After 30 years as one of the foremost elder statesmen of the rap game, West Coast godfather Snoop Dogg has joined forces with another storied, foundational entity within hip-hop culture.
Legendary rapper Snoop Dogg has joined Def Jam Recordings as executive creative and strategic consultant, “a new role that will allow him to strategically work across the label’s executive team and artist roster,” according to the announcement. With an immediate focus on A&R and creative development, Snoop Dogg is joining Def Jam as a senior strategic advisor, based in Los Angeles and reporting to Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge and Def Jam interim Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Harleston, who is pictured above, left, with Snoop.
As has been proven many times over the decades, Snoop is not just a top-shelf rapper but also an extremely successful entrepreneur — which is one of the many things he plans to instruct the label’s young artists about. He not only executive produced the Netflix show “Coach Snoop, GGN: Double G News” and the TNT game show “Joker’s Wild,” he garnered an Emmy nomination as executive producer for the hit VH1 show, “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.” He also has made multiple investments and endorsements spanning the lifestyle, food/beverage, and cannabis industries, and founded the Snoop Youth Football League in 2005.
In the announcement video below, Snoop — who also alludes to the fact that Def Jam and his former label, Death Row, were deadly rivals in the 1990s — talks about the role.
“Now, you may wonder why, so late in my career, would I wanna work for Def Jam Records,” Snoops says as Def Jam artists Public Enemy’s 1989 classic “Fight the Power” plays in the background. “Well lemme tell ya, as a young rapper, Def Jam was the holy grail of hip-hop.”
He talked about the label’s great music — as video snippets of classic Def Jam artists from Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys and Slick Rick to Foxy Brown and Ludacris flash by — as well as its family vibe, musical legacy and efforts outside music, like Def Comedy Jam.
“So when I got the opportunity, my main focus on Def Jam was to help the artists and give them love and wisdom and guidance and understanding, teach them some tricks that I learned in the game — to diversify their portfolios to be superstars,” he continues.
He says he will also dig into the label’s catalog to tell the “life stories on these great artsts,” bring in new talent — “and maybe a Snoop album — you never know.”
He then thanks Grainge and signs off: “UMG-Def Jam: family until the wheels fall off.”
In a statement, Grainge said: “We’re thrilled that the one and only Snoop Dogg is bringing his deep industry experience, strong relationships, boundless creativity and infectious energy to Def Jam.”
Harleston added: “I have had the pleasure knowing and working with Snoop Dogg for more than twenty years. Not only does Snoop understand what it takes to be a successful artist, he is one of the most creative, strategic and entrepreneurial people I know. Snoop has a genuine passion for the label and the culture, and we are all excited to have Snoop join the Def Jam Family.”
One thing is for sure: Snoop’s presence as a playable character in Def Jam: Fight For NY finally makes sense now.