From Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion: the rapper's most bizarre career highlights

From Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion: the rapper's most bizarre career highlights
Photo Courtesy Of Snoop's Facebook page

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Snoop Dogg at the Cabooze, 01/25/11
Snoop Dogg: Master of time and history

You must have heard by now that international rap star Snoop Dogg has opted to undergo a transformation of sorts. After announcing that he was tired of rap, the superstar--best known for hits like "Drop It Like It's Hot" and "Gin & Juice"--said he would be changing his name and going in a new artistic direction: reggae. This comes after experiencing a spiritual awakening on a recent trip to Jamaica, where the artist announced he was "Bob Marley reincarnated" and adopted a new name, Snoop Lion.

Snoop has always been enterprising, from his product endorsements to his cameos. Remember his MTV special, Doggy Fizzle Televizzle? And while some of his career choices have seemed slightly ridiculous, they've at least sort of made sense with Snoop's moniker and image. Is the artist really leaving behind his chilled-out thug-and-pimp life for that of a Rastafarian? With Snoop's forthcoming reggae album, Reincarnated, it certainly seems like he's serious.

In honor of this new development in Snoop D--er, Snoop Lion's career, we thought we'd revisit a few of the artist's more memorable business decisions.

Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle (2001)
Drawing on the inevitable comparisons of his name to that well-known sexual position, Snoop made a porn video featuring his music and called it Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle. The video was distributed by Hustler, won the 2002 Adult Video News Awards for Best Music and Top Selling Tape of 2001, and started a whole trend where rappers made porn videos. See (or maybe don't see): G-Unit's Groupie Love, Mystikal's Liquid City, Treach's Sex and the Studio. Doggystyle might have been in poor taste, but its release probably didn't hurt Snoop's career all that much.

Doggy Fizzle Televizzle (2002)
By 2002, Snoop had everyone speaking his language. Adding "-izzle" to the end of every other word made you cool, and no one was quicker to jump on the trend than MTV (ten years ago, they were kind of relevant). Snoop secured his own show with the network where he performed in comedy sketches and brought in numerous special guests. The first and only season was eight episodes long, and the second season was purportedly cancelled because Snoop wanted a hefty $1 million from the network to star in it. Regardless of the unfortunate naming, some of the sketches were actually funny:

Chronic Candy
In 2004, Snoop embraced "chronic candy," candy that was marketed after marijuana with the tagline "Every lick is like taking a hit" (even though the candy didn't contain any THC). The candy that tastes like pot is currently banned from Switzerland and some U.S. cities. This endorsement seems totally on-par with Snoop's vocal support of marijuana, even two years after he announced that he was giving up the herb. Besides, this endorsement makes total sense--unlike the time Lil Wayne was all about Strapped Condoms, or Jay-Z's recent endorsement of Duracell Powermat.


Snoop Doggs
In 2005, the then-rapper decided to get into the food industry bizz with foot-long hot dogs. because celebrity hot dogs are too few and far between. The dogs were manufactured in Massachusetts and were set to hit grocery stores in the fall, but does anyone actually remember these? Besides--and this is perhaps a more important note--it's pretty hard to find foot-long hot dog buns in the grocery store. So. Just saying.

The Godfather of Pot
When Snoop announced that he was giving up marijuana in 2002, hardly anyone held their breath. Pot had been a major part of Snoop's image, and the star was an outspoken supporter. When Snoop was once again found joint in hand like a minute later, no one was particularly surprised.

AOL pitchman

You're forgiven if you've forgotten Snoop Dogg's legendary team-up with George Costanza's dad Jerry Stiller -- not in a film, but in an ad for AOL 9.0. Wait just one min-izzle!

Big Pimpin'
In a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone, Snoop claimed that he was for real a professional pimp in 2003 and 2004--he didn't just rap about it. In the interview, Snoop says, "That shit was my natural calling and once I got involved with it, it became fun." Though Snoop eventually quit pimping to focus more on family and rapping--the artist said that his successful pimping business was destroying his marriage, oddly enough--the admission gives the artist a real air of legitimacy.

A Smokable Songbook
This past April, Snoop introduced himself to the world as an author. Kind of. Okay, not really. Rolling Words: A Smokable Songbook was Snoop's foray into the written word... words written, that is, on Snoop's Kingsize Slim Rolling Papers. Lyrics to some of the star's classic songs were inscribed on the papers. Each booklet contains 32 rolling papers and is bound with hemp materials and twine. You know, as far as product development goes, this could be a lot worse--Adweek even calls the design "innovative." Snoop could have gotten behind a pair of sneakers or something instead, so props for originality on this one.

So, in retrospect, the tally of career moves on Snoop's part make the whole name-change thing look relatively tame. In fact, "Snoop Lion" sounds kind of cute--and it's certainly better than Snoop changing his name to an unpronounceable sign or something.

Peep Snoop's latest single off his upcoming reggae album, Reincarnated:

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