Snoop Dogg is a legend in hip-hop culture, and it’s hard to imagine him not listening to rap and enjoying it. However, before he became an artist and began making music, he listened to various genres. Born and raised in Long Beach, the G-funk maestro was brought up in a religious home by his mother, who was a Baptist Christian. As such, Snoop listened to a lot of gospel growing up. In a 2018 interview with vocalist Kirk Franklin for his Youtube series entitled, ‘From Gangster to Gospel Redemption’, the Death Row emcee opened up about his initial love for the church.
Speaking on the origins of Gangsta rap, Broadus explained to Franklin that listeners must be aware of its religious ties. Highlighting the ignorance of fans, Snoop asserted, “People don’t understand gangsta rap comes from gospel music. 95% of the gangster rappers were born and raised in a church. The first style of music that they heard or were introduced to was church music, gospel music.” It’s hard for many to fathom the idea the ‘Gin And Juice’ emcee was ever a church-goer. However, fans of Snoop will know that during the 1990s, the Long Beach native released a legendary six-volume mixtape series entitled Welcome To Tha Church.
As an avid church attendee and member of his local congregation, Snoop has previously admitted that he used to be a choir boy before he became a rapper. However, he has also highlighted that some iconic funk artists used to get played by his mother too.
Speaking to The Fader about the funk he was exposed to growing up, Broadus disclosed, “All the music was fun, dancing, groove-oriented, heavy bass lines, catchy hooks, fly outfits, groups, solo singing artists, characters. The artists was characters. I remember we had Sir Nose. Parliament-Funkadelic. I feel like you got Sly Stone, Bootsie Collins, Roger Troutman, George Clinton, and James Brown. All these guys were funk brothers.” However, as Snoop grew up and became an adolescent, it’s evident that another type of music hooked him, and it was hip-hop.
In a 2017 conversation with the iconic Jimmy Kimmel, Snoop revealed the act and track that enthralled him. Recalling the name, Broadus disclosed, “The first artist that made me love rap music was an artist called Jimmy Spicer. He had a song called ‘Super Rhymes’ that was the one.” The track the Long Beach native referred to was Spicer’s 1980 single ‘Adventures of Super Rhyme’. Based in Brooklyn, Spicer was managed by Russell Simmons in the late 1970s and early 1980s before Run-DMC had formed.
You can watch the interview and hear ‘Adventures of Super Rhyme’ in the videos below.