From his recently revived label Doggy Style Records and the weed delivery startup Eaze to the cannabis company Leafs By Snoop and a bevy of X-rated films, Snoop Dogg has more side hustles than Rushmore’s Max Fischer. The legendary rapper’s latest venture is Coach Snoop, an AOL reality series that chronicles his work as commissioner and coach for the Snoop Youth Football League—a non-profit organization that teaches inner-city kids ages 5-13 the values of teamwork, industriousness, and academic achievement, churning out several future NFL stars along the way.
Following a rain-soaked performance at New York’s South Street Seaport as part of AOL’s NewFront presentation, where Snoop regaled a cast of thousands with hits like “Gin and Juice” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” the sinewy 44-year-old emcee has sought refuge in his sizeable trailer. Upon entering, I notice that Snoop is blunt-less—the rough equivalent of seeing Bono without his sunglasses, or Donald Trump sans Oompa Loompa spray tan—and mention that the last time we spoke, he was sporting a rastacap and going by the moniker Snoop Lion.
He leans back in his chair and yells to the back of the trailer: “Matter of fact, if they can bring that muthafuckin’ blunt up here we may have Snoop Lion!” Snoop shakes his head. “Niggas back there runnin’ a 4 x 400 relay with the muthafucka!”
A woman emerges from the mystery back room, handing Snoop a freshly rolled blunt. Do you have a rolling team back there? I ask him.
“I got a smokin’ team back there!” he exclaims. “I thought I had a rollin’ team back there, but these niggas just back there smokin’!” Snoop leans back in his chair even further this time, shouting to the rear: “You know we do sell this shit!”
Someone in Snoop’s entourage blurts out, “I just quit smokin’ yesterday,” quoting the hip-hop star’s famous line from the stoner flick Half Baked.
“I just quit smokin’ yesterday… what movie is that?” asks Snoop, exhaling a cloud of smoke. “Half Baked!” I tell him. “You were the scavenger-smoker. Great cameo.” He chuckles. “That was hot, wasn’t it? Man, I just quit smokin’ yesterday!”
With all due respect to Half Baked and his scene-stealing turn as Huggy Bear in Starsky & Hutch, Snoop’s greatest comedy performance was his 5-minute stand-up set during the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump back in 2011.
“Donald say he wants to run for president and move on into the White House,” said Snoop. “Why not? It wouldn’t be the first time you pushed a black family out of their home.”
The crowd ate it up. I mention the set to him, and he grins from ear to ear. “They were like, ‘Snoop could be a fuckin’ comedian!’” he says.
Snoop endorsed libertarian Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential election before switching his allegiance to Obama in the general. But now that the 2016 race is in full swing, and with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump the presumptive nominees, Snoop says he’s agnostic.
“On the election tip, I don’t really have one [candidate],” he says. “I’ve been following lightly, but I don’t have a favorite. Either or. Him or her. I don’t really care because I don’t think they’re going to affect me as much as I’m going to affect them. Presidents only matter when they have a pulse on what’s going on in the world, and I’m always a part of the heartbeat of the world. Obama had me come up [to the White House] and do my thing and whatnot, so I feel like I’ll be able to go up there and help whoever better the world.” He pauses his train of thought to take a deep pull from the blunt. “Somebody has to be the connection to the people, and one thing about Snoop is he’s loved everywhere, so in some of these places where they don’t have no relationships or understanding, I have great understanding. Maybe they need to use people like myself to be the connection to the political misunderstanding.”
But how do you feel about Trump? I ask him. “I mean, I don’t dislike him,” says Snoop. “I like some of the shit he’s done and he do, but I don’t agree with a lot of the shit that he says, so I have mixed emotions when it comes to him. He says a lot of shit where you go, ‘OK, that makes sense,’ and then he says a lot of shit where go, ‘Damn, that makes no sense,’ so I don’t really get him. I’m not a fan and not a hater.”
“We knew,” he offers. “We knew what we were gonna see. With shows today, what season is this? Sixth? The writing team changed or something went wrong. You can tell. Something failed behind the scenes. But it’s a great show still.” “I can’t wait for Power to come back,” he adds. “I’m a fan of that shit. And there’s this show called Peaky Blinders. I fucks with that! Those are my two favorite shows, man.”
I tell Snoop that, in my opinion, Peaky Blinders really picked up in Season 2 with the addition of Tom Hardy, which prompts him to give me a high-five. “[Tom Hardy] gave it that shit, man,” he says. “I love the way that it’s written, I love the fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll music that’s playing when shit be happening, the look, the era, and the believability of it. I believe that shit really happened and that this story could possibly be drawn from a real experience, not some made-up Hollywood shit.” Puff. Exhale. “I like gangsta shit that’s real, and I know it’s real because I met the writer and director [Steven Knight], and chopped it up with him over about 47 beers, and found out that that’s his family’s life story,” continues Snoop. “He’s a bad muthafucka, man. He’s a bad muthafucka. I may have to catch him and Snoop Dogg on something soon.”
The show Snoop is most excited about, though, is Coach Snoop, which premieres May 19 on AOL. It comes courtesy of Rory Karpf, who helmed the ESPN miniseries Snoop & Son, about his mentor-mentee relationship with his son, Cordell Broadus, who earned a football scholarship to UCLA before quitting to study film—only to return to the gridiron. “I never really wanted to put no attention or cameras on it because I do it out of love—I love serving these kids and helping them become something—but [Karpf] felt we should document it,” says Snoop. “To get it sold was hard. People kept telling us, ‘We don’t get it,’ but after we shot it we took it to AOL and they said they’d pay for it and help us get the message out about what this show stands for.”
During Snoop’s AOL NewFront performance, he welcomed Wiz Khalifa onstage, calling him a “brother from another mother” before launching into “Young, Wild and Free.” The two are about to embark on “The High Road” tour, spanning 33 dates across the U.S. and Canada.
“He’s that era that grew up with the Snoop Dogg, and the Snoop Dogg is very influential, but at the same time he has his own uniqueness about what he says and what he does,” Snoop says of choosing Wiz as his tourmate. “He don’t sound like me, he don’t rap like me, our topics are similar at times, but he’s a different type of artist than Snoop Dogg, and that’s why I feel like I can work with him and connect with him, because we’re similar but we’re different. He brings some stuff to the table that I don’t have, and I bring some stuff to the table that he don’t have, and together we cookin’ up some gumbo—some gangsta gumbo.” How much weed is going to be on that tour bus? I ask him.
“Lord have mercy!” he screams in a Jamaican accent.