Snoop Dogg, a best-selling rapper who has had his share of legal troubles, issued his latest LP, No Limit Top Dogg, in May on Master P's No Limit Records.
Snoop Dogg was born Calvin Broadus on Oct. 20, 1972, in Long Beach, Calif. His mother, who nicknamed him Snoop, raised him in a rough neighborhood.
Because of a cocaine arrest after his high-school graduation, Snoop Dogg was sent to jail in the early '90s. But he began recording rap music on tapes with his friend, Warren G., who gave one of their cassettes to his brother, N.W.A's Dr Dre.
Dr. Dre enlisted Snoop Doggy Dogg (as he billed himself then) to work on most of his 1992 album The Chronic. Snoop Dogg's first LP was the #1 smash Doggystyle (1993), which was issued on Dr. Dre's Death Row Records. It was the first debut album by an artist ever to top the Billboard 200 albums chart in its first week.
Snoop Dogg's band the Dogg Pound also debuted on the LP, which included the hits "Gin & Juice" and "Who Am I (What's My Name)?"
But Snoop Dogg was soon arrested in connection with the murder of a man whom he claimed had been stalking him. The rapper and his bodyguard were arraigned to stand trial for the killing in Los Angeles, and both were found not guilty.
Though it contained Snoop Dogg's trademark, high-pitched, relaxed rapping, Tha Doggfather (1996) was less successful than its predecessor. It included the single "Snoop's Upside Your Head" and a cover of Biz Markie's "The Vapors."
After the Las Vegas shooting death of his labelmate Tupac Shakur and the return to prison of Death Row label owner Marion "Suge" Knight, No Limit bought Snoop Dogg's contract from Death Row.
In 1997 Snoop Dogg was convicted of illegal weapons possession. The following year he was found to be in violation of the probation he received for that charge because of an arrest for marijuana possession, for which he eventually was fined.
Snoop Dogg's first LP on No Limit (for which he dropped the "Doggy" from his name), the spare, beat-heavy Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told (1998), was a #1 hit. It included tracks such as "Hoes, Money & Clout."
On No Limit Top Dogg, Snoop Dogg returned to the laid-back, gangsta-funk style of his early albums. The LP includes such songs as "Buck 'Em," "Bitch Please," the ballad "Trust Me" and "Just Dippin' " (RealAudio excerpt).
Snoop Dogg recently worked with rocker Tommy Lee on music that the two plan to release under the name the Outsiderz. Snoop Dogg also appeared on the "White Boys" film soundtrack this summer.
Other birthdays Wednesday: Jay Siegel (Tokens), 60; Ric Lee (Ten Years After), 54; Larry Gonsky (Looking Glass), 50; Alan Greenwood (Foreigner), 48; Tom Petty, 47; Mark King (Level 42), 41; Johnny Dee (Honeymoon Suite), 38; David Ryan (Lemonheads), 35; and Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & the Blowfish), 35.