My mom never let me buy Doggystyle, Snoop Dogg’s first LP, back when he was Snoopy Doggy Dogg. This was during the post-LA riots moral panic about gangster rap and Snoop’s murder trial (not guilty!). I was eight years old with a brand new Sony CD player. Luckily, my cousin had all the good CDs, i.e. those with parental advisory stickers. We used to play that unicycle racing game on SNES and listen to Doggystyle. Remember this track from the first pressing of that LP? It didn’t appear on any later pressings due to sample clearance issues. What a gem.
Snoopy Doggy Dogg – Gz Up Hoez Down
That was 1993, and in the 20 years since, Snoop Doggy Dogg has not only transformed into Snoop Dogg and then Snoop Lion, he’s made the top-selling porn video of 2001, coached youth football, and become a cultural icon, appearing all over TV and film, both as himself the actor and through others parroting his “fo shizzle bizzle” and other nonsequitors – he was a meme long before the meme era. He is a brand.
Was Snoop Dogg’s late-90s, early-2000s ubiquitousness proto-Gangnam Style? Is Snoop as important as Andy Warhol? How did brands, trends, and globalization collide to make Reincarnation happen? I dunno man, I ate taxi driver food at 2am and woke up hella sick.
Don’t know how many non-English social networking platforms Snoop Dogg/Lion posts on, but he’s all over Weibo, the Chinese Twitter. Bilingual posts from his Snoop_DoggCN account cover wide-ranging topics from Chinese holidays to sports to strange shout-outs and blatant attempts to get marketing data. Some are probably just re-posts from Twitter, but others are clearly for the Chinese market. Some tweets/posts are just straight up advertising.
After digging through Snoop’s Weibo page, here’s my picks, in no specific order:
1) “I’m Bob Marley reincarnated so faded – 我是Bob Marley的化身，他是最棒的”
2) [odd] “Shoutout 2 tha homeyz SOUNDGARDEN congrats on tha new album KING ANIMAL – make … – 支持我朋友Soundgarden，祝贺他们发行了新专辑《King Animal》.”
3) “My president is black – 我的总统是黑人”
4) “Charlie Murphy, ay fam need u on my show!! get at me – Charlie Murphy，我需要你来上我的节目！！联系我吧。”
6) “Happy Mooncake festival from your Uncle Snoop Dogg! Eat a mooncake today!” and “Happy singles day in China – sorry I won’t be celebratin witchu, I have my lovel… – 中国的粉丝们，光棍节快乐 – 抱歉我不能和你们一起庆祝节日了，我有我可爱的老婆S…”
[SERATO FACE! prlly not even Serato, probably some proprietary Snoop Dogg DJ software that no one else can get, kinda like the Magic Johnson cure for AIDS that no one else can get...]
7. “Live in Korea wit 2NE1! – 和 @2NE1-YG 在韩国现场!” (2NE1 is a major K-pop group and this shows the growing global reach of K-pop…compare this to 20 years ago when rappers were spitting anti-Korean lyrics).
8. “Get high wit me – 和我一起来嗨吧.” (this is the transliteration of “hi” and not the character that means “high” like uncle snoop means…)
9. “Also heard bout the stabbings in china – my heart goes out to those families as well. Sad day 2day”
10. “Lunch meat n eggs so good. – 中午吃的肉和鸡蛋好美味啊。” This looks like Hong Kong lunchmeat but in an American shape..what’s the cross-cultural significance of this? Is that paprika? What rare spices does Snoop Dogg/Lion have?
11. “My girl tchin taught me how to write my name in Chinese – how’s my handwritn?!”
12. “Whaddup china – love me some kungfu!! 功夫.”
13. “jus touched down n india n heard that tha US has more land, but indias got 4x more people – 刚刚抵达印度，听说美国的国土面积要比印度广，但是印度的人口却是美国的4倍”
and this one:
15. “Happy Chinese New Year of tha snake! givn my niece a red envelope! 新年快乐恭喜发财 shoutout to my girl t-chin for the chinese”
Actually Snoop doesn’t have that many fans on Weibo – just 77,000, compared to his 10 million+ on Twitter. In China, that’s less compared than 泸州MC石头, this guy (sorry for the lengthy ads):
This guy has 170,000 fans and brings a desktop PC to DJ with at his live shows. So how can we explain a legend like Snoop’s low-numbers in China? Look for some possible answers in an upcoming piece here about hip hop in China.
I wish this tweet made it to Weibo:
“Im takn over as tha CEO of Yahoo. Need sum of tha Snoop Dogg content ya digg. Nuff Said.”
Anyway, I can’t wait to play Doggystyle for my grandkids someday, and “Snoop Lion: Reincarnated” is a terrible symptom of the post-modern condition.