How Snoop Dogg Became One of the Richest Rappers
He’s been known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion and Snoop Dogg over an impressive music career spanning nearly 30 years of professional recording and performing. From his humble beginnings in the streets of Long Beach, California, the artist known as Snoop has had an amazing trajectory from being raised by a single mother to becoming one of the most famous, most recognizable hip-hop artists in the world.
Snoop’s talents and drive have not only made him famous — and an exciting Super Bowl 2022 halftime show choice — but also one of the richest rappers in the world. In fact, as of Feb. 9, 2022, he's the new owner of Death Row Records, the very label that launched his career in the music industry.
And that's only a part of what earned this rapper a massive $150 million net worth and keeps him relevant well into his 50s.
A Rapper Is Born
Snoop Dogg was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. in Long Beach, California, on Oct. 20, 1971.
His birth father, Vernall Varnado, left the young Snoop and his mother Beverly shortly after Calvin’s birth, so Beverly decided to rename her son after his stepfather, Calvin Sr.
Earning the Nickname ‘Snoopy’
Young Calvin earned the nickname “Snoopy” early on due to his fondness for the troublemaking dog from the “Peanuts” cartoons who was Charlie Brown’s companion.
It was around this same time when Calvin’s mother and stepfather divorced; Calvin was only a toddler.
Singing in Church
Snoop started honing his musical chops by singing at his mother’s church, and he also discovered his gifts for rapping, which made him rather popular at school.
Meanwhile, he found work in typical teenage jobs at a grocery store and delivering newspapers.
Juvenile Legal Troubles
Despite his mother’s efforts to keep her son on the straight and narrow, teenage Snoop was soon hanging out with gangs and involved with drugs.
He was arrested multiple times and spent time in various jails. However, despite his legal troubles, he continued developing his considerable talents as a rapper.
Collaborating With None Other Than Dr. Dre
Through a fortuitous chain of events, one of Snoop’s demo tapes found its way to former N.W.A member Dr. Dre, who was about to engage in a solo career.
Dre was so impressed by Snoop’s demo that he invited the Long Beach rapper to collaborate on their 1992 song “Deep Cover” (“187”), used for the film “Deep Cover” starring Laurence Fishburne.
Earning Global Recognition
Dr. Dre then enlisted Snoop Dogg to perform on his debut solo album, “The Chronic.”
With such tracks as “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” “Let Me Ride” and “Dre Day,” the 1992 album would go on to sell nearly 6 million copies and cement Dre and Snoop as among the world’s biggest names in rap music.
Raking in the Money
In 1993, Snoop released his debut album, “Doggystyle,” on Death Row Records. “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?)” and “Gin and Juice” were hits from the album, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Dr. Dre produced and was featured on several songs from “Doggystyle,” which sold 11 million copies and earned Snoop a reported $6 million.
Starting His Own Record Company
In 1995, Snoop formed his own record company, Doggystyle Records, allowing him to produce as well as record. In addition to releasing such Snoop albums as “R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta) The Masterpiece” and “Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$,” Doggystyle’s credits include “Only Way Out” by Jooba Loc and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Kane” by Kokane.
Doggystyle also released soundtrack albums for Snoop’s movies “Bones” and “The Wash.”
Legal Fees Add Up
Even though he was already wealthy, Snoop Dogg had to pay for famed lawyer Johnnie Cochrane’s services to defend him in a first-degree murder trial related to an incident from his gangbanger days.
Snoop and his bodyguard Malik were eventually acquitted of the charges, with the evidence not supporting that either was the gunman in the gang-related incident. Snoop released a short film and soundtrack, called “Murder Was the Case,” in which he professed his innocence.
Leaving Death Row Records
After being part of Marion “Suge” Knight’s Death Row Records, Snoop opted to leave the label behind entirely in 1996, not long after releasing his album “The Doggfather.” He went with No Limit Records, which would release his records “No Limit Top Dogg,” “The Last Meal” and “Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told.”
Meanwhile, Death Row, a powerhouse of early-’90s West Coast rap, went belly-up in 2006 thanks to gross mismanagement by Knight.
Appearing in Movies
In addition to his numerous music videos, Snoop started appearing on the big screen as well. His first movie role was in the 1998 stoner comedy “Half Baked.” He also had supporting roles in two dramas from 2001, “Baby Boy” and “Training Day,” and shared a memorable scene with Denzel Washington in the latter.
Snoop also earned $500,000 for playing Huggy Bear in 2004’s “Starsky & Hutch” update, according to IMDb.
Starring in ‘Bones’ and 'The Wash'
Snoop also started starring in movies, too. He played the titular hero in “Bones” in 2001, which was about a murdered numbers runner who returns from the grave to avenge himself.
He also reteamed with Dr. Dre the same year, when the duo co-starred in the comedy “The Wash.”
Having Fun With Cameos
Snoop was also popping up in various movie cameos, in which he also — naturally — performed music. In the Frat Pack comedy “Old School” from 2003, Snoop shows up at the fictional music fest “Mitch-a-Palooza,” where he performs the diddy “Papered Up.”
More recently, he even played himself in 2021’s fun-filled romp “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.”
A Foray Into Adult Films
In one of the strangest episodes in Snoop’s lengthy career of making money, he “presented” two pornographic films released under Larry Flynt’s Hustler imprint, called “Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle” and “Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary of a Pimp.”
While the rapper didn’t actually get down and dirty for the dirty movies, he “hosted” them and contributed a few rap numbers — which alternated with adult “professionals” getting down to the business buyers really paid to watch.
You Down With 213?
