Earlier this year, Snoop Dogg was named executive creative consultant at Def Jam, and in an extensive new interview he revealed what inspired him to do so.
Speaking with GQ following the release of his recent compilation, Snoop Dogg Presents Algorithm, the hip-hop legend made it clear he sought out the role. “I wanted it. I went looking for this job because I wanted to be the CEO of Death Row Records and basically take over the merchandise and rerelease their music, do documentaries, and possibly do my life story,” he explained.
Initially, he approached former Death Row Music owners eOne Music in an attempt to buy Death Row, but they indicated they weren’t looking to sell. Not long after, the Blackstone Group purchased the label, which Snoop said “hurt” him. Instead of giving up, he decided to pivot. “I knew that Def Jam didn’t have a CEO, and I didn’t want to be the CEO, but I wanted to be in the position of consulting and creativity,” he continued. “So I set up a meeting and got with Lucian [Grainge, the chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, which owns Def Jam].”
Their first meeting didn’t go so well, but by their third meeting they were able to figure something out. “See, I was thinking Death Row Records—movies, merch, television, catalog…The Chronic, Doggystyle, Murder Was the Case, All Eyez on Me,” he added. “It was all that shit I was going to… then I flipped it, like, ‘Def Jam bigger and better than Death Row any muthafuckin’ way.’ So I called LL Cool J: ‘LL, what’s happening with your life story?’”
Elsewhere in the interview, he reflected on publicly falling out with his wife and manager Shante Broadus. “I put her through so much shit being with me, holding on with me, all the bullshit I put her through,” he said. “She remained rock solid the whole way through, so that’s how you repay people for being solid and being loyal. You cut them into it, and now it’s theirs.” He took “full blame” for failings of their relationship, and is glad they rehabilitated and came out the other side stronger.
He also touched upon the loss of DMX, with whom he became close with after a Verzuz event featuring X last year. “It broke my heart, man,” he said of DMX’s death. “Once DMX passed away, he was where he needed to be. Because he always prayed for others. That means he was an angel, so God needed his angel back. He came here, he spread love, he showed you that prayer was cool. That’s his legacy. The music’s great, the spirit and all that, but the prayer, his angel ability, is what didn’t allow me to cry for my friend.”
Read the full profile by Tidal’s chief content officer and journalist Elliott Wilson here.