On Wednesday (Feb. 26), Snoop Dogg appeared sat down with the ladies of Red Table Talk in one of its most-anticipated episodes yet where he addressed the controversy surrounding his vicious commentary on renowned journalist Gayle King.
Snoop came under fire after he posted a video criticizing King, which some interpreted as a physical threat against her, in response to a clip from King’s Lisa Leslie interview via CBS This Morning. In the interview, King asked Leslie if she felt that the legacy of late basketball icon Kobe Bryant was “tarnished” by his 2003 sexual assault case. The case was dismissed after Bryant’s accuser declined to testify against him and later settled outside of court, according to NBC News. Many were outraged by King’s question in light of the fatal helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Bryant, his daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and the seven other passengers onboard shortly before the interview.
Snoop since deleted the video and publicly apologized to King after he faced backlash over his comments. Although many people tuned into The Red Table Talk to hear what Snoop would have to say in regards his situation with Gayle, Jada Pinkett-Smith, along with Willow Smith and Adrienne Bansfield-Jones, opened the 32-minute conversation to address the larger issue that Snoop’s sentiments towards King stemmed from: toxic masculinity.
During the interview, Snoop Dogg also shared an anecdote from friendship with late hip-hop icon Tupac, Gayle’s response to his apology, and touched on the tragic loss of Pop Smoke. Here’s what we learned from Snoop Dogg’s appearance on The Red Talk:
Although his intentions were to protect Vanessa Bryant amid her grief, Snoop recognizes that the way he went about it was wrong:
“It had got bad fast. It went from me just venting to I’m mad and ‘Yeah!’ to ‘Uh oh, I got the whole world in an uproar,’” Snoop admitted. “What’s crazy is you may think it was more people against me, [but] it was more people with me. That was the strange [part]…’Thanks, Snoop! You said what we been wanting to say but you shouldn’t said it like that.’”
However, Snoop did not feel attacked over the backlash he faced for his remarks and took it in stride as a lesson learned.
“It just shows me that I needed to be bigger ‘cause I could’ve created a worse situation because I could’ve said ‘They with me so I’m right,’” he acknowledged, adding that his intentions in speaking out against King was because he ‘wanted to make sure that the message was across that, ‘We love Kobe,’ and, ‘Be respectful of Vanessa and those kids.’”
“That’s what the whole intent was: To protect that woman and them babies over there because she’s still grieving and let’s give them that respect,” Snoop explained.
As for how he felt seeing the public discourse that followed after his video, Snoop said it made him realize the reach he has.
“It made me feel like I had too much power and, at the particular time, I was abusing it. That’s just what I felt and I had to get it right,” he said.
Snoop Dogg revealed that he has personally reached out to Gayle King to rectify his actions:
The West Coast icon shared that he reached out to King’s friends and associates to set up a time where the two can meet privately in person. Furthermore, he DMed her a prayer to show her how apologetic he was. Although he says she has yet to respond, Snoop said he was intent on resolving the issue with King in person.
“Me apologizing was a big difference but people didn’t expect that. They thought I was going to hold on to my gangster and be like ‘I said what I said.’ People are looking up to me and are like, ‘I like what you did so how can we better ourselves and correct our mistakes and not feel ashamed and not feel like less of a man because I said I’m sorry?’” Snoop noted. He further shared that a number of prominent Black men in Hollywood reached out to him with love to help him see the error of his ways.
“I got calls from Tyler Perry, Puff Daddy, Van Jones, and [other] powerful Black men. They didn’t bash me. They were just like, ‘Brother we got your back,’” he recalled, adding “We got a real brotherhood going on behind the scenes.”
His recollection of an argument between him and late hip-hop legend Tupac helped him understand the parallels of how he was conditioned to a culture of disrespect toward Black women:
“It’s hard to let go of something that you’ve been accustomed to your whole life and something you’re really trying to work on,” Snoop admitted. “It used to be a time when my music was everything. But once you become a grown man and you realize that your words have power and you have power, you have to pull back.”
Snoop then recalled how he and Tupac once got into a disagreement when he wanted to transition from solely making gangster rap.
“He was like he wanted me to stay gangster and I was like ‘Cuz, I got a baby on the way. I just beat a murder case. I have a lot to live for.’ He had no kids.”
Jada chimed in that her and ‘Pac would get into similar arguments, and the late rap icon would try to explain what he meant with his usage of “b***h” and “h**” in reference to women.
“I’m not gon’ try to explain it to you,” Snoop responded, acknowledging that he couldn’t come up with a logical explanation even if he tried. “I felt like at the beginning, that was a word that was brainwashed into me and I misused it. I just kept throwing it out there and I seen it came back to me with the Gayle thing.”
Jada Pinkett-Smith unveiled messages that two prominent Black women sent into the show for Snoop to hear for the first-time:
The first message came from spiritual guru, Dr. Iyana Vanzant, who thanked Snoop for setting an example that others can learn from.
“To you, my beloved Snoop, I honor your courage, your integrity, and the demonstration of leadership that you are for apologizing for your behavior. I don’t believe that culture of disrespect is new, specifically [for] African-American people. We have been programmed, and conditioned, and educated in a society that expects us to accommodate, tolerate and accept both public and personal disrespect,” Vanzant said. “My personal challenge to Snoop and anyone else involved, particularly those who have a public forum, say and do only those things that will facilitate healing and I believe that’s what the apology did.”
The next message came from sports journalist Jemele Hill, who is a close friend of Snoop.
“Snoop, I thank you for apologizing. I know what you said was out of character and coming from a place of hurt. But we need to find a way that we can correct one another [and] dialogue with each other without it potentially causing harm,” Hill put forth. “Black men have been made to feel like they are a target and the hurt and pain they absorb from the world comes back in our direction. Sometimes [Black women] are made the target because we are a very easy group to take out your frustrations on. No matter where you are and what your hierarchy is in this society, [Black women] are guaranteed to be on the bottom of the totem pole….I think that you apologizing was a very big thing.”
Snoop acknowledged that the complicated relationship that Black men have with Black women can stem from familial relationships with their mothers:
After Jada pondered the correlation between Black mens’ relationships with their mothers and how it informs their behavior toward Black women, Snoop agreed that a man’s relationship with women “starts in the house” and can, indeed, impact his perspective toward Black women. Jada brought up how mothers are sometimes the sole figure of the household, so disciplining their sons can sometimes bleed into how they approach relationships with other women.
“Yeah, he becomes angry and mad towards the girl he’s dating based on how his mother treated him. I remember when I first left my house, me and my wife used to argue about, ‘You ain’t my mama, how you gon’ tell me what [to do?]’ and that was the first thing I had to get rid of, to stop saying that,” Snoop conceded. “Because I kept looking to her as my mother and like when you say something to me, I left my Mama’s house because I didn’t want to be told what to do. But that’s just me being wrong. Like, let me stop judging you off how my mother raised me and look at us for who we are.”
However, he did acknowledge that single Black mothers raised their sons to “the best way y’all knew how.”
“Y’all was preparing us for life and life don’t love you. It was tough love. I wouldn’t trade it for nothing in the world,” he said.
Watch Snoop Dogg’s full interview on The Red Table Talk below:
(Photo: Eric Michael Roy)