The desperate life of Snoop Dogg before fame
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The desperate life of Snoop Dogg before fame

Long Beach emcee Snoop Dogg first came into hip-hop as Dr Dre’s protégé. Before perking the ears of the Death Row legend, Snoop, real name Calvin Broadus, was merely an onlooker in awe of the local superstars making waves nationwide. However, prior to becoming an icon of the West Coast, he was getting by through any way possible. 

Broadus has previously been highly open about his association with the Rollin’ 20s Crips of East Long Beach and is respected as a former gang member. Although his frequent run-ins with the law caused a rift between him and his mother as he became a teenager. 

The ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ musician faced a lot of adversity but always adhered to the codes of the streets, making it hard for him to escape the cycle of violence he became trapped in. Snoop’s mom, Beverly Tate, grew tired of it, and in a 2018 interview on the Howard Stern Show, Snoop revealed that before Dr Dre discovered him, he was homeless. 

Speaking to Stern about why Tate eventually decided to kick Snoop out of the house, the rapper explained, “It got to a point that when my mother kicked me out because she felt like I was bringing too much drama to her house with people wanting me and the people I hung around. It just didn’t mix. So she was like, ‘You got to get out.’… I had just turned 17.”

Although it was a reasonable settlement for his mother, Snoop ended up in a precarious situation with a neighbour who allowed the emcee to live there on the basis that she could receive “a few pieces of crack” each month as rent. 

That setup forced Broadus into continuing to sell drugs just to keep a roof over his head. During his interview with Stern, the Doggystyle artist revealed for the first time that in the late 1980s, he lived in his car, unveiling, “I moved into my car. I had an automobile. Then one night, maybe six months after my mama kicked me out, my car was parked on the wrong side of the street with all my clothes in it and all my dope in it, and it got towed away.”

With no car, the lyricist returned to the streets and got sent to jail at age 18. Fortunately, after seeing the error of his ways, Broadus turned to music, following in the footsteps of his childhood friend Warren G, Dr Dre’s brother. 

After a demo tape fortuitously ended up in the hands of the Death Row mogul, Broadus would see his life turn upside down in 1992 following the release of ‘Deep Cover’ and The Chronic.

Since 1992, Broadus has released 19 studio albums and has become a bonafide entrepreneur with a number of successful businesses to his name. Listen to Snoop Dogg speaking with Howard Stern below.