Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snoop Doggy Dogg -- "Gin and Juice" (1993)

Rollin down the street, smokin' endo,
Sipping on gin and juice
(With my mind on my money and my money on my mind)

Just a few more weeks until Christmas break, all you "Hip Hop 101" students out there.  We've got a lot of ground to cover before then, so listen up.

Snoop Doggy Dogg
Calvin Broadus, Jr. -- better known as Snoop Doggy Dogg -- grew up in Long Beach, California, where he was a member of the Crips.  When he 20 years old, he was convicted of cocaine possession and spent six months in jail.  But shortly after his release, he was discovered by Dr. Dre, who used him on most of the tracks on his hugely successful album, The Chronic.  

A year later, Snoop Dogg released his debut album, Doggystyle, which entered the Billboard charts at #1, the first debut album to ever do that.  Over 800,000 copies of the album were sold the first week.  Ever since, Snoop has been one of the most successful West Coast rappers ever.

The "Doggystyle" album cover
"Gin and Juice," which was produced by Dr. Dre, is an old-school, West Coast classic.  It tells the tale of a young man whose mother leaves him home alone one night.  Snoop and his friends are always prepared to take advantage of such an opportunity -- each has "a pocket full of rubbers" and there are plenty of hoes to go around.  The party's still jumpin' at two in the morning, and the bitches ain't leaving until six.  Well, doggies!

The next day, Snoop and his boys are cruising the streets, sipping on gin and juice and smoking "endo" -- which is slang for for "indoor" marijuana, thought to be superior to most marijuana grown outdoors.  (Perhaps the most commercially successful hydroponic crop in the world is marijuana, which is often grown in basements.  Some growers have been busted by police who noticed how high their electric bills were -- you need a lot of high-intensity grow lights to grow endo successfully in your basement.)

Snoop Dogg is one of the ugliest dudes you will ever seen, but it doesn't seem to slow him down a bit -- he's got more women than you can shake a stick at (to use one of my late grandmother's favorite expressions -- most of which were equally mysterious).  He wears hockey jerseys in the music video for this song.  The point of that fashion statement escapes me.

Snoop Dogg has had a very successful movie and TV career.  His voice was used on King of the Hill, and he had a part in the Denzel Washington movie, Training Day.  He's appeared on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live, which he says was a favorite of his when he was a kid.

Earlier this year, he participated in Comedy Central's comedic "roast" of Donald Trump.  (I wonder what his old Crips buddies thought about that.)

Last but certainly not least, in 2000, Snoop directed a very successful porn movie, Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, which was named "Best-Selling Release of the Year" by Adult Video News, a trade publication.

I've always liked Snoop.  Despite his brushes with the law, he always struck me as a pretty harmless dude.  And you just can't help smiling when you watch Snoop Dogg perform -- he's never taken himself (or anyone else) that seriously.

Here's the official music video for "Gin and Juice":

Click here if you'd like to buy the song from Amazon:

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