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Zahala San Simone

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The Scoop on Snoop Dogg…
by Zahala San Simone   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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If you haven’t already heard, Snoop Dogg was arrested on weapons and narcotics charges after his appearance Tuesday night on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. Police said that Snoop, a convicted felon, had a gun, marijuana and cocaine in his vehicle.

What could be more miraculous than a rap superstar? I mean most of these entertainers started out as DJs and street poets/rappers—then, burgeoned into superstars. They usually weren’t the best or brightest in school, but they had a unique talent for lyrics and rhyming. And, they had a whole lot of natural talent.

In many cases, they were also former gang members, who learned business savvy and street smarts via the gang’s illicit activities. Often, this ‘street’ training serves them well—many of them, after becoming rap stars, go on to own record labels, act in motion pictures, and even head entertainment and fashion empires.

Even though they wind up with lifestyles that most of us can only dream of, for more than a few of them, their former ‘street’ ways are hard to shed. And, that’s what seems to be happening with Snoop.

If you haven’t already heard, Snoop Dogg was arrested on weapons and narcotics charges after his appearance Tuesday night on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. Police said that Snoop, a convicted felon, had a gun, marijuana and cocaine in his vehicle.

On November 2nd, when he was charged with one felony count of possessing a deadly weapon—a collapsible baton—I thought it might have been a publicity stunt. After all, he ultimately pleaded that he had picked up the baton to use as a prop in one of his music videos, and didn’t know that he couldn’t fly with it. He was arrested at the Orange County Airport.

This latest incident though leads me to believe that though the cash source has changed, the old gangbanger has not. And, that’s sad, because success like he’s experienced usually comes once in a lifetime, for a rare few. It would be a shame to see him lose it, because of continued skirmishes with the law. I do believe that our legal system is lenient with ‘entertainment mogul’ types, because they realize how many jobs they create and how much revenue they generate in the economy. But, even the law has its limits--this is Snoop’s fourth arrest this year.

There’s no question that Snoop is talented. His record sales—17 million to date—prove that. He also should be considered as a rap pioneer--someone who helped rap music crossover to a broader audience. One of his early singles, Gin and Juice, was a huge hit, and I recall seeing people of all races in the office, in the mall, and even after church, humming the tune’s catchy phrase ‘Laid back—with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.’

It was masterful street poetry, and even better lyrics.

But, although his talent is not diminished, age has caught up with him. As a 35 years old convicted felon (1990-cocaine sales), with 3 children, he should know better than to be involved with items that could get him stiff jail time--especially since he now has so much more to lose.

And, I’ve noticed this same rebellious behavior much too often in rap stars. Even though their wealth is now generated from a legitimate source, there’s still a sense of adventure, menace, and a ‘renegade’ lifestyle that they’ve gotten used to. And, they can’t seem to consistently resist the urge to walk on the wild side—despite the gravity of the consequences.

Unfortunately, all too often these forays into criminal behavior result in death. And that’s even sadder, since we lose as well. Their raps, the best of which not only entertain us, but also educate many of us who’ve never lived a ‘street’ life, go to the grave with them. A voice is silenced, seemingly before it gave us the best it had to offer.

So, I am hopeful that Snoop will find a better outlet for his need for adventure--anything that will ultimately result in a more productive outlet for his renegade spirit, and keep him free of legal mess.

I’m sure his fans would ultimately thank him for it.

And, it would be nice, for a change, to read about a rapper growing to a ripe old age, and dying of natural causes…
 

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