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From Singh is Kinng to a new BTS collab: The unexpected evolution of Snoop Dogg

Shaurya Thapa
Shaurya ThapaAug 05, 2022 | 09:00

From Singh is Kinng to a new BTS collab: The unexpected evolution of Snoop Dogg

With his BTS collab building some hype, Snoop Dogg is a man of many avatars (source: DailyO)

K-pop group BTS is no stranger to cross-border collabs but their upcoming track Bad Decisions features quite an unconventional collaborator even for them: rapper Snoop Dogg. The track by American producer Benny Blanco, BTS, and Snoop Dogg will be released tomorrow but is already being teased on Blanco's social media. 

Bad Decisions is just one of Snoop's many collabs that add to his revamped and more family-friendly persona. Even though his music's roots can be traced to 90s gangsta-rap, Snoop has not shied away from rebranding his persona. The man who once got flak for lyrics that would demean women is now rapping in a SpongeBob movie and hopping on for a verse on a BTS track. Once arrested (and later acquitted) in connection with a rival gang member's murder, Snoop is making reggae and gospel albums. The lavish rapper who wore real fur coats and challenged PETA to throw paint on them is now experimenting with veganism. 

Whether he has actually changed over the years or just adjusted with the current market, that can be debatable. Still, Snoop Dogg's diverse and rather random ventures in the entertainment industry make him an interesting case study in modern celebrity culture. 

BTS isn't his first Korean collab: The 50-year-old rapper is ready to collaborate with whoever is trending, be it BTS or PSY. The latter of course, shot to global fame with Gangnam Style but he also followed up with singles such as Hangover. The comedian-singer and Snoop play out a hungover scenario after a night of partying hard leading to an absurdly funny track. 

The two even went to Jimmy Kimmel's talk show to promote the track where PSY explained that all it took to convince Snoop was just a phone call. As for Snoop, his reasons for flying to South Korea was also the fact that he "always wanted to be in a karate movie'' (whatever that's supposed to mean). 

Desi hip-hop collabs with Bohemia and Akshay Kumar: Many Indians would have been introduced to Snoop ever since he hopped in for the title track on Singh is Kinng. Even appearing in the closing credits, he exchanges bars with Akshay Kumar while sporting a turban and a long tunic. During his time in India, the West Coast rapper even ended up performing the track live in concert. 

 

However, his first venture into desi hip-hop came even earlier when he was featured on a 2006 Bohemia track Favourite Spot from his album Pesa Nasha Pyaar. Even though Bohemia was Pakistani-American, his tracks inspired several modern Indian rappers. So, to find Snoop collaborating for a rather underrated Bohemia song, it emulates Snoop's interest in cross-cultural projects. 

A reggae persona as Snoop Lion: Straying away from the violent roots of his early music, Snoop Dogg wished to adopt the ways of peace and harmony as is evident from his 2012 documentary Reincarnated. This is the time when he even adopted a new stage name Snoop Lion, educating himself more in the ways of the Rastafari faith and culture in Jamaica. While Rastafarian customs and iconography might have been appropriated, it has been a crucial way of life for the religion's practitioners, the most famous of which is reggae legend Bob Marley. 

With the documentary's accompanying album of the same name, Snoop experimented with a new laidback sound. A song like La La La can easily double as an ad jingle for children while Lighters Up was a call for "East side, West Side'' to unify, a probable reference to the peace that he strives to find away from the East Coast/West Coast rivalry of 90s era hip-hop. 

Appearances in kids' movies and shows: He voices a racing snail in Turbo, appears alongside Bugs Bunny in a Looney Tunes reboot, and even raps with dancing zombies in the latest SpongeBob movie Sponge on the Run. With such roles, Snoop has officially become the rapper that even kids can listen to. 

 

When it comes to live-action cameos, he mostly appears as a calmed-down hippie under the influence of marijuana. In fact, in the 2022 comedy Good Mourning, Snoop cameos as a literal 'joint'! Snoop's cameos are a genre of their own!

A gospel album and diverse religious journeys: Despite his controversial life that involved selling drugs and a narrow escape from a murder conviction, Snoop Dogg has resorted to religious for his peace of mind. His religious motivations however keep on changing. Born a Christian, Snoop has resorted to Rastafarian philosophy at times, as mentioned earlier. However, in 2008, Snoop also apparently converted to Mormonism which turned out to be a ploy to impress a judge who had charged him with a probation violation. A year later, Snoop made donations to the Nation of Islam (the Muslim religious organisation notably represented by Civil Rights leader Malcolm X) and even expressed interest in converting to Islam.

Snoop Dogg's religious journeys are as diverse as his music (source- Know Your Meme)
Snoop Dogg's religious journeys are as diverse as his music (source- Know Your Meme)

However, currently, he is back to his Christian roots and even dropped a gospel album called Bible of Love in 2018. It is truly bizarre and interesting to witness the evolution of a man who had hits like Drop it Like it's Hot recording songs with titles like Thank You Lord. 

The most random of advertisements: Snoop Dogg's media appearances also include a wide variety of advertisements for products such as BIC lighters, Corona beer, Burger King grilled dogs, Pepsi, and so on. 

Even in the world of advertising, the rapper doesn't wish to limit himself to just America as he even performed in a commercial for a German mobile company called VybeMobile. As he comes out randomly of refrigerator, Snoop randomly breaks into a German song! 

In the end, Snoop Dogg is a pop culture phenomenon in himself. Whether audiences love him or hate him, he continues to be in the public eye in some way or the other. The upcoming collab with BTS only bears further testimony to this. 

Last updated: August 05, 2022 | 11:23
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