It was the end of 1993 when ‘Doggystyle’ came out (produced by Dr. Dre)’, the album which would turn Calvin Broadus Jr. into a subject in great demand for Realistic tattoos.
It’s been almost twenty-five years since ‘Doggystyle’, the recording debut of Snoop Dogg (at the time with “Doggy” as his middle name) and the start of a stellar solo career.
The album made its first appearance on American soil on 23rd November 1993, just around Thanksgiving.
Of course, the music business was no stranger to the talented rapper with the long name (Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.) and the physique of a basketball player (1 metre 93 cm tall).
The previous year, the big guy from Long Beach had collaborated on another groundbreaking record, ‘The Chronic’ from Dr. Dre, who had just come out of N.W.A., the Compton super group which laid the foundations of gangsta rap.
And it was Dre, together with two other producers Daz Dillinger and Warren G, who laid the foundations for what would become ‘Doggystyle’, the basis for Snoop’s hallmark style of rap, never too aggressive, never too fast, just right for creating an atmospheric blend of sensuality and menace.
The album was a masterpiece and a goldmine of hits: ‘Doggy Dogg world’, ‘Gin and juice’, ‘Murder was the case’, ‘Serial killa’ and ‘Who am I (What’s my name)?’ which was chosen as the first single.
This was the period which saw the birth of The G-Funk which characterised West Coast hip hop in the early 90s (carried on to this day in the work of The Game and Kendrick Lamar).
But it was to be short-lived. Dre, clashing with Suge Knight (the owner of Death Row Records which had brought out ‘Doggystyle’) had a falling out with the boss and jumped ship to set up his own label (Aftermath), leaving behind his protegé who suffered artisitically as a consequence..
At this point, Snoop, who was under contract, recorded another record with Suge (‘The Doggfather’, a pretty good piece of work but far from the heights of the debut) before leaving Death Row for Master P’s No Limit Records and the various major labels which would turn him into the popular icon he still is today.