Snoop Reclaims His Old Doggystyle, Goes Gangsta For ‘Vato’ Video

B Real, Edward James Olmos guest in clip that calls for unity between blacks and Hispanics in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — In a nutshell, Snoop Dogg says he’s the wrong hombre to tangle with.

“The basic feel to this video is don’t f— with Snoop Dogg, ’cause he’ll have you runnin’ like a marathon,” the smiling hip-hop icon said recently on the set of his “Vato” video, paraphrasing a line from the track. According to what Cypress Hill’s B Real raps on the record’s hook, some tough guys tried to step to Snoop and found out he was not the one to mess with.

(Click for photos from the set of “Vato.” )

“I was trying to paint this picture,” “Vato” producer Pharrell Williams later explained in Snoop’s trailer. “Dr. Dre is the King, OK? He makes these records that are cinematic. I wanted to try and follow — not in his footsteps, ’cause that’s not possible — but I wanted to follow in that trend and give Snoop a soundscape. I was pretending that I was Spielberg, writing, directing and producing. Give them that thing so when you heard it, you start making [ice grills]. I like all that gangsta stuff. I miss that feeling. It’s time for that.”

Indeed, Snoop says his upcoming LP, Blue Carpet Treatment, is a decidedly more gangsta turn than his last album, 2004′s R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, which found him rapping alongside Pharrell on “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and Justin Timberlake on “Signs.”

“I went right back to the ‘hood,” Snoop explained of his latest project. “I took it back to the basics. I’ve been making a lot of pop songs, lot of R&B songs. Songs that may have made my fans feel like I wavered from what I was naturally accustomed to doing. But I’m an entertainer and I entertain people and that’s what I was feeling at the time. But right now, I’m feeling like going right back to the ‘hood. This record is really ‘hood, really gangsta. I don’t really have too many clean records on my album ’cause I wasn’t giving a f—.

“Snoop Dogg, the real one, he’s back,” he proclaimed.

While shooting “Vato” (a slang word along the lines of “homeboy”), Snoop found himself literally in the ‘hood, filming scenes. But besides sending out a warning that the Dogg is the wrong cat to front on, the video has a more serious underlying message: the need for unity between black and Hispanic people, especially in the wake of the violence between the two sides for the past several months in Los Angeles.

“People believe what they see, so if we put a video out and show us working together and being friends and being cool … people will look at that and feel it’s cool,” Snoop said. “But it’s not an act. B Real been my homie. It’s only right for us to have a video that brings those worlds together. Black is black, brown is brown, but if we put those two together, there’s nothing that can stop us.”

Later, settling down next to B Real, Snoop added that he’s “trying to push that line and promote that positivity out there as far as this West Coast music movement. I brought director Phillip Atwell to give me that cinematic look and we reached out to a couple of actors and people who do this thing in Hollywood to make it have a real feel to it.”

“The influence of music on the human psyche is overwhelming,” said Academy Award-nominated actor Edward James Olmos, who makes a cameo in the video. “You apply that to the fact that people use it to express themselves — even more impact. Then you understand we have problems and you try to understand those problems through your art form — you’re hitting a grand slam. Snoop Dogg is hitting a grand slam out of the park.

“The biggest goal that can come from this is an understanding between cultures,” Olmos continued. “It’s a situation that’s been going on for a long time; it’s going to continue to go on unless we give an alternative to the youth. Right now we have children showing children how to be adults — the adults have to step up to the plate. Snoop Dogg is an adult. He walks the walk and talks the talk. He’s been doing a lot for a long time.”

Pharrell said Snoop put him up on the racial conflict in L.A., and Skateboard was inspired to come up with the song’s theme.

“Bring together brown and black,” Pharrell said. “I felt this record was a good vehicle to do that. People are dying. A lot of it is happening in jail. We don’t want that to happen. … We sort of want to make things a little different out there and offer a little option. All I can do is paint the picture through my perception.”

Snoop’s Blue Carpet Treatment comes out October 19, one day before his birthday — he said he’ll be partying the night after release day, with two reasons to celebrate.