Interviews

Rap Icon Snoop Dogg Talks ‘Bible of Love’ Album, Gospel Music, Church Upbringing, Naysayers, More

snoop-dogg-interview

Some may call him Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion, Uncle Snoop, Coach Snoop, but the world views him as a hip-hop legend. Almost three decades ago, the Long Beach native introduced himself to the world and evolved under the guidance of hip-hop producer, Dr. Dre. Snoop Dogg has come a long way since the early 1990’s. Along with rapping, he added record producer, television personality, actor, football coach, spokesperson for gin drink, Tanqueray, and more to his lengthy resume.

Now, Snoop is taking his music career into new realms by producing a gospel album, entitled Bible of Love, with producer Lonny Bereal. The project is also the first release on Snoop’s independent label, All The Time Entertainment.

‘Bible of Love’ is a 32-track double album, featuring several heavy hitters including, Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, Patti Labelle, Faith Evans, K-Ci Hailey, Mali Music, Tye Tribbett, Charlie Wilson, just to name a few. It was released on Friday, March 16th and already received positive reviews from critics. The album exemplifies Snoop’s diversity in music and willingness to step out of his comfort zone. While recording the LP, it hit home for Snoop in a spiritual sense. It’s a project that Snoop is proud of, which is why it’s close to his heart.

Back in Long Beach, California, Snoop was first introduced to gospel music by his beloved grandmother, Dorothy Tate. Hence, it influenced him to record a gospel album during these trying social times. Snoop said, “As the country is in one of its heaviest times and is so divided, I wanted to make an album that spreads love and unity around the world.”

Rappersroom.com conversed with the Doggfather of Rap about the new album, tapping into gospel, the next phases of his career, and more. Check it out!

Granny’s Favorite Track off The Album: She would probably like the Patti Labelle record, “When It’s All Over.” She sang that song, and she didn’t like the playback at first. She wanted to do her parts over, and I’m like, “Sorry Patti, we like them just the way they are.” You are special. Patti was like, ‘I’m down with what you’re doing with this project.’ She could’ve been mean about it, but she was sweet as ever.

Granny’s Influence: I think she saw my ability to be an MC. Back in the days in church, we had to give speeches and plays. We would also have to be George Washington Carver or Benjamin Banneker in church. Black churches put you through the ringer [laughs]. Black churches are crazy. But, real talk, it got me ready. I have to give a shout out to all of the Deacons and Ministers that handled me because they seen something in me. They would ask me to lead songs in the choir, and I didn’t have a strong singing voice. Ricky Harris (RIP), him and I went to church together, and we would have to act together. Ricky Harris was on my first album, Doggystyle, doing the skits. When we did that, everybody in the church was happy. It shows you how God works. The church didn’t care about the secular music; they were just happy that we made it in the game. Know the person inside before you start throwing rocks at them. You only know my music but you don’t know me, do you?

Biblical Verse that Snoops Stands By: It was the one that said, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, Jesus Christ ….” It was John 3:16. That stuck with me because there were always decisions that needed to be made at any given time. When I started hanging with the gang bangers, hanging with the drug dealers, got my first gun, there were decisions that needed to be made in the streets. Now, I wasn’t that type of dude that would do it three or four times. After the first and second time, I got that part because I heard that voice. As I grew up, I look back on a lot my homeboys that are dead or locked up. They didn’t have that scripture or voice, and they kept making that wrong decision over and over again. That voice made me realize that you can make another decision and be fine with your decision.

Thoughts on Gospel Music, The Genre: I think Gospel music is the best genre in the world. Hands down, from the artists and musicians. You never see a gospel artist lip-sync, miss a beat, or off-key. They are the most inherited singers in the world. One thing about Gospel music is that they can sing it from the church to the streets to the car or wherever they’re at singing. But, they’re singing about God, and they’re singing to the Lord. So, why wouldn’t you put a spotlight on that? But, they rather spotlight someone on drugs, killings, shootings, just negativity. But, I said let me see if I can work this Snoop Dogg light by reaching out to some of the most extraordinary singers you’ve ever heard in your life. We’re bringing this to a city near you! It wasn’t just a record; it was a movement. I’m excited about my projects, but this one right here I get to do what I really love and learn more about me.

Snoop’s Mother’s Reaction While Recording the Album: It’s funny. I played the record for my Mama, and she was like “I’m not impressed.” She was like, ‘I told you were going to do this years ago.’ So, she was waiting for me to record this album. In a cool way, she was happy. But, I understood what she said. My mother said for years; you were doing your thang, now you’re doing His thang, so I knew it was going to happen. It has to be on His time and not on your time.

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Journey & What’s Next: I don’t know where it’s headed. I take it day by day. I believe that the plans I’ve been making lately has allowed me to reach the end zone whether it’s community service, coaching with the kids, or correcting ex-gang members to do the right thing and change their lives around. I can help them become mentors and coaches and encourage kids to not enter gangs. We don’t put cameras around the community work that we do because we genuinely love what we do.

Bible of Love Album: A Testimony: I believe this album is like a testimony, but it’s not a complete testimony because I am always tested. This is just a testimony that you’re getting from the next portion of my career. I did this record on my own label; a label didn’t tell me to come out with an album. I didn’t want a label to tell what kind of music to record or what people should be featured on the album. This is a great project because some many people are trying to find their way back at home. And the church is supposed to be the place that is most welcoming in the world.

Definition of Love: Hmmm, my definition of love is the best religion in the world. It’s like do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But, at the same time, bring positive energy instead of negative energy. Never allowing the negative to become bigger than the positive. Always keeping peace and love at the forefront of everything. Don’t allow your attitude or ego to become your amigo. My love method is I’ll even the score but doing something positive. With love, I have to show better than I can tell you.

Receiving Criticism from the Public due to Reputation in Hip-Hop: I didn’t really care about any backlash from the public. I did it for spiritual reasons. It was not a money making project. It was a spiritual project, and my spirit was in the right place. So if I’m getting backlashes, your spirit is not right. If your spirit was right, you will welcome someone like me who came from where they came from in life. Maybe he’s reaching people that other people can’t reach. Maybe he is doing the things that God want him to do. When I think back on the bible, Jesus was in the streets, mixing it up with the “real” sinners. No one sits in the church with no flaws or imperfections. So knock it off, man! I’m prepared because I come from the hood and church. This project was ordained by my grandmother, so I have the spirit of an elder. I know how to communicate to elders in a way they would understand where I’m coming from. It’s all due respect with no disrespect.

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