Snoop Dogg is an American rapper who emerged on the scene in the nineties. His popularity is persistent, but where did he grow up?
In 1971, Snoop Dogg was born in Long Beach, California. He grew up on the east side of the city but moved to the north when he was 15, and attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School.
Read on to learn more about Snoop Dogg’s life in Long Beach, the violence he witnessed, and why he spent time in jail.
Early Life in Long Beach
With the birth name Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., Snoop Dogg entered the world in Long Beach, California as the son of Vernall Varnando and Beverly Broadus. He was raised primarily by his mother, as his father left the family when he was only a few months old.
Snoop Dogg’s early life took place on the east side of the city, recognized as a tough area where crime was constant.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the neighbourhood Snoop grew up in is “a hodgepodge of window-barred wood-and-stucco bungalows”, rated at a 9 out of 10 on the danger scale.
Despite the lingering crime, Snoop was raised strictly by his mother who took on the role of his absent father. He told Black Radio Network, “she was like the mother and the father. You know what I’m sayin’? So, we had discipline in my house.”
As a young boy, Snoop Dog gained a taste for performance as a member of the Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church choir and through performing in plays.
He attended services every week and helped out his mother by taking on jobs to bring in some money, including bagging groceries, delivery newspapers, and selling candy.
In addition to singing and playing piano, Snoop was a keen football player and worked hard at school and as he matured, rap became a huge part of his lifestyle.
Snoop Dogg was rapping through much of grade school, and would draw crowds in his high school hallway. It was this early recognition that let him know he had a talent he needed to pursue.
Whilst he started working on his music, and gained a reputation for himself in the area, he became influenced by the street culture around him and got caught up in violence.
Long Beach Violence
Whilst Snoop told Playboy, “when I was a small boy, if we had a problem, we would fight about it with our fists”, gun violence became a huge presence in Snoop’s teenage years, especially when he moved to the north side of Long Beach.
He told the magazine that that’s when he started to see “real gangsta shit” and the violence was extremely close to home.
Though his mother did her best to keep him away from danger, Snoop said in an interview that she was unable to stop him from getting involved with what she couldn’t see, and he eventually became entangled in drugs and gang violence.
Snoop graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1989 and one month later found himself behind bars.
Snoop had allegedly started selling drugs as a way to drastically increase his income. Whilst he’d been making money from working in McDonald’s, selling drugs meant he was making $1000 a week by 12th grade.
When he was incarcerated for dealing it came as a shock, given the easy availability of drugs in the area.
He found jail hard, with more violence inside than there was on the streets, but kept up his rapping in jail, earning respect. He gained the recognition of Dr Dre on the outside who helped him on the way to success.
Listen to Snoop’s song ‘I’m From Long Beach’ in the YouTube video below.