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Snoop Dogg’s Day: From Long Beach Crip, to Rapper, to a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]e grew up together, Calvin. Even through all the really bad times, like when you left Death Row for No Limit, we always knew you’d be a legend.

For those of us that grew up in Los Angeles watching bootleg versions of Murder Was the Case in awe like it was watching your cousin starring in Citizen Kane, the fact that Snoop Doggy, Doggy Dog is getting his star today on the Hollywood Walk of Fame feels a bit like it’s all of us getting enshrined in part of this city’s history that has long been reserved for anyone but us.

Born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. in Long Beach, Snoop Dogg would grow up to embody much of Los Angeles street culture and its evolution through the years to now, when street culture is mainstream culture.

He was an Eastside Long Beach Crip. He was in and out of jail for selling cocaine. He helped create West Coast rap. He helped mainstream marijuana use and made crip walking – essentially meant to throw up a gang sign with your entire body – the new moonwalk. He was once on trial for murder and now he’s  on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Sinatra, Brando, Lauren Bacall, and all the other thugs.

At the star unveiling ceremony, fellow Los Angeleno and musical legend Dr. Dre said, "Snoop should have gotten a star just for surviving the nineties." 

Those of us that watched Snoop’s evolution closely from a young age, know what most of America knows today: it’s all entertainment. In 1993, for example, instead of turning himself in at a prearranged date for pending murder charges, Snoop eluded LAPD long enough to present the rhythm and blues category at the MTV awards. Some of us watching on a pirated cable feed thought for sure detectives were going to rush on stage to get him.

Even when the Dogfather was mainstream enough to appear at festivals with the likes of Linkin Park, Snoop was still a rebel. In 2004’s Projekt Revolution festival, Snoop came up on stage in San Bernardino trailed by what appeared to be a dozen police officers. He told the audience that they threatened to arrest him if he smoked weed on stage before kicking of his set with NWA’s Fuck the Police never taking his eyes of the cops surrounding him. Audience members – who were there let’s say in a favorite Mazatlan T-shirt that caught fire a little – were too stoned at the time to remember years later if Snoop did indeed blaze it.

But the America that once put him on a banned music list for singing “187 on the motherfucking cop”,  has aged out. Jimmy Kimmel, who got his start here on on the radio, told the audience at the star ceremony that he brought Snoop Dogg on as a guest on KROQ before they would even play his music. Today their stars are right next to each other just outside the legendary El Capitan Theater. 

Snoop came to the ceremony dressed to the nines in Gucci and a shiny Death Row Records gold chain. He thanked all the people who got him there including fellow hip hop legend Warren G, Dre, Quincy Jones, his wife and family, God, and even himself for "never taking a day off."

Snoop ended his speech by asking all the Crips and Bloods to "come crip walk on this motherfucker later tonight." Then he crip walked on the star himself.

America is now all the kids and young people that grew up bumping his music on secretly recorded tapes and unmarked CD-Rs. And years from now, when Turing test certified tourists stroll through Hollywood Boulevard, they will see a star for Snoop Doggy, the motherfucking Dogg.

You can watch the live stream of the event below:


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