Like with the Legend of Zelda games, the best version of Snoop Dogg’s name is largely dependent on how old you were when you first became aware of him. Some fans may prefer his old moniker of Snoop Doggy Dogg, others may like his new-ish persona, Snoop Lion, we on the other hand like the simple, yet classy, Snoop Dogg, so that’s how we’re going to refer to him in this piece. Oh yeah, he also freestyled a shit-ton of his songs.
For the decidedly less G fans reading this, freestyling is the act of spontaneusly improvising the lyrics to a song off of the top of one’s fro-topped head. It’s considered an incredibly difficult skill to master and it requires an excpetional level of vocal dexterity, think of the final, or if YouTube is to be believed, only scene in 8 Mile if you’re having trouble picturing what freestyling entails.
Now, it’s not exactly an uncommon skill, but you have to admit, you’d have to be pretty stupid to let someone walk into a recording studio where every second is costing you hundreds of dollars and let them “wing it” instead of, you know, having something, anything written down. Well, stupid, or Snoop Dogg’s manager.
According to rapper, The D.O.C., Snoop was (and presumably still is) a “one take willy”, he’d literally walk into the studio, sing a verse in one take then walk back out. Dr Dre (since every rap song in the 90s involved Dr Dre somehow) would then record the chorus and invite Snoop back in to record another verse, again in one take. He reportedly did this for an entire album and according to The D.O.C., Snoop never had anything written down or needed more than one take. He was apparently, just that good.
Other rappers have gone as far to say that Snoop (originally) couldn’t even be considered a songwriter because he freestyled so much of his early work. Which is kind of like refusing to call a boxer a boxer because he started every fight by punching his opponents face off and flying out of the ring.
We’re not saying Snoop is the best rapper in the world, since we’re nowhere near knowledgeable to make that call, what we are saying though is that Snoop Dogg once recorded an entire album off of the top of his head, probably while he was high as tits. If that isn’t impressive, we don’t know what is.