You may have first of heard of Snoop Doggy Dogg when he first broke into the music biz with Dr. Dre in 'Nuthin’ But a G Thang' back in 1993. Since then, Snoop has become one of the most recognizable names among rap artists not just for his music sense but for his business sense as well.
Snoop is a very charismatic, well-spoken guy. We had an opportunity interview him at the New York Stock Exchange today for at the second annual Mentoring Madness program.
Perhaps what I found to be most interesting today was how he got the name ‘Snoop Dogg’? This is what Snoop said…. “As a kid born in the 70s, mom used to put on a TV show called Charlie Brown. And there was a character on there named Snoopy. And I used to love him to death. And my mama said I started to look like him so much 'cause I watched him all the time, and that's what they used to name me.” What a great story?
Snoop has worked incredibly hard over the years to maintain and continue to build a solid brand. The brand today is not just in music but everywhere. Snoop believes that “Snoop Dogg's brand is well known around the whole globe from the business aspect as well as the music aspect.” Snoop wanted to become the best in whatever he was doing.
Back then music was Snoop’s priority but now it’s shifted somewhat. Snoop said, “at the time, it was music, and then once it shifted to business because it was told me that this is called show business. Always had the show, but I never had the business. And once I got the business, now I'm the king of show business.”
Making a name for yourself is not easy in the music industry. There’s so much competition in this business. Snoop did it by creating his own sound. “I didn't want to sound like nobody, I didn't want to use the same words. So, I just had-- a strategic plan as far as just being' original and just trying' to find out, you know, could I really do something' that was never done before,” Snoop said.
Thanks to Dr. Dre, who Snoop calls one of the greatest producers of all time, we wondered if it was a little easier to break into the hip-hop culture? Snoop said he, "basically just rode his [Dr. Dre] coattail and performed to the best of his ability. Thanks to Dr. Dre, Snoop shined and people recognized and they loved me after that."
Here’s the transcript of Maria Bartiromo’s conversation with Snoop Dogg:
BARTIROMO: Well, you could have been just another tough kid in a tough neighborhood with a tough upbringing, right? You could have gone either way. What was it that inspired you to go the route towards business and not in a route toward, I don't know, crime?
SNOOP DOGG: I dibbled and dabbled into crime in the beginning of my, you know, stages of adolescence as a young man. And once I did, I seen that that wasn't the ride that I wanted to take. I felt that I had too much intelligence and too much, you know, mind power to just continue to just belittle myself and-- and be put in that position. So, once I woke up and realized that there was more to me, then I maximized my strength, and I started studying, you know, the great musicians and started studying the great business minded people so I could become who I am today.
BARTIROMO: Were there mentors in your life that you hooked onto that helped you along the way?
SNOOP DOGG: There were a lot of important mentors in my life. Whether it was the school people, the counselors, my preachers, my peers, older guys who had been in trouble before me who recognized my talent and just didn't was see me go through the same situations that they went through.
And just people that I seen on TV that I was inspired by, like Magic Johnson. You know, to see him go from one of the greatest basketball players in the world to become one of the greatest businessmen in the world… that inspired me to want to do something with myself.
BARTIROMO: Tell me about the scope of your business. What else is incorporated into your whole business empire?
SNOOP DOGG: Whenever I think about making records, I think about the people who love Snoop Dogg and who have been following' me for a long time. And it's something about them that we've been always connected by the hip-hop, we're face to face, we're personal.
So, whenever I do something, it’s dealing with my music. I like to make movies, videos and just make them a part of it. And I come to the town and perform and do shows and make my fans feel like they're really a part of the whole process. So, it's not like I'm a stardust in the sky, I'm the stardust in the eye.
BARTIROMO: You've also enabled social networking to be part of your brand, tell me about that.
SNOOP DOGG: Well, I realize that that's the key nowadays. You have to be in the-- in the media as far as with the internet and the social activity that's going' down with the computers nowadays. So, I try to have my hands in everything that's moving', you know, from YouTube to MySpace to Twitter to, you know, whatever is popping, I'm trying' to get involved with it and make sure that my name and my brand is on it. And I make it personal so it's not somebody doing' it for me. It's me doing' it in actuality.
BARTIROMO: Have you been in businesses that have failed? Tell me about failure. And is this important for the overall growth process in business?
SNOOP DOGG: Oh, yes, I've been a part of a lot of businesses that have failed. And I believe that failure creates the best business in the world because it trains you and it gets you prepared for failure, and it teaches you how to better prepare yourself for the next time. And the businesses that I failed at, they don't, you know, make me feel bad, they just make me want to go back to the drawing board and try again and come up with something' that's different and more creative
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