Behind The Mic: The classic ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ by Snoop Dogg
(Credit: Alamy/Hip Hop Hero)


Behind The Mic: The classic 'Drop It Like It's Hot' by Snoop Dogg

West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg has been in the music business for over three decades and is still thriving as an entrepreneur and businessman. However, to become the mogul that he is today, the rapper had to adapt, grow and evolve not only with the music industry with regard to technology but also with its sonics, and that’s one thing that helped the rapper (real name Calvin Broadus) maintain his relevancy for such a long period.

As part of Death Row Records, Snoop Dogg first became mainstream when he was featured on Dr Dre’s 1992 track ‘Deep Cover’. 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 more. Snoop Dogg’s early years began during the 1990s G-Funk era, alongside artists such as Dr. Dre, Nate Dogg, and Warren G. As part of Death Row, Snoop Dogg helped popularise the West Coast sound.

However, after parting ways with Death Row in 1998, 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 including, ‘Signs,’ ‘Beautiful’ and the iconic ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’.

Snoop Dogg and The Neptunes had a winning formula by the mid-2000s, with everything they made going to the top. The two acts first collaborated on Broadus’s 2002 single ‘From The Chuuuch To Da Palace’However, it was on Snoop Dogg’s 2004 album, R’n’G: Rhythm & Gangsta, that the duo began to flourish and truly create magic. ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ was recorded at Snoop Dogg’s Diggy Style Records studio in East Los Angeles. The track has often been described as minimal. The track is renowned for its sampling of spray paint cans and tongue-clicking noises.

In 2014, speaking to Snoop Dogg on his YouTube series GGN News, Williams and Broadus reminisced on when they made the track. Talking to Williams, the Long Beach rapper recalled, “I remember the day that we made ‘Drop It like It’s Hot’ when you had a piece of it! It was just a small piece of that motherf*cker, you was just sitting at the back playing that motherf*cker on the keyboard then you started mumbling the words.” He continued, “You just pulled that motherf*cking rabbit out your hat! Then remember, I did the first verse, then the second verse, but you said ‘Nah!’ You said, ‘You gotta write that over!'”

Describing the studio environment, Williams detailed, “There was like 40 Crips in there! Dark blued out and these guys are just standing around waiting on a motherf*cking hit record, and meanwhile you feel like you’re playing a video game.” Proceeding to praise his production partner Chad Hugo, Williams declared, “You know what Chad’s a genius, and he’s the ultimate partner!” Even Snoop Dogg lauded Hugo and claimed he perfected the record, recounting, “Chad you put that piece on that ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ we thought it was done till you put that [trumpet section] when you put that motherf*cker on there that was like the candle on the cake, we was like ‘Godamn!'”

‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks. It was both artists’ first number one on the chart. It did the same in New Zealand and stayed there for a month. It peaked at number ten on the UK Singles Chart. In 2009 the online music publication Billboard, ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ was named the most popular rap song of the decade. You can listen to the track and the GGN News interview with Pharrell Williams in the videos below.