Her sixth consecutive No. 1 release is more than a record-breaking achievement, or a soundtrack to your relationship struggles. According to Snoop, Lemonade is a “conceptually enticing” work, and teaching tool for other artists. “I feel like music industry is gon’ always have ups and downs but u can’t reinvent the wheel,” he tells VIBE. “It’s always about content that’s the best. Like Beyonce, for example, she has a hot movie with a hot record. You can watch and listen to it, live with it, and you root for her. That’s what music was meant to do.”
From what he’s observed, today’s artists prefer the security of a hit single —
even if it means sounding like a clone — to the uncertainty of taking a risk. “No disrespect to those who make hot songs, and follow the fad,” says Snoop. “It’s just like disco and any other style that got played the fuck out. There are certain things that are meant to come and go and true musicians know how to make material that keeps them around 20 or 30 years later, but they’re still more relevant than what’s new.”
The reign of Queen Bey is one that has been gradual, kicking off with Destiny’s Child’s 1998 self-title debut. By 2003, the lead singer of the world’s top selling girl group at the time, took her first shot at solo stardom on Dangerously In Love. For almost 20 years now (yes, two decades!), Bey has moved up the music ranks, earning the superstar title and pushing boundaries with one hit album after another. “She grew into being No. 1 and 15 plus years later she is the ultimate because she teaches how to make a record,” adds Snoop. “To me great artists continue to be great. This is what we do.”
The Doggfather knows a thing or two about longevity in the fickle game that is music. His Doggystyle debut dropped almost 23 years ago, and ever since Dr. Dre introduced us to a then teenage spitter from Long Beach, Calif., the now father of three and first-time grandpa, hasn’t slowed much. Between an almost year-round performance schedule, DJ gigs, over a dozen studio albums, business ventures, and 10 million Instagram followers, he’s become a global brand all his own.
He also has a new LP on the way, that won’t be marketed in the traditional sense. “My next record is very conceptual, but I don’t wanna’ promote it. I don’t wanna’ talk about it because then it’s not exciting. It’s not what it’s supposed to be.”
“The Return of Doggystyle” is slated for a summer 2016 release coinciding with a newly-announced joint tour with Wiz Khalifa. “When it hits you upside the head [you’ll be] like ‘damn that’s beautiful. I been missing that,” he promises of the forthcoming album. “When I make records I provide you with what’s not out there, what you’re not getting.”
When asked how he stays inspired, Snoop points to the passion for the music itself and what it does for his fans. “The shit feels good to make it. To make people feel good,” he says. “Music is a reflective mechanism. You reflect your energy off of the people, and you get it back. It’s the one thing that when I do it, I see people smile, laugh, they’re happy. It’s things connected to it that mean the world to me. Like the Make a Wish Foundation, I’ve met kids because I make music. Because they’re last wish is to meet Snoop Dogg. I grant that wish then I know I gotta’ continue to make music because without music they wouldn’t know who I was.
“To me that’s one of the reasons why I do it, because of the inspiration,” he explains. “It’s never about me it’s about what I give to everybody else. Snoop is the life of the party, when he walks in everybody pulls their cameras out , they want a picture with Snoop. He’s that man that makes everybody feel good.”