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Snoop Dogg: The Business Man

The Westleaf

Back when you started making music, did you ever imagine how big the legal cannabis market would get?

No. Not as many times as I went to jail for it. And it’s still on my criminal record. I don’t understand how it could go from being the most hated, the most vicious thing that you could do, to now everybody’s capitalizing off of it, and they’re leaning toward a demographic that can prosper off of it, as opposed to the demographic that created the business.

We should be able to have some of our people — that look like me — as executives, as C.E.O.s, as platform owners. You know, the top of the chain, not just the spokesperson or the brand ambassador. We need to be the brand owners.

Is that part of the reason you’re involved in the business?

I helped make this business famous before it became legal. The forefathers were the ones before me. The jazz musicians, the Bob Marleys, the Cheech and Chongs, the Willie Nelsons.

All of those guys laid the foundation down. I just continued what they were doing and put a little bit more spice on. I’m still paying respect to them, and knowing that this is a love branch.

Cannabis, marijuana, whatever you want to call it, is all about love and bringing people together.

Is the issue of trying to close the Black wealth gap something you’re thinking about beyond the cannabis industry?

That’s why I’m trying to be one of those examples, of someone who creates his own everything, owns his own everything, and has a brand strong enough to compete with Levi’s and Miller and Kraft and all of these other brands that have been around for hundreds of years. That’s what I want the Snoop Dogg brand to be.

Do you think the platforms like Apple and Spotify are treating artists fairly?

I just don’t understand how you only get this little bit amount of money per stream. I just don’t understand the dynamics of those numbers, and how they can create these systems without Black people up top, while Black people are the ones generating the most money from these systems through the music. So I’m just trying to figure out when they’re going to cut us in in the beginning, as opposed to always letting us be the ones who get it to a point where these platforms can sell for billions of dollars, and then the Black people that made it famous get nothing.

Just like the TikTokers. All of the young Black content creators on TikTok have boycotted because they see that when they do the dances they don’t get the attention or the money.

But as soon as the white dancers do it, it’s the biggest [expletive] in the world and they on Jimmy Fallon. That’s not fair. It’s not cool to just keep stealing our culture right in front of us and not include us in the finances of it all.

We need to be involved early. They always cut us out. They call Snoop after they got their companies up and are like, “Hey, Snoop, you want to be a brand ambassador?” I want some equity. Give me a piece of the pie. If I can’t get no equity, [expletive] you and your company.

We’re seeing more of that with athletes like Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, who are making investments in start-ups.

Right, because they understand that they got to get it. I mean, you would think that those businesspeople up top would say: “You know what? It’s time to change the world. We’ve got to stop treating Black people like they’re less. They’re always the ones who do the hard work, the groundwork, but we never cut them in.”

Like, why don’t we have an owner in an N.F.L.? That’s just racist. Period, point blank. We need to own an N.F.L. team. We got one half-owner in the N.B.A., Michael Jordan. But the whole league is 90 percent Black. So we still the slaves and they still the masters.

That’s why in the music game, we took the initiative to say, [expletive] that. We’re the masters, and we own our masters. We’re going to negotiate with you the way we think it should be. We changed that industry years ago, with our mentality of having our own labels.

Source: nytimes


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