg track ‘Head Doctor.’
However, with Swoop heavily involved in gang culture as Snoop began to ascend, Parker began to get frustrated as Broadus had said he was signing him to Doggystyle Records. Their relationship deteriorated, and by the mid-2000s, Snoop had become a multi-platinum artist while Parker was still mad at their prior gang politics. At a 2005 Rolling20s event Snoop had organised for a Long Beach elder who was going to jail, Swoop G piped up while the ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ rapper was speaking, and he was not happy.
You can watch their heated exchange in the video below.