Few artists enjoy the staying power of Snoop Dogg. Nearly 25 years since the debut of his breakthrough album Doggystyle, the singer, television star, and medical cannabis entrepreneur is as culturally relevant as ever. Part of that has to do with his prolific nature (he released 127 singles during those two and a half decades) but Snoop's infectious affability surely plays a role in his continued success, too. After all, kindness never goes out of style.
Nor does marijuana, incidentally. Snoop's all-but-official status as the global ambassador of ganja has also helped cement his legacy. MUNCHIES sat down with Snoop in downtown LA over a few gin and juice cocktails, where he revealed everything from his secret stoner snacks to the one person who can smoke him under the table. Most importantly, though, this brief session with the hip-hop icon provides a few life lessons in longevity.
MUNCHIES: What are we drinking? Snoop Dogg: [It's The Laid Back Cocktail prepared by Niko Novick of N2 Mixology, with one part gin, one part apple vodka, two parts fresh pineapple juice, and a splash of soda, on the rocks.]
You know, Martha Stewart made this same drink for me on my show [Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party]. But she put a ball [of ice] in it, though. A big-ass ball. That motherfucker—I ain't never drunk a drink with a big-ass ball. It fucked me up, but it was good. I never thought I'd say I liked balls, but…You gotta add that gingeriz-nale, a little pine-a-pale, and you gotta chop chop [that ice].
Your friendship with Martha is unexpected yet genuine. How do you two work so well together? She different, ya know, than what I'm accustomed up. But then again she's so what I'm accustomed to, 'cause she people. She just look different and she was born in a different era, but if you hang out with her and chill with her, she just like anybody else. That's why it works, because she never says nothing that's crazy in my ears. It's always like, damn, I thought you would say that, OK. That's why we get down, that's why we connected, Martha. 'Cause it feels like holy matrimony, and not holy macaroni.
You introduced a new generation to the cocktail world when you came out with your song "Gin and Juice." Who taught you about that drink? My momma! My momma was a cold drinker in the 70s. They used to have parties at the house in the living room with a bar with the eight-track cassette player. They be drinking their [gin] and having a good time and partying. It represented a good time.
What music do you remember from those days? The Dramatics, Marvin Gaye, Isley Brothers, Manhattans. Anything that made you dance, you know what I'm saying? Momma and them danced. [The booze is] what made them dance, in my eyes. Now that I'm looking at it, 'cause they always had a cup full of it. It was either in a red cup or the styrofoam cup, but they always had a cup of it.
Was it always gin for you? So many people in the rap game get down with Cognac. I didn't do the brown, man... 'cause I'm brown enough. Too much brown ain't good enough for you. The worst hangovers are with the brown. The ones that you be like, "Oh my god, I'm never gonna drink again." You never got those with [the clear spirits]. I wanna try that all over again.
What's the perfect party drink? [Thinks for a minute.] Oh! Pink Panties [a blended mixture of pink lemonade, gin, ice cream, strawberries and ice]. I don't think they make those no more. When I was in junior high school, going into high school, that was the drink that the little hot girls used to make when they wanted to act like they wanted to give you a shot at the title but they never gave you—they'd make that drink and get you all revved up and then you wouldn't even get a shot at the title!
What do you have planned for 2017, Snoop? I have a movie coming out for Coolaid. I thought that record was dope. I thought it was fly. I thought it was mishandled by the record label. So what I did was I put a movie together to help you better understand where it was coming from. I got a movie that should be out in March to support the record. I got a lot of exciting artists that I'm working with. October London is one of 'em. He's a great singer/songwriter. Doing a couple of things with my daughter, she's singing now. Just did the Morris Day album, so be on the lookout. We also working on Bootsy Collins' new album. Just trying to mix and match, doing a little bit of all of the above. I love making music, I love providing what's missing in a lot of these artists that I grew up loving and I'm able to work with them now, because they still wanna make music, and I still wanna work with them.
