Black is…Snoop Dogg

Say what you want about Snoop: yes, he is still crip walking, rocking the blue bandana, and throwing up gang signs at almost 40. But Cordozar Calvin Broadus is a businessman before he’s any kind of gang banger, and last night’s True Blood Tribute that aired after the episode confirmed that.

Snoop’s place in music history is undeniable, though many will argue against the imagery his stage persona perpetuates. In spite of that, Snoop has managed to build a brand that, while steeped in urban myth and stereotype, manages to have crossover appeal. Snoop stated last year that True Blood was his favorite show and he wished for a cameo appearance. HBO clearly saw this as advantageous and opted for a single instead. In usual Snoop style, the track is catchy, with some racy lyrics smeared throughout  – creepy gangsta, is what I would call it.

For HBO, the promotional benefit of having an artist like Snoop promote their #1 show is far-reaching. Gangsta rap or not, Snoop has maintained nationwide crossover appeal for almost 20 years and his influence on entertainment in general is still seen today through the many artists that emulate him.