Alpha Dogg

Snoop Dogg is the only rapper that makes your grandma blush (in a good way). We track Snoop's chronic appeal.

If you happen to walk past the Metro Centre and have a Woodstock seizure at the scent emerging, don't fret, the hippies didn't win. It's merely Snoop Dogg taking his patented mid-set chronic break. Tickets are $44.50 to $54.50 (gin and juice sold separately).

Many are unaware that Snoop Dogg's real name is Cordazar Calvin Broadus, but since the 1993 release of his debut album Doggystyle, there are few people in North America who do not know his name or recognize the influence of his words. Even senior citizens say "izzle," a suffix he popularized. The iPhone now has an application called the iFizzle.

Snoop's career has often been controversial, as a prominent member in scandals afflicting Death Row Records and the east coast/west coast beefs that left contemporary rappers Tupac and Biggie dead. He has been a pimp and a pee-wee football coach, porn producer and public relations genius. He was nominated for a Grammy and charged with a murder. Since his guest appearances on Dr. Dre's The Chronic in 1992, he's been a hip-hop legend.

Snoop has managed to stay in the public eye. Fans of the show Weeds can hear him crooning about "MILF weed" to Nancy Botwin. Even now, junior high kids make out to his disco-inspired AutoTune hit, "Sensual Seduction."

For me, the obsession began in '93 and is likely to continue to infinity. I was eight years old watching Rap City, trying to bond with my older brother, future underground rap star Josh Martinez (who I know as Matthew Kimber), and saw Snoop's video "Who Am I." Soon afterwards, my pubescent voice demanded from strangers and friends alike, "What's my name?"

Well before drinking age I sang along to "Gin and Juice" at school dances, trying to grind with significantly taller teenage girls. I've seen people of all types get into Snoop Dogg, from philosophy wunderkind wieners bobbing their heads to The Chronic, to feminists who bump and grind at the club despite their disgust at his pimping escapades, to a racist neighbour of mine who dropped the n-bomb casually yet still held Snoop's music close to his hateful heart. It seems everybody loves Snoop Dogg.

For Halifax to have performances by both Busta Rhymes (September 19 at the Cunard Centre) and Snoop in the same week is a dream come true for diehard hip-hop fans. Halifax promoters have been granting my wishes on a rather frequent basis---over the last two years, KRS-One, Grandmaster Flash, Nas and Afrika Bambaataa have all come to pay our city a visit and show us how our childhood heroes rock out.

People can certainly argue that Snoop's music encourages violence, misogyny and use of the dreaded marijuana. But for the most part, people of my generation don't care about that. Listening to Snoop is time-travelling back to when there was nothing serious in the world.

In addition, his songs are devilishly hard to get out of your head: "Snoop Doggy, Do-oww-ohhh-oggg (yeah yeah yeah)/Snoop Doggy, Do-oww-ohhh-oggg (the bomb)/Da-duh-da-da-dah/Do-do-do-do,

Who Am I (Whats My Name)? - Snoop Doggy Dogg doo-doo-doo-da-dahh! (Dog)."

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