Snoop Dogg talks Magic, football
Having just returned from Jamaica, where he worked on his 12th CD, "Reincarnated," due out this summer, hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, in his tricked-out, red tour bus, heads up the East Coast performing at various clubs. New Haven, Conn., one night, Boston the next; Friday night he's in Portland, Maine.
Snoop Dogg (originally Calvin Broadus) stopped by ESPN's offices in Bristol, Conn., on Thursday to pay The Worldwide Leader a visit. Wearing a Jamaican Rasta tam, a Bob Marley necklace and a track suit, Snoop Dogg was here to spread some love.
Wow, man, you look so calm and relaxed. Are you in a different place mentally now compared to the 1990s?
"Yeah, spiritually, mentally and physically. My liberty is about living. It's about spreading more love. Even though I was always a peaceful, loving individual, my music sometimes didn't reflect that. But now it's different. My music is reflecting the way I feel."
"As you get older … I'm 40. A lot of people heard us when we were in our 20s. We were young and reckless and we didn't have any cares or worries. But once you have kids [he has 3] and you settle in and life settles in, you be who you really are."
So you are sometimes a kid now, right?
"I'm a kid at heart. I still play the same way. But I have responsibilities that come with it. I'm good at that. I know how to handle it. That's what I do."
So Magic Johnson purchased part of the Los Angeles Dodgers. You're a big sports fan. Why don't you jump in and buy something?
"Nah, I'm still doing my youth football league. I'm all about the future. As long as I have my youth football moving and grooving with kids, that's more important to me. As part of pro ownership, there is too much politics and real finances. That's too much. I'd rather deal with the kids."
But you'd be good out there for a pro team.
"It's too political. Yes, I'd love it. But look at Magic. He won't be dealing with the stress. He's the face. He's doing interviews. If I could do that part, that would be easy. But the grunt work isn't much fun."
You mentioned being more laid-back. Does that go when you're coaching, too?
"I used to get stressed out all the time when I thought winning was important. I wanted to try to win and help my kids win. Once I figured out it wasn't about winning or losing, it was about teaching these kids about being men, that's when I started to relax."
What does that league mean to you?
Our league is growing. We have so many kids in the NCAAs. De'Anthony Thomas of Oregon played in our league. Ronnie Hillman of San Diego State played. All these kids are becoming adults. We can be proud of them. This league is going on eight years. You never know what it'll be like in 16.
What was your proudest moment when it came to football?
"When I heard Brent Musburger call out De'Anthony Thomas' name on that 91-yard run in the Rose Bowl. He said that Thomas played in in the Snoop Dogg Youth Football League. That meant more to me than a Grammy or any music accolade. It's because it was dealing with a personal relationship about a kid getting out of his bad environment."
You did an entertaining reality show for a couple of years. Why did you stop?
"I liked doing it, but in the end, they wanted a little more drama and my family doesn't have drama, so we stopped."
Speaking of drama, what do you think of the music game these days?
"I just change with the times. I really don't have a say in what's going on. Music was here before me. But look at music for what it's worth around the world and not just America. In other countries, people are still buying CDs and going to record stores. But in America, it's all about digital. The game is breaking down. But, look at me, you need to know how to play the game the right way."
There is a knock on the door, and the talent producer asks whether Snoop wants to get something to eat.
"I need to knock out this work and keep it pushing," Snoop says.
"OK, we're getting ready to go on to the next interview," the producer says.
"Do you have a basketball court?" Snoop asks.
Then Snoop and his entourage proceed to the ESPN outdoor court, and Snoop -- playing streetball rules where there are no fouls -- wins the game of 21.
"All I do is win," Snoop says as he makes his way to the next interview.
Lynn Hoppes is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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