During the 1990s, Malice N Wonderland emcee Snoop Dogg was one of the most recognisable MCs in the world. His distinct voice over Dr Dre’s dreamy G-funk beats made the lyricist (real name Calvin Broadus) a phenomenon and a young star.
However, unlike many hip-hop artists, in 1993, Snoop Dogg dedicated himself to not rapping about death for one particular reason, and during a conversation with the renowned New York emcee Fatman Scoop on Instagram Live, Broadus explained why he chose to stop doing so.
In 1993, Snoop Dogg was acquitted in a murder case alongside his former bodyguard, Malik, who was arrested and charged with first and second-degree murder charges in relation to the death of Philip ‘Little Smooth’ Woldemariam. However, after nearly landing a life sentence for someone’s passing, Broadus admitted it made him realise the power his words and music had.
Before becoming a suspect in the death of Woldemariam, Snoop told Scoop (real name Isaac Freeman) that he wrote a song about death. Detailing the track, Broadus explained, “One day, me and my cousin Daz [Dillinger] were going to the studio, and I had a song in my head called ‘Dave.'”
The Long Beach musician explained how ‘Dave’ was an acronym for “Death After Visualising Eternity.” He continued, “So, I wanted to write a song about someone that died and came back. At the time, I was gang-banging and all kind of shit, so my pen made me write ‘Murder Was the Case,’ which was the story of a gang-banger that got shot and, on his deathbed, made a deal to get his life back, but he crossed God, and he ended up losing at the end.”
However, shortly after Broadus wrote this song, he became a suspect in a murder case. Explaining why he initially wrote tracks about death, Snoop explained, “Around that time, me, Tupac, Biggie, [Ice] Cube —all of the rappers that was rapping around that time, we was writing what we was living. Some of us was writing life, and some of us was writing death, but that’s what we was living.”
However, Broadus unveiled that he changed his ways for his sophomore album, stating, “On my second album, ThaDoggfather, when I beat my murder case, I redirected my pen to write life because I felt like I had wrote death all up until that point.”
The Doggystyle artist insisted that he even lost friends for not being the stereotypical gangster but knew from experience that death doesn’t only impact the victim but everyone involved, including the perpetrators and suspects who have their lives and freedoms on the line.
You can hear Fatman Scoop and Snoop Dogg speaking in the video below.