Photo courtesy of Dogg Records/UHL
While Snoop Dogg’s family contains legends and G-funk architects like DJ Quik, Daz Dillinger, and the late Nate Dogg, one figure remains in the shadows, which is just how he likes it. “I’m glad I’m a mystery. That’s good,” says Bing Worthington, Snoop’s younger brother, “Remember when The Weeknd first came out? I thought that was the dopest thing you could possibly do for an artist ‘cause your record is clean.”
Bing has spent the last decade-and-a-half performing various background roles in Snoop’s orbit. Though he’s currently acting as his brother’s tour manager, he’s also just started a new business venture: a merger of his own Dogg Records with Canadian hip-hop label Urban Heat Legends. Bing says that his desire to start a company here arose from a long-standing friendship with Urban Heat Legends owner Miguel Lopez. The two met during the shoot for Xzibit’s Director X-helmed “Concentrate” video in 2007. “I was going back and forth contemplating on coming out [to Canada], cause you know Snoop gets so much love here, it’s ridiculous,” says Bing over the phone from Los Angeles. This junctioning of the West Coast with the North will apparently promise a focus on throwing LA’s rap production behind independent Canadian talent, with Montreal R&B singer Addictiv’s Snoop-featuring single “Give Me Your Love” leading the pack. “When we get this machine running,” says Bing, pausing dramatically before leaning into the next phrase, “Oh my God, you better jump on board.”
Promo talk eventually gives way to discussing Bing’s professional history, a largely undocumented time period in the annals of rap. A cursory search turns up a smattering of press releases from the mid-00s along with a few IMDb entries, one of which is a credit on the Van Wilder: Rise of Taj soundtrack. Bing’s other endeavours are just as unexpected, such as the Snoop Dogg Board Company for skateboards and snowboards and–most bafflingly of all–foot-long hot dogs called Snoop Doggs. So the question is: just what has Snoop Dogg’s little brother been up to? We asked him.
Noisey: What exactly do you do?
Bing Worthington: I do a lot of entrepreneur shit. I’ve done lots of things with Snoop, like Dogg [Cadillac] DeVilles, Dogg Skateboards, you name it. I come up with a lot of great concepts. As well, I’ve done a lot of work with Snoop on the road and basically putting the albums together, so I’ve been doing this for years. I’ve been around this all my life, it was really just a step forward to come to Canada and give them the West Coast. We’re bringing together two worlds that were already married.
Can you elaborate on Canada’s relationship to the West? Why work here?
One thing about California is that when we have a passion for something, we play it. That’s the same thing in Canada. The people like what they like. They don’t just accept anything. To me it’s familiar. I have a love for Canada ‘cause they treat people–I’ve been around the world two, three times–and I feel like Canada’s the only place that treats you like a person. They treat you for who you are and you can’t find that anywhere. A lot of people wanna feel that. I still wanna be Bing.
When did you first realize you were good at business?
Back in the day I had an album, it was called Liquid Cocaine and I put that out with my group Lifestyle. When I put the album out, I was putting everything in the music together. My guy was a great rapper and I was a great rapper but I was like “why am I working on the music? I should be doing all the business side of this thing.” I love meeting people, talking business, that got me going. That made me feel like another person.
Photo via Spokeo/ W.E.N.N.
Can you talk to me more about Lifestyle?
It was me and a dude named H.I.T. He’s DJ Quik’s cousin. We grew up in Long Beach together. Snoop, he was gonna put my album [called Lubrication] out himself. I actually turned him down. The reason why is because some business, you have a group and you have a team behind. With all the pressure, you have to figure out if you wanna lose your friends, your family, or do you want to keep things the same? Sometimes you can’t just do everything you do cause it looks good. I didn't wanna lose relationships with my brother, my friends, so I stopped.
Lifestyle had a song on the Van Wilder 2 soundtrack, right?
Yeah, “Tha Jump Off”. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie but he’s a crazy guy and the song’s called “Tha Jump Off” because it’s the start of a party and you want to jump off... Man, you can’t find stuff on us, you guys did a little research! [laughs]
I did some digging.
Well one thing you’re gonna find is that it’s only good stuff.
You’ve done lots of ventures, which one are you most proud of?
That’s a really good question. I tend to be proud of everything but I think it’s working on my brother’s Eastsidaz album when I did a song called “Be Thankful.” I wrote the song and Snoop and Warren G and KAM were on it. I was proud because I came in there and they let me in there as a young guy. They kinda put me to the test. They made me write the song and I came out with the hook, everybody loved it when I did it. And I was like, “okay I’m there, people are listening to me.”
Anything else on the business side?
At the time I was selling skateboards. It was almost simultaneous. I did that and then a year later it was skateboards, skateboards, skateboards. Snoop Dogg Skateboards was pretty cool, a good experience. Skateboards at the time were a big thing going. Snoop was part of that for real. This was a proper match. Everybody from white, black, blue, green, they respected and accepted it. We made some money because the skateboard world loves Snoop too. Every grandma and uncle love Snoop.
After that it was being on the road with Snoop. I started from the bottom, I ain’t just become the tour manager, I was just the road guy. I worked my way to the top. Even though I’m his brother he didn’t give me a top-ranked position. You can’t just become a president without knowing anything about being the president. You have to learn.
Can you tell me about the foot-long hot dogs?
Back in the day, we came up with an idea for Snoop to put a hot dog in stores. We didn’t do it because he was under legal things, he didn’t own all of his name. It didn’t really work out at that time but he loved the idea. One thing about him is he can sell something today and still sell it tomorrow.
How did you come to Snoop with these ideas?
One thing about him, there’s a way of coming to him, which I respect. It has to fit his image, it has fit what he believe in. I gotta pitch things to him, he’s a businessman, too.
Photo via Youtube
How would you describe yourself?
Most of the time I think I’m easygoing. But when it comes down to it, I mean what I mean. I expect that when it comes down to business, I’m serious. Let’s get things knocked out. I don’t care how long it takes, let’s just get it done. When you rush into something that’s when you get it fucked up. Just take your time. *begins singing “Sexual Eruption”*
How about your career?
I think the word to describe my career is “blessed.” The reason is because I’m still here. I’ve seen all these people’s careers. I’m not saying they made bad decisions but they lost themselves. And I think I still have myself. That’s really the most important thing, you can’t lose yourself. It’s like when you’re a war vet and you come home all messed up in your head, but I was in the war and I ain’t get messed up at all. I’ve still got limbs, and my mind is still there.
Phil Witmer comes from a long line of folk-songwriters with the name, Witmer. Follow him on Twitter.