"We da west and we da best," Snoop Dogg tells me. The rap superstar veteran's dedication to his beloved coast could hardly be questioned after 17 years of music making, but he's far from blowing smoke.
Instead of just holing up in his studio/compound like some, Snoop has put on for his region whenever possible; in 2005 he organized the Western Conference, a Pacific rap summit with the primary goal to squash the beefs within the scene and form a stronger union. "We gonna continue to bang out hits and keep ya wantin more," Snoop promises. "From Dre to Cube, Eazy to Snoop, DPG to E-40, Game to Nipsey Hussle, and everyone else—you gotta love good music and you can't deny it. We only gonna get bigger and better. It's a movement, so break bread or fake dead—jump on or jump off. Ya dig?" Snoop is reverent of NWA's black-clad legacy, and conscious of his role in an extended family of artists—he's stood as its patriarch for years.
But it's deeper than rap. Family comes first to the D-Oh-Double-G. While his E! show Father Hood stretches the limits of credulity already dangerously compromised by Run's House, it's nonetheless clear where his heart is at. "My family is definitely a part of what I do and why I do it," he explains. "My kids keep me up to date in what's hot and what's not. They let me know if I got a hit or not."
Snoop even formed the Snoop Youth Football League, now in its fifth season, for inner-city kids who couldn't afford the costs of other youth leagues, and serves as its commissioner. And while Snoop gets nothing but love in Hollywood, he adds that "music and the SYFL is the number-one priority. I'm giving kids a shot at their dreams, and there ain't nothing bigger than that."
Chuuch, as the man would say himself.