Years ago, Erykah Badu offered up advice to her Twitter followers: “Write it down on real paper with a real pencil with real intent and watch it get real . Spelling is a Spell. – eb.” We often speak about the “power of the pen,” but for Snoop Dogg, he saw too much of what he and other rappers were writing about in music becoming reality. During his rise, he worked alongside some of the most celebrated artists in the industry, but soon, many of them found themselves facing scandalous accusations, being hit with charges, going to prison, or losing their lives.
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During a recent interview with Fatman Scoop, Snoop discussed why he decided to switch up his focus and change the content of his music. “One day, me and my cousin Daz [Dillinger] were going to the studio and I had a song in my head called ‘DAVE,'” said the rapper. “D-A-V-E, Death After Visualizing Eternity. So, I wanted to write a song about someone that died and came back. At the time, I was gang-banging and all kind of sh*t, so my pen made me write ‘Murder Was the Case,’ which was the story of a gang-banger that got shot and on his death bed made a deal to get his life back, but he crossed God and he ended up losing at the end.”
Fatman Scoop wanted to know if Snoop ever thought it was “spooky” that he wrote “Murder Was the Case” before catching an actual case in 1993. “What’s crazy Scoop, is that around that time, me, Tupac, Biggie, [Ice] Cube—all of the rappers that was rappin’ around that time, we was writing what we was living,” said Snoop. “Some of us was writing life and some of us was writin’ death, but that’s what we was living.”
He named Tupac songs like, “Death Around the Corner” and “If I Die Tonight,” and Biggie’s Life After Death album.
After beating that murder case, Snoop said he “redirected” his pen because he witnessed how he and his fellow rappers were manifesting realities by what they focused on in their music. “I felt like I had wrote death all up until that point,” said Snoop. “When I started writing Tha Doggfather, I lost a lot of fans, I lost a lot of homies, because they wanted me to keep it gangsta after beating the murder case. They wanted me to glamorize and glorify… but I was like, somebody’s life was lost. My life was changed. This is a real situation.”
Watch Snoop explain himself below.