Snoop is playing Hilton Head on Sunday in a bizarre mash up where the Universe of Highly Implausible Things crosses over with the Universe of Things I WISHED FREAKING HAPPENED DURING ANY OF THE PAST FOUR YEARS I LIVED DOWN THERE AND WAS BORED OUT OF MY MIND.
Last year, we ran four weeks of Ted Leo in advance of his show on Hilton Head in an effort to drum up support and broader interest outside the small hermetic world of a few local newspaper writers. We put together something similar for Snoop, since an interview with him wasn’t going to happen.
To understand this fully, come at it from the perspective of a 75-year-old woman who just picked up her newspaper from her Sun City driveway and wants to read about the upcoming Flag Day festival before her morning golf game. The Guide: The best publication that has absolutely no audience:
The Guide”s Snoopipedia, Week 1: The history of izzle-speak
Izzle-speak is a linguistic trend synonymous with the hip-hop artist and actor Snoop Dogg. While not the creator of izzle-speak, Snoop is given primary credit for injectizzling it into our collective lexicizzle. (His previous contributions to modern language include the phrases “Drop it like it’s hot,” “gang of Tanqueray” and “You don’t love me, you just love my doggy style.”)
A well-researched 2004 “On Language” column from the New York Times attributes the phrase’s origins to Bay Area rappers in the late 1980s. But, the article continues, there’s no doubt Snoop turned izzle-speak into the vernacular commodity that wannabe rappers rely on as much as wannabe intellectuals depend on the prefix “uber.”
And yet, in an interview with MTV earlier in the decade, Snoop also first declared that, forizzle, it was ovizzle, adding “izzle” to anythizzle that comes alizong. When the New York Tizimes is using it in headlizzles and Fran Drescher in Old Nizavy ads, you know it’s jumped the shizzle. See?
The Guide’s Snoopipedia, Week 2: Snoop, in video form
Music videos were an ancient art form first popularized in the 1980s; they gained importance in the mid-1990s around the advent of the genres of hip-hop and grunge.
One of the most noted contributors to the art was Snoop Dogg (then Snoop Doggy Dogg) who created visual representations of songs for a channel known as MTV (since retitled Spoiled Rich Brat TV) that highlighted a lifestyle of urban camaraderie and convertible automobiles that would come to dominate the genre for two decades.
Standout examples include the video for “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” in which the artist used revolutionary morphing technology to change into a dog (this technology now comes standard with most Macs).
But Snoop also excelled in storytelling, as evidenced in the epic, religious allegory that filled his “Murder Was the Case” video. He continues to produce seminal music videos such as “Drop It Like It’s Hot” even as the art form itself
has faded into obscurity.
The Guide’s Snoopipedia, Week 3: Everywhere Is Dogg
As bizarre a thought it is for the Doggfather to be appearing on sedate Hilton Head Island, he’s no stranger to random drop-ins outside his comfort zone.
His resume as the touchstone guest celebrity of a generation covers a ludicrously broad spectrum of media, making him the Kevin Bacon of hip-hop. He’s been in movies (“Half Baked,” “Old School,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Soul Plane”), on TV (“Entourage,” “The L Word,” “Monk,” “MadTV”) and he’s lent his voices to puppets and cartoon characters (“Crank Yankers,” “King of the Hill,” “Boondocks,” “Futurama”).
And add to that a host of reality shows, such as “Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood,” and Snoop seems to have the cultural cachet to call up a studio and successfully request an appearance in any production in the works. He’s the only known actor to appear in both an Oscar-winning movie (“Training Day”) and his own chapter in the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise.
Week 4: Doggy Dogg World, Why Snoop is everywhere
If anything speaks to Snoop Dogg’s role as the Doggfather of modern hip-hop, it’s the list of collaborators he’s accumulated over his 16-year career; the history of rap music is, in many ways, the history of Snoop Dogg’s “featuring” credits.
Almost from Day One, Snoop found a way to team up with the genre’s heaviest hitters. His first (and most critical) collaboration came in his work on Dr. Dre’s seminal 1992 disc, “The Chronic,” on which Snoop gained almost as much exposure as the headliner. And in 1996, Snoop paired with 2Pac for the hit “2 Of Amerika’z Most Wanted,” which covered their criminal trials.
Later collaborations would more or less run the gamut of modern rap music; Snoop laid down tracks with Xzibit, Warren G, Master P and Timbaland, and has worked in recent years with current stars such as Lupe Fiasco, R. Kelly, T.I. and Lil Wayne. He brought in master producer Pharrell of the Neptunes to provide the breezy chorus on his 2002 single “Beautiful” and to produce 2004’s “Drop it Like It’s Hot,” and he synced up with musical golden boy Justin Timberlake for 2005’s “Signs.” Snoop’s voice has broken boundaries too; he’s appeared in recent years with the Pussycat Dolls and Mariah Carey.
These days, he’s trying to extend his musical reach beyond hip-hop and R&B. “I want to work with Madonna, Bono or Mick Jagger. I’m on some rock (blank), man,” he told MTV.com last year. “Rappers don’t really move me too much. They can’t do what I did. I’m trying to get down with something that’s bigger than me.”
That list alone shows Snoop’s dexterity as an artist. He spat rhymes at the genesis of gangsta rap, then branched out into skate-rap, club tracks and modern pop hip-hop, as evidenced by his 2007 track “Sensual Seduction,” his first as a singer. His lyrical style has evolved as well, no longer full of the angry violence of the streets of Long Beach. And while he’s already cemented his status over nine studio albums, he continues to produce new material at a steady pace. His 10th album, “Malice in Wonderland,” is scheduled to drop in September.
Snoop Dogg and the Hustle Boyz perform at 9 p.m. May 17 at the Shoreline Ballroom; tickets are $37.50 in advance and $40 at the door. Call 843-842-0358 or go to www.shorelineballroom.com