Multiplatinum-selling gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg recounts every detail of his paradoxical life — from his early days as a Crip gang member, to his rise to the pinnacle of rap stardom and the murder trial that almost destroyed his career — in this introspective and unflinchingly honest autobiography. Set against the backdrop of the mean streets of L.A.’s Long Beach ‘hoods, Snoop Dogg’s story goes far beyond a rags-to-riches show business saga to reach deep into the heart of the ghetto, where his life and music were forged in the conflicts between family and gang, addiction and ambition, violent death and survival at all costs.
Populated by a cast of vivid characters, Tha Doggfather includes stories of Tupac Shakur, Snoop’s one true friend and musical soul-mate, and Suge Knight, whose Death Row Records brought street-level credibility and gangland tactics into the corporate suites of the entertainment industry.Multiplatinum-selling gangsta rapper, serial marijuana abuser … and God-fearing family man? That’s how Snoop Dogg tells it in Tha Doggfather, a straightforward (by his lights, anyway) telling of his own story. From slinging crack in the ghetto of Long Beach, California, to rapping the tales that brought hip-hop to a new level commercially in the early ’90s, to a murder charge that he beat in 1996, this is Snoop’s story. Many of the facts won’t surprise, though his candor might; the former Calvin Broadus isn’t much interested in apologizing, even for things he might have done that potentially conflicted with his current goal to “increase the peace.” Some of the guy’s pronouncements would fit right in on the milder-mannered daytime talk shows (“God is on your side and… He cares about you trying the best you can, no matter who you are”), while others are so edgily funny he hasn’t even managed to fit them into a rap (“there’s nothing more dangerous than a Sherm head with an attitude,” he says of those whose high of choice is a cigarette dipped in embalming fluid). Snoop cautiously criticizes now-imprisoned former Death Row Records head Suge Knight while skirting the hard questions about friend Tupac Shakur’s death after a Las Vegas shooting incident. Some things, it seems, are a little hard even for tha Doggfather to ponder. –Rickey Wright
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