Snoopzilla on Learning Funk and Dr. Dre's 'Detox'

'You can't learn funk, but you can get into it. It's got to be in you, not on you'

Snoop Dogg performs in Irvine, California.
Leon Bennett/Getty Images
Snoop Dogg performs in Irvine, California.
By |

Calvin Broadus has called himself Snoop Dogg for his rap, Snoop Lion for his reggae, and now Snoopzilla for his funk. His new name is a tribute to legendary Parliament/Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins, also known as Bootzilla: "We're the babies of the Mothership," Snoopzilla told Rolling Stone recently. Teamed up with Dam-Funk, Snoopzilla recorded an excellent cityscape-chomping EP, 7 Days of Funk (out this week on Stones Throw). We spoke with the new musical partners in the center of a cloud of marijuana smoke located in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles.

See Where Snoop Dogg's 'Doggystyle' Ranks on Our 100 Best Albums of the Nineties

After Snoop Lion and Snoopzilla, do you have other versions of your name ready to go?
Snoopzilla: No, they come project to project. One day I will go back to being Snoop Dogg, because I love him and he loves me. Right now, what's necessary is Snoopzilla — because this is the funk, and may the funk be with you.

Why just seven days of funk?
Snoopzilla: Seven days is a week. Who says it has to end? If we do it right, we can do it all over again.

If you had seven days devoted to nothing but funk, how would you want to spend it?
Dam-Funk: Maybe on an island where it's always sunny, nice sunsets, just listening to my record collection on a great sound system. And then have a car parked on the beach, even though I can't drive it — just a fresh car so I can look at it. 

Snoopzilla: I want to go to Fantasy Island so I can meet Tattoo and Mr. Rourke. "Boss, da plane!"

What made you want to work together?
Snoopzilla: I wanted to work with Dam because I search and strive for greatness. I'm at the point in my career where I only want to be associated with greatness. 

What was the first track you made together?
Snoopzilla: "Hit Da Pavement." Dam said, "I ain't got no engineer here." I said, "You know how to turn that mic on, man? It's too hot — I got to get this shit out of me." 

Is funk something you're born with, or can you learn it?
Snoopzilla: You can't learn funk, but you can get into it. It's got to be in you, not on you. One thing about funk, it has no prejudice. For example, the Japanese people — a lot of them got funk in them. They love it and they get down with it. When they appreciate it and give you history lessons, it fucks you up to say, "Damn, I can't believe they know more than me."

Dam-Funk: There's some people who were definitely born with it. A lot of Latino cultures in east L.A.. .

Snoopzilla: I consider them us, anyway. They minorities with us. A lot of my Latino buddies are where I got a lot of my funk music and records from. They would be playing it first, they would be in their lowriders, they turned me onto some music — "yo, Dogg, check this out, you ever heard of this?" 

What was the first funk record you ever owned?
Snoopzilla: Anita Ward, "Ring My Bell."

Dam-Funk: "You and I" from Rick James.

Snoopzilla: [sings] "We fit together like a hand in glove. . . "

Dam-Funk: Yeah, that was the first twelve-inch I ever bought with my allowance. That and a twelve-inch from Giorgio Moroder called "The Chase."

What's a funk record that doesn't exist, but you wish it did?
Dam-Funk: A record with Junie Morrison and Mtume's band together: Philip Field on keyboards. Just imagine "Juicy Fruit" mixed with "Funky Worm." Junie's the cat who did "Funky Worm" with the Ohio Players, and played that synth line — he's one of the architects of G-funk. He also arranged and produced "Knee Deep" for Funkadelic--he didn't get a writing credit on that, because George Clinton put his son on there. They were trying to stay on top of their business with all those labels, but Junie was cool with it.

Snoopzilla: I would like to see a record with Charlie Wilson [of the Gap Band], Rick James, and Bootsy Collins.

What would you call it?
Snoopzilla: It's Too Hot in the Kitchen.

Do you know anything about what's up with Dr. Dre's Detox album?
Snoopzilla: Mmm-hmmm.

You know where it's at?
Snoopzilla: Yup.

Anything you can say?
Snoopzilla: [sly grin] Yup. Um. Um. Um. Um.