Guns, brothels and football: If Snoop Dogg was president...
Snoop Dogg/Lion has once again reincarnated himself for a new music project. This time he's taking on funk under the guise of 'Snoopzilla'. Here's what happened when we met the man himself to talk "painting the White House black"...
The American Dream can take you from a nobody to a Cadillac-driving, champagne-splashing hyperstar in just a few years, as Snoop Dogg will tell you. Twenty years ago, Calvin Broadus Jr was spending more time inside a prison cell than out of one. On the rare occasion that he was the right side of the bars, he’d go right back to a world of gangs, drugs and guns on the smog-engulfed streets of Long Beach, California. Just a few years later, this twenty-something had transformed himself into Snoop Dogg, the world’s best-loved and most famous rapper, laying claim to the first-ever debut album to top the American charts and bossing his own record label.
Skip forward to 2012 and you’d have found him undergoing another transformation – into Snoop Lion, his new peace-and-love-toting Rastafarian persona – and recording his first reggae album, Reincarnated, in Jamaica. Not that he needed to; this is a man with album sales already in excess of 30 million, a net worth of over $110 million and the ability to send pictures of him smoking weed with Rihanna to more than 10 million palms in a split second via Twitter.
That’s right, not only has Snoop Dogg ridden the rags-to-riches American Dream rocket right to the very top of the entertainment ladder once, but he’s going to do it all over again with his second [EDIT: NOW THIRD, AS SNOOPZILLA!] coming.
Would you even hazard a guess as to where you’ll find him or what you’ll call him next? President Snoop, perhaps? A long shot it may be, but would you really bet your life on it? If an Austrian by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger can go from bodybuilder to action hero to governor of California, why can’t a gangster-turned-rap-superstar? We found Snoop in LA to see what the U-S-of-A would look like under D-O-double-G…
PRESIDENT SNOOP WOULD… GIVE KIDS DOLLAR SKILLS
“Man, I was the class clown at school,” Snoop tells us from his studio in the laid-back Californian murmur that’s come to embody gangster rap in even the most remote corners of the planet. He sounds relaxed, really relaxed – something that definitely doesn’t surprise us given his 81-a-day habit (yes, really) of we-don’t-need-to-tell-you-what.
“I had good enough grades to pass, and I never failed, but I did a lot of clowning around. I was always rapping, dancing, singing… all kinds of bullshit like that. That created the character I am today, being able to speak and perform in front of people.” People like Cameron Diaz, who was in the year below him. “She was my little homegirl, getting weed from me.”
So, as a man who didn’t need to listen to a teacher to make his fortune but still appreciates how instrumental schooling is for success, how would he change the educational system if he were in charge of the most powerful nation on Earth?
“I’d make sure there were lessons in finance for kids. The biggest lesson I’ve learned with my money is basically not to be so friendly with it. When we get it, we love to take care of our family and our friends. But we have to learn to take care of ourselves and teach friends and family how to work for it like you did. That way, you’re not giving it away, but it’ll be earned.”
…PAINT THE WHITE HOUSE BLACK
One of the perks of being President Snoop is moving into the most famous residence in the country. The White House has been home to every American premier since 1800 and is filled with luxury furnishings reflecting the history of “the greatest nation on Earth”.
“The first thing I’d do is give the White House a paint job,” he says. “I would have to paint the White House black. I’d change the floor, and it would be a marble floor with a mink-and-silk interior with butter-soft leather seats and a bathroom made in crystal. You’d be peeing on diamonds. Yeah, black with white diamonds.”
It’s not just 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that would get the Snoop treatment, though. Kiss your national anthem goodbye too, America… “I wouldn’t stick with that, ‘Oh say can you see’ bullshit. Fuck all that. It’s time for some new shit. I mean, I would have to write it with a couple of writers I know who would come over and do it. It’d be real big, real creative and make America feel right at home. Now, it’s so outdated. We need something that speaks to the people right now.”
…SORT OUT GUN CRIME
“If I had to outlaw one thing, it’d be guns. I’d outlaw them to an extent where you have to be qualified to own one. You’d have to pass a demeanour test to see how you are under pressure, and what you’re gonna do when the pressure cracks you. There shouldn’t be no need for automatic weapons to be in the hands of regular citizens,” says Snoop as a man who’s no stranger to them.
In the early days, before world fame put him on a straighter path, he’d been arrested for possession of a handgun and came close to a long stretch in prison after being charged and later acquitted of murder in 1993. Ten years later, he would be on the other side of the bullet as three shooters opened fire on his convoy travelling through LA.
“It’s just too easy to get a gun. I’m not just talking about walking into Walmart and picking one off the shelf, I’m talking about walking into the hood and buying one on the street. It’s a hot topic here, but they’re not putting any control on it, they’re still just talking about it.”
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