Dogg Lion covers the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
Indeed, Snoop, who these days has renamed himself Snoop Lion (more on that later), certainly follows his own set of rules — if he follows any at all. Courting controversy while playing role model, coach and parent, the former gangbanger has had a hand in selling about 50 million albums and is ranked No. 14 on Forbes’ list of hip-hop’s top 20 earners, with estimated annual income of $8.5 million — seemingly undervalued judging by Snoop’s smirked reaction: “I must’ve been coaching football that year,” he cracks. Just as impressive, 2012 marked the rapper’s 20th anniversary since first appearing as Dr. Dre’s sidekick in the video for “Deep Cover.”
And at 40, an age when most MCs would long ago have hung up their hoodies, Snoop maintains an astonishing relevance (just ask any white suburban boy who punctuates phrases with “izzle”). He’s outperformed former contemporaries like P. Diddy and outlived departed greats such as Notorious B.I.G. and his lifelong friend Nate Dogg (whose March 2011 death from multiple strokes remains an unhealed wound). An in-demand international touring act who in April headlined two weekends at the 70,000-person-strong Coachella, where he shared the stage with a hologram of the late Tupac Shakur as well as rap heavies Dr. Dre and Eminem, Snoop also shoots and edits his own online satirical newscast (recent guests on GGN, the Double G Network: Paris Hilton and rapper-turned-actor-turned-director RZA), is a global ambassador for Adidas and CEO of his very own Snoopermarket, selling everything from $32 house slippers to, yes, official Snoop Dogg rolling papers (see sidebar).