Snoop Dogg has definitely made an impact as a musician. Per the New York Times, he has successfully managed to overcome common stereotypes by experimenting and doing things out of his comfort zone such as appearing in a show with acclaimed chef Martha Stewart and participating in commercials. His strategy in life is pretty simple. "The easiest thing you can do is just do you. I felt like doing me would be the easiest path to me remaining relevant in the industry," he explained.
Snoop Dogg didn’t come from a privileged background. He worked hard to get where he is. According to Biography. he proved that he had a natural inclination for music when he was a child. Snoop was skilled at playing the piano and would perform at his local church. He started rapping when he was a school kid. He got fascinated by rap in the sixth grade and decided to experiment with it. While nobody knew it back then, Snoop would go on to become a globally revered musician, standing out for his unique style. For him, it was important to focus on creating high-quality music when he started working as a musician. While it’s undeniable that he has done really well for himself, Snoop Dogg has endured his share of struggles and heartbreak, tragic things that have shaped him as an individual.
His father abandoned the family
Snoop Dogg, per Biography, was born as Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. in Long Beach, California in October 1971. His mom was convinced that her son resembled one of the main characters from the Peanuts comic, Snoopy, which is how he got his nickname. They didn’t have an easy life together.
According to the Guardian, Snoop was mostly taken care of by his mom and stepdad. His biological father, Vernall Varnado was a veteran from the Vietnam War who was hardly around for his family. His son ended up seeking solace elsewhere and interacted with a notorious gang when he was a teenager. He’s been quoted as saying that the experience was like having a family of his own.
While Varnado was eventually in touch with his son, things weren’t completely okay between them. Per the Spin, they have spoken about "different memories" of the same events from the past. Snoop’s father would claim in interviews, "I picked Snoop up sometimes on the weekends. It was only about 15 miles from where I lived in L.A. So it was nothing for me to jump in the car, you know." On the other hand, Snoop Dogg said that he barely saw his dad. However, the musician didn’t really hold that against Varnado and stayed friendly with him.
Snoop Dogg went through troubling experiences
Snoop Dogg’s childhood wasn’t particularly normal. Per The Guardian, the musician spoke about his memories with the Crips gang from his teen years. "When you in the hood, joining a gang it’s cool because all your friends are in the gang, all your family’s in the gang. We’re not just killing people every night, we’re just hanging out," he said. Also, per the Los Angeles Times, Snoop Dogg had to help out by taking up odd jobs such as delivering newspapers and selling candy to keep his family afloat financially.
At one point, he got into serious trouble when he was arrested by the police for possession of cocaine. Snoop Dogg did regret some of his actions later and said, "I want to stress something to the little kids out there: There ain’t nothin’ cool about selling dope." He added that he ended up selling drugs because he perceived it to be cool. Nothing came out of it and he had to spend time in jail.
The charges resulted in a six-month sentence in jail where the aspiring musician killed time by amusing his peers with rap. His fellow inmates noticed his love for music and said to him, "You need to be outside, not wasting your life away with crime."
The musician was misrepresented
As a musician, Snoop Dogg didn’t quite know what to expect when he first got into the industry. Things were more chaotic than he anticipated at the time. According to the Los Angeles Times, he did some shoots with a pistol for magazines, something that he didn’t think about as a young musician. He recalled, "The photographers would tell me, ‘Hey, man, take a picture with a gun and you’ll look real hard.’ And that’s what I did."
However, he pointed out that he decided to change his ways later and learned from his experiences. Also, his friends mentioned that he didn’t let his fame get to him and was down-to-earth despite becoming a household name. In fact, he would often visit his old friends and acquaintances without a second thought. He wasn’t as tough as he seemed either. Per Rolling Stone, when the musician started working on a gig that involved coaching young football players, he teared up when the team lost one of their games. Snoop said, "I mean, I really cried at the end of the game, tears in my eyes. I was that hurt."
Snoop Dogg got caught up in a murder case
Snoop Dogg ended up tackling an unexpected controversy in the 1990s. According to The Washington Post, he was a part of a murder investigation. Snoop and his ex-bodyguard, McKinley Lee were involved in a case that revolved around a 1993 shooting of a man named Philip Woldemariam. It was a scary time for the musician who wondered whether he would be with his family again. In the book "Tha Doggfather: The Times, Trials, And Hardcore Truths Of Snoop Dogg," the musician said that he had to live with uncertainty for three years before the case reached its conclusion. He also said that it was only about self-defense at the time and there was nothing else to the tale. Snoop Dogg wrote that the prosecution was determined to come up with an entirely different story.
In the end, he was given the clean chit by the court in 1996. Snoop was 24 years old by the time he was declared not guilty. When the verdict was announced, Snoop Dogg said, "I have been praying to God for this." Meanwhile, Lee expressed gratitude after being declared not guilty. He said, "I feel great. I just thank God for this."
The case definitely affected Snoop. He spoke to Fatman Scoop in an Instagram chat in 2021 and said that he changed his writing style after the court case and avoided rapping about death (via Revolt TV.) Basically, he didn’t want to "glorify" death anymore because his perspective had been altered significantly.
He lost close friends
For Snoop Dogg, some of his toughest experiences involved his friends. He lost fellow musician, Tupac Shakur in 1996. According to The Independent, the musician found a way to honor his friend and got him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. Snoop also posted an Instagram video clip in 2019 with the caption, "2AMW," a reference to their song called "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted."
Per the book "Tha Doggfather: The Times, Trials, And Hardcore Truths Of Snoop Dogg," Tupac Shakur was really close to Snoop, who considered him to be "closer than a brother." He added, "Sometimes, if you’re lucky, someone comes into your life who’ll take up a place in your heart that no one else can fill, someone who’s tighter than a twin, more with you than your own shadow." Also, according to Jet magazine, it was Tupac Shakur who convinced his friend to focus on his marriage and give it another shot when he was confused about his relationship. Snoop called him "a true friend."
