It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none.
Snoop – born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. – gained international prominence as a hip-hop star when his first album, Doggystyle, dropped in 1993. Since then, he’s diversified his portfolio as a high-rolling entrepreneur, navigating the business world with creativity, patience and intuition.
Here’s what we learned from The Doggfather at #C2M18:
Differentiate yourself and approach with a plan (and a blunt wrap)
Ted read somewhere that Snoop’s studio staple was smoking a blunt. When they got together on something completely different, he asked the rapper, “What if we tried to structure a deal around blunt wraps?” Snoop remembers that he appreciated the gesture. “Not only is he bringing me blunt raps, he’s bringing me money, and nobody has offered me money,” said Snoop. “I liked his get-down [and] the fact that he’s bringing me money. We became friends.”
Earn trust both ways
As Snoop tells it, from there the business partners ventured off into other things. “[Ted was] part of my get-down, and then eventually taking over my get-down, but he earned that from putting in the work and not just being like, ‘Hey, I’m Ted, I’m going to be the boss.’ No,” Snoop explained, “we going to earn, we’re going to learn together, we going to teach each other. When we get to the top of the hill, we can both boss this thing on out the way we doing on right now.”
Listen to the homies
At 14 years old, Snoop was rapping at West Coast battles. “It wasn’t about the money and there wasn’t no rappers making money at that time,” says Snoop. “I was taking on people in every city… I became elite. From that, it was like, I knew I had something in me. But until I went to jail… and then the homies in jail was like, ‘Cuz, you dope. You don’t need to come back here.’”
It’s entrepreneur-rapper, not rapper-entrepreneur. Snoop says he was “not thinking business but thinking creatively that rap can’t hold me” when he began planting the seeds of his empire. “There’s only so much I can do with rap… That’s what I was on, I was trying to find ways to do more with me as opposed to just doing one.”
Don’t say it, do it
Snoop says he’s an inconspicuous hustler. “I stay working. I keep something coming. Sometimes it’s the element of surprise. I’m not the kind of guy that’s like, ‘Hey guys, I’m working on this thing, it’s gonna come out next week.’ I’m the type of muthafucka that goes, ‘BAM!’ New Snoop is out right now? ‘Yeah, it’s out right now!’”
“I will say it right now: Snoop Dogg is the voice for the reform. Let ’em out.”
Remember your roots
Snoop answered an amazing question from one C2 participant about the mass incarceration of racialized youth who have been jailed on drug charges. “I want to be their voice,” said Snoop. “I don’t want to be the one that profits off of [cannabis] while they’re being incarcerated. As a black man, I understand that we were profiled when we were put in jail in the first place because I went to jail many times because of marijuana. It’s documented. So now I’m sitting back making money off of marijuana, but then you got some other black men that are being incarcerated still and not being looked at. If you really want to reform, you have to reform them first and foremost.”
“It’s never about me, it’s about we.”
Touching on the power of transformative collisions, Snoop shared the secret to his and Ted’s success in the C2 Aquarium. “He’s a business school graduate and I’m an ex-drug dealer. If you put those minds together you get some magic.
“I had a Fortune 500 mind, I just wasn’t able to exercise it.”