Snoop was briefly part of a rap supergroup called 213, which was named after Long Beach’s area code when Snoop was growing up. (Long Beach is now represented by area code 562.)
Snoop was joined in 213 by Warren G and Nate Dogg. In addition to several singles, 213 released an album called “The Hard Way” in 2004.
Teaming Up With Dre Again
Snoop Dogg’s services were once again called upon by Dr. Dre for Dre’s 1999 album, which was called both “2001” and “The Chronic 2001.”
Snoop contributed his rapping skills to songs including “Still D.R.E.” and “The Next Episode” as well as a few others that are not printable here — and would likely give Tipper Gore a heart attack.
Earning Several Awards
Snoop has picked up an extensive array of awards over his lengthy musical career. These include an American Music Award, a BET Award, a Billboard R&B Award, three Billboard End-of-Year Awards and a MOBO (“Music of Black Origin”) Award.
For his small role in the 2001 film “Training Day,” he was even awarded an MTV Movie Award for “Best Cameo.” And his adult film, shall we say, projects? “Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle” and “Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary of a Pimp” each picked up an AVN Award for “Best Selling Title of the Year.”
In addition to his albums, Snoop’s singles have also gone gangbusters. In 2004, he collaborated on “Drop It Like It’s Hot” with Pharrel Williams, which went to No. 1 on the Top 100 and topped the charts in several countries.
The song was nominated for a Grammy and also won an MTV Australia Award for best hip-hop video.
Giving Money to Charity
Because he’s been so successful, Snoop Dogg has donated to various charitable foundations to give back to the community.
He even founded his own venture, the Snoop Youth Football League, which aims to give inner-city children the chance to participate in team sports as well as instruct them in the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship and the value of academics.
Showing Off His Business Smarts as an Investor
Proving that his business smarts extend not just to the music sector, Snoop Dogg founded the venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital in 2015. “Casa verde” means “green house” in Spanish, so it’s no surprise this venture focuses on the legal cannabis sector. (Snoop has both long rapped about and publicly indulged in the plant.)
With recreational marijuana fast becoming legal in more states beyond Snoop’s native California, Casa Verde Capital will only get busier.
Recession-Proof Business Ventures
It’s said that alcohol and weed are recession-proof businesses, but the pandemic upended pretty much everything. In 2020, with the world upside-down, business investors started getting squirrely even about legal marijuana, but the industry — and its most famous proponent — headed into 2021 with, uh, higher expectations.
Snoop’s Casa Verde Capital was able to secure $100 million at the end of last year, more than doubling the size of its haul, according to TechCrunch.
Investing in Robinhood
Remember Robinhood, the investment portal that rocketed up the stock price of GameStop? It turns out that our Snoop is an investor in Robinhood as well as in the online shopping and finance portal called Klarna.
CrunchBase reports that Robinhood has been especially attractive to the rap community, with Jay-Z and Nas being among its backers.
Just a Casual $100,000
In 2019, a booking agency “accidentally” released the per-appearance fees of various musical acts, allowing Joe Public to see what artists such as Snoop Dogg earn just for showing up.
Our pal Snoop pulls in anywhere between $75,000 and $100,000 for his services, which is a solid per-diem if ever there were.
More TV Appearances
In addition to his acting work, Snoop Dogg has appeared in commercials for Old Navy and Corona beer. He also showed up at the WWE’s Wrestlemania 32, where he introduced his cousin, Sasha Banks, as she made her way to the ring.
Snoop has also lent his voice to an episode of the animated sitcom “American Dad.”
Just in Case You Were Wondering: His Services Do NOT Come Free
Snoop has been in music so long that he is even singing backup for a whole new generation of entertainers. In 2010, Snoop rapped during a breakdown on Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” and he joined his fellow Californian for the music video that followed.
When told by Howard Stern it was nice of Snoop to lend his talents to Perry for free, Snoop retorted: “Free my a**!”
He Also Has a Film Production Company
In addition to acting, Snoop Dogg has stepped up to the role of producer of movies made under the aegis of his company, Snoopadelic Films.
These include the 2006 scare anthology “Hood of Horror” and the 2005 thriller “Boss’n Up.” Naturally, the man himself starred in both flicks.
And, of Course, Snoop Dabbles in Wine
Little wonder that a California boy such as Snoop would veer into wine. Snoop started his own wine label, called 19 Crimes, in 2012. (Check out the man himself on their website here.)
The wine’s name is based on the so-called 19 sins that could get an English citizen “transported” to the penal colony of Australia. Because … why not?
Yes, He’s Friends With Martha Stewart
Is it just us, or is the fact that Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are BFF’s especially weird?! Well, it seems the two celebrities bonded big time over their shared love of food, and together, they hosted the VH1 program “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,” which ran for three seasons.
Or possibly, Snoop and Stewart bonded over being grandparents. That’s right, Snoop, 49, is now a grandpa! Feel old yet?
With Fame Comes Endorsements
When you’re famous, various brands pay you to promote their products, and why shouldn’t Snoop get in on the action? In addition to a limited edition line of socks in the United Kingdom called the Art of Inspiration, Snoop Dogg has inked deals with other product lines, including a new car called Sanctiond and, naturally, a line of weed called Leafs By Snoop — along with various other marijuana-related paraphernalia.
Imagine if Snoop of 1992 could see into the future to behold what Snoop of 2021 was up to!
How Much Is Snoop Dogg Worth?
Between Snoop Dogg’s records, movies, endorsements, concert tours, paid appearances and various business ventures, he is valued at a rather impressive $150 million. Not bad for a kid who came from the mean streets of Long Beach.
No wonder he’s so laid back, with his mind on his money and his money on his mind.