Snoop suffered another heartbreak in 2021 when he lost his friend, hip-hop musician DMX. According to a Billboard piece, DMX was 50 years old at the time of his death. He participated in a memorable rap battle with Snoop in 2020. Remembering the battle, Snoop told Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show" that their fans got "a chance to see two dogs that naturally loved each other, celebrate each other under the name of hip-hop."
Snoop Dogg’s marriage was a rollercoaster
Snoop Dogg did not have the easiest relationship with his wife, Shante. According to E!, the couple started dating when they were teenagers. They decided to tie the knot in 1997, years after they started seeing each other. They faced a rough patch in 2004 and nearly got divorced, but Snoop realized that he couldn’t do without his wife and children. He got rid of the divorce papers and went back home. Snoop was quoted as saying, "I made a mistake, so I’m trying to get back right." He also told MTV, "I was trying to get a divorce, but I went back home and I fell back in love with my wife and kids. A lot of times you get cloudy." He added that the music industry is a rough place and can distract a person from what’s truly important.
According to Jet Magazine, Snoop believes that being with his family has been really good for him and considers Shante to be his closest confidante, someone who knows his "deepest and darkest secrets" and roots for him anyway. Also, she helped out Snoop by taking on managerial duties and looking after her husband’s business. Snoop said, "She has my back. It’s cool having someone you can trust 100%."
His daughter had serious health issues
Life has been tough for Snoop’s daughter, Cori Broadus. According to People, she chose to open up about her health troubles in a moving Instagram video in May 2021. Cori shared many details from her past: finding out that she had lupus when she was a child and struggling to come to terms with it. She said that when she was younger, she couldn’t understand why she was in so much pain.
Also, she was not a stranger to bullying in school. Cori spoke about her father and said, "Just because my dad is who he is doesn’t mean I don’t get sad, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want things or that I don’t feel a way." Cori added that she has lived with depression for years and found herself in a bad place after her boyfriend got into an accident.
Cori isolated herself and nearly died while trying to deal with her demons. Paramedics rescued her and she is now working on her recovery. She added that suicide isn’t worth it and it’s important to collectively work on our mental health.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.
He lost his grandchild
Snoop Dogg suffered a massive personal loss in 2019. His grandson, Kai Love died a few days after he was born. According to E!, Snoop’s son, Corde Broadus wrote about the incident on Instagram. His caption read, "My son Kai brought so much love and positivity into this world. His energy will live on and these 10 days of love will always be special to us. Let’s all cherish life and those we love while we are here. Thank you."
Corde also posted a couple of videos of Kai with his family and said in a comment that his son was in his arms when he died. According to CNN, several family members wrote about the tragic loss on their social media accounts as well. Snoop Dogg didn’t talk about Kai in public, though. Additionally, the family chose to not speak about what led to Kai’s death.
He was sent to prison several times
Snoop Dogg has been in and out of prison on many occasions. In his book "Tha Doggfather: The Times, Trials, And Hardcore Truths Of Snoop Dogg," he mentioned that he had been treated unfairly in the past and was stuck within the criminal justice system. "The first time I was locked up wasn’t the last time, and even if I knew then what I know now I can’t promise you things would be a whole lot different," Snoop said.
He went on to write about facing racial discrimination in his youth. Snoop said, "Being black in this country means serving time, one way or the other, and that’s a sad fact." He admitted that he could see how he ended up in jail when he was younger. That said, he was never comfortable with it and wanted to do better for himself. He eventually understood that petty crime wasn’t worth it and wasn’t even going to pay his bills at any point. Also, Snoop’s mom knew that her son wasn’t in good company and did her best to make him leave his old habits behind. She told him how disappointed she was with his actions.
He’s had a long history with drugs
Snoop Dogg has been associated with drugs for many years. In 2012, he was reportedly banned from entering Norway. According to a BBC report, the country decided to stop the musician from visiting for two years after he was caught with cannabis at Kristiansand Airport. His lawyer said that Snoop wasn’t planning to challenge the ban. That same year, police officials arrested him in Texas after they discovered cannabis on his tour bus. Per The Rolling Stone, the drugs were unearthed in a waste paper basket. While Snoop had a medical prescription for cannabis in California, of course, that didn’t work for officials in Texas.
And in 2015, Snoop Dogg was questioned by cops in Sweden who believed that he was under the influence (via The Guardian). A local police officer said, "Police carrying out roadside controls noticed that Snoop Dogg [whose car was pulled over] seemed to be under the influence of narcotics." They decided to take him to a police station for a drug test. Snoop wasn’t pleased. Per Time, he took to social media to voice his discontent and claimed that the tests revealed nothing, insisting that he was subjected to racial discrimination.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
His mom was dealing with health troubles
In July 2021, Snoop Dogg posted a rare update about his mom’s health on Instagram. The caption read, "Happy Sunday me and my brothers went to [see] mama today and she opened up her eyes to [see] us and let us know she still fighting." It was accompanied by a photo of the musician’s mom on a hospital bed, surrounded by her loved ones. Snoop also thanked his fans for their prayers and said that the family was taking things one day at a time. Per People, he first wrote about his mom’s condition in May and requested his fans to send prayers for her health. He didn’t reveal any more details.
Sadly, the musician lost his mom on October 25, 2021. He put up several posts that were dedicated to his mom on Instagram. He wrote in one of the captions, "Mama thank u for having me." He also put up a photo of his mom and said that he was grateful for having "an angel for a mother." Additionally, the heartbroken singer added an image with the words, "Till we meet again."