I Am Hip Hop Icon Award: Snoop Dogg

Snoop has transcended time and rap trends as a lasting influencer in the hip-hop community. His accomplishments are vast and he is beyond deserving of this year's I Am Hip Hop Icon Award.

Published September 13, 2016

Snoop Dogg's Story


Snoop Dogg made his rap debut on a Dr. Dre track featured on the soundtrack of the '90s film Deep Cover. Snoop's verse was such a standout that it caught the attention of industry insiders swiftly.


Snoop's debut album is considered a hip-hop classic. The album introduced the world to the young, ambitious and talented rapper from Long Beach, California, with a unique style and superior lyrics.


If you've never seen the footage from Snoop's speech at the Source Awards in '95, then you've missed a vital detail in the history of gangsta rap music. During the height of the East Coast vs. West Coast beef, Snoop took the stage in NY and demanded respect from a hostile audience.


After an altercation in a Compton park, Snoop and his bodyguard found themselves on trial for murder. Snoop claimed self-defense and was found not guilty of all charges. This was a huge moment in his career. If the verdict went the other way, the icon we know and love today may have just been another brother locked up behind bars.


In '98, Snoop started a new chapter in his career. He left a messy situation with Suge Knight at Death Row Records and sought refuge in the South, signing with No Limit Records. Snoop's first album under Master P's thriving label was entitled Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told.


A year after his first album with No Limit, Snoop released Top Dogg, where he successfully merged many of the popular styles of the South into the original gangsta rap formula of the West. At the time of the album's release, no one had quite merged the two styles at such a high level.


The Last Meal was Snoop's third and final album on No Limit Records. With the creation of this album, he fulfilled his three-album deal with Master P. He cleverly titled the album to allude to the last time any of other major rap CEO would eat off of his hard work and talent.


In 2001, Snoop delivered a breakout performance in the 'hood classic Baby Boy. He played a character named Jody, with whom the audience developed a true love/hate relationship. Snoop also had a notable role in the Oscar-winning film Training Day that same year.


The release of Paid tha Cost to be da Bo$$ declared the next phase in Snoop's career. With the smash single "Beautiful" featuring Pharrell Williams, he stamped his place in the entertainment industry as not just a rapper but an international pop star.


In 2004, he released an album that opened the door to an entirely new genre that merged hip-hop and R&B. This style is very popular to this day, even though Snoop rarely receives credit for actually starting this trend.


Although Snoop's young adult football league isn't directly linked to his music career, it's important to note the impact that this charitable organization has had on youth in Southern California. It's success should not go overlooked as it is now recognized by the NCAA and NFL.


Tha Blue Carpet Treatment debuted at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 264,000 copies in its first week and reminding the entire industry that Snoop could remain true to his original style and still be successful.


With this release, Snoop re-invented himself again on the song "Sexual Eruption" produced by Shawty Red — yet again proving that he is still a trendsetter in the hip-hop industry.


Snoop's tenth studio album consisted of 14 tracks and featured production from Teddy Riley, Nottz, The Neptunes, The Dream and Terrace Martin. Guest features included R. Kelly, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em and Brandy.


Doggumentary was one of the first times we heard Snoop team up with Wiz Khalifa. It was the beginning of what is starting to look like a high quality rap alliance.


In 2013, Snoop hosted his first BET Hip Hop Awards show! In fact, he was such a crowd favorite that he returned in 2014 and 2015.

Bush may have been one of Snoop's most underrated projects. Executive produced by Pharrell, you are guaranteed to discover a few jams while listening to this album!


Snoop's latest album shows his diverse range of musical talents, styles and flavors. However, the best way to catch the vibe is to pick it up and enjoy these tunes for yourself.

In 2016, Snoop hit the road with his partner in crime Wiz Khalifa on "The High Road Tour," providing fans with the ultimate combination of old school and new school. Also featured on the tour are artists such as Jhene Aiko, Kevin Gates, Cassie Veggies and DJ Drama, who are all hoping to deliver a "high" quality show.

This year, along with Birdman, JD and Damon Dash, Snoop starred in new BET reality series Music Moguls. Revealing the true life of music industry CEOs and the day-to-day challenges that they overcome to remain on top.