How George Clinton Taught Snoop Dogg the Meaning of ‘Dope’
When Snoop Dogg was still best known as Calvis Broadus Jr., he was a young L.A. music fan who looked up to Parliament frontman George Clinton. Eventually, an interpolation of Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” would anchor the hook of the rapper’s debut single, “Whats My Name?,” but back then, he simply made Snoop’s bedroom a more colorful place.
“I remember Sir Nose,” Snoop tells Rolling Stone, discussing his favorite of the funk legend’s cartoonish alter-egos. “I had his poster – the character he created with a long nose and the white brim on, standing on top of water because he didn’t like to swim. And I had that poster in my room because it was so funny but it was dope. As a kid I didn’t even know what dope was. I didn’t know what fresh was, but I knew it was funny and it felt good to me.”
In the new issue of Rolling Stone, George Clinton spoke at length about his label issues, wide-ranging musical inspirations and battles with addiction. At one point, he listens to the radio and comments on every song that comes over the air. Speaking just before the article hit stands, Snoop – wearing heart-shaped sunglasses – explained why so much of today’s rap and R&B is indebted to Clinton’s work.
“When hip-hop came about he didn’t antagonize,” Snoop says. “He allowed us to use his music and sample his creativity, and he worked with us. . .A lot of those artists that were old were disgruntled, and they didn’t want the hip-hop artists to use their samples and built up a bad relationship with the hip-hop community.”