You now allow other artists to write lyrics for you. What's that process like? I allow people to write for me because—not that I'm stuck or brain-boggled—it's just, sometimes the perspective from the outside is better than your perspective. It's been songs—"Sexual Eruption," Shorty Rare wrote that song. He presented that song to me, [and said], "I want you to have this song." But he wasn't singing, he was just talking. And I took it and put the autotune with a little bit of my vocals, and I said, "Hold on. I don't wanna 'T-Pain' it. So put T-Pain right here, and put me right here." So that's the difference between the regular autotune songs and that one, because Shorty Rare gave me that song. He wrote it, produced it, arranged it, and I just added my flavor and do what I do.
But you weren't always comfortable having people write for you. I had a problem with it in the beginning because I was an MC. You know I'm a vicious MC! I wrote for Dr. Dre. I wrote for him. You're not gonna write for me. Me and a rapper—I can't say his name—got off to a bad start because of that. We got off to a bad start because he presented me a song, and I'm like, "Nigga, you can't write for me!" But then he ended up going on to sell millions and millions and millions and millions of records. So it's respect. In the art of war, I was still at the top of my game, so I didn't need your co-writing. I got my own co-writing. [Laughs.]
You're involved with the world of medical marijuana. How you feel about the proliferation of edibles, in particular? I don't have an on/off button with the edible. I appreciate the fact that they're creating edibles because some people don't like the smoke and they don't like the way it makes you smell and so edibles is another way to medicate yourself. It's also a great way to feel good about what you're doing without everybody knowing what you're doing. So I respect that, but at the same time I don't [use edibles] because I can't have control. I lose control of my everything when I do that, because it's in my bloodstream, it's all over me, and I don't like feeling like that.
And how about legalization in your home state of California? "That's what the world is based on now. It's more medicated than dedicated. So, you gotta look at it like it's healing people, it's saving the world. Like I always say, even this for example [points to the glass of booze on the table]: go to a sporting event and watch how people act when they on this; violent, aggressive. They team lose and it's gonna be a fight. But when you at a sporting event and you on this [makes a smoking blunt gesture], you ain't finna to get into it with nobody. If your team lose it…Fuck it, they lost.
Wiz Khalifa recently claimed that he can outsmoke you. Any truth to this? Wiz Khalifa can't outsmoke me. He's young and aspiring. He on a mission. His karate is good. [But] he could never. Right now there's only person who has: Willie Nelson. That's the only person who has ever smoked me under the table. Finito!
How do you know you've been outsmoked? When you wanna stop. When you're looking for an exit. You trying to break the chain. It's a rotation, it's going around like a track meet—like the 4-40 relay [sic]—and all of a sudden someone hands you the baton, and you're like, "I'm gonna go ahead and stand over here while y'all run that shit out."
On your show with Martha, you demonstrate an impressive knack for cooking. What are some foods you like to put together when you're high? One of the best stoner snacks is fried bologna with cheese—then you gotta throw your favorite potato chips in there, inside of the sandwich. That's just basic.
How do you teach your own kids to drink and smoke responsibly? None of my kids drink. But smoke responsibly? Just try and be an example. Try and not be hypocritical. How can I tell them not to, when I do? It's just the way I do. I do it very respectable. I'm not a disrespectful person. Anytime I walk into a building with a blunt, it's supposed to happen. If you noticed today, you ain't smelled no weed on this set, because I respect the vision of what we going. But I can act a fool if I need to, but this is not the time and the place. This is suits and ties."
How has your relationship with marijuana evolved over the years? It medicates me. I'm looking around and I'm looking at all these entertainers, rappers, athletes, how they weight fluctuate up and down and how they have problems and they can't deal with it and they suicidal and they this and they that, domestic violence and this and that. But Snoop Dogg is only on his strict diet: this and that—not all of the above. When you start mixing all of the above, you get all of the above. But when you keep it short, sweet, and simple, you got a smooth path that you walk, and that's what I'm on.
Thanks for speaking with us.