Calvin Cordozar Broadus was born on Oct. 20, 1971 in Long Beach, Calif. where he was nicknamed Snoopy by his parents because of a striking resemblance to the Peanuts cartoon character. A promising rapper from an early age, he began performing in the sixth grade but was waylaid by brushes with the law in high school.

After a stint behind bars for drug possession, he took the stage name Snoop Doggy Dogg and launched his recording career with the help of hip-hop producer Dr. Dre. His 1993 debut album, Doggystyle, featuring his trademark, laidback vocal phrasings, was well-received and quickly went quadruple platinum.

Over the course of an enduring showbiz career, Snoop has released a dozen solo CDs and sold more than 30 million records. Last year, he tweaked his alias to Snoop Lion when he recorded a reggae album in Jamaica called Reincarnated.

A talented thespian, he’s also acted in a score of movies, most notably, Training Day, Baby Boy, Old School, Starsky & Hutch and, most recently, Scary Movie 5. Here, he talks about his latest screen outing as Smooth Move in Turbo, an animated adventure about a snail who dreams of entering the Indianapolis 500.

Kam Williams: Hi Snoop, thanks for the interview. 
Snoop Dogg: My pleasure, Kam.

KW: What interested you in Turbo?
SD: Well I’ve wanted to do a family movie for a while now. Being able to watch a movie with my family and some of the kids from my Snoop Youth Football League has always been a goal of mine, so when David Soren reached out to me about {Turbo} I was all for it. And my character is a smooth little snail…I thought it was a cool concept.

KW: How would you describe Smoove Move?
SD: He’s a slick little guy. He’s calm and cool just like me.

KW: Did you base your approach to the character on anybody?
SD: I based him on myself because the character was written for me.

KW: How would you compare doing voice work for an animated film to appearing onscreen in a live action adventure?
SD: The process for doing voice work goes by much quicker as opposed to shooting a feature. You can pretty much go in and knock it out in a day or two. It feels very natural for me to express myself using only my voice, so it wasn’t too difficult.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from Turbo?
SD: I think they will be inspired and in a good mood. It’s a fun, family movie.

KW: Why did you change your name to Snoop Lion?
SD: My name was given to me. I didn’t just decide to change it one day. But I ran with it to reflect a more peaceful and positive attitude for my new Reincarnated project. The Snoop Dogg name is so connected to hip-hop, and I didn’t want to change that. Hip-hop raised me, and I would never turn my back on it.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Snoop, and good luck with Turbo.
SD: Thanks, Kam.

To see a trailer for Turbo, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-L5bzwdpVI

Kam Williams

Special to the AFRO