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You get down past LAX, moving on through Torrance and over by the oil refinery right off the side of the road in Commerce, with flames shooting right out the motherfucking smokestacks, like the devil smoking chronic. Then you hit the straightaway coming up on Signal Hill and maybe you get a look at the Queen Mary in the harbor off in the distance, but you don't think to stop. You'll just be moving through, getting past nowhere on your way to somewhere else.
But if you took the time to turn off one of those exits and drop down through all those side streets of one-family homes and mom- and-pop liquor stores and schoolyard hoops, down around Lewis Avenue or Corinth Street or on out Twentieth right through the east side of Long Beach, you'd be crossing the border, the demilitarized noman's-land, into my world.
Take a look around-there's no place like it on the planet, and even though it might seem like any other urban battle zone in any other ghetto 'hood from here to D.C., this is my 'hood and no one could be prouder of where they call home than I am of Long Beach, California.
I expect most people feel that way about the place they come from, whether you were born in a city or a small town, a castle or a shack. When you're a kid that's your world, and everything you know, from horizon to horizon, is situated right there. And when people think of the ghettos of Los Angeles, they most likely fix on the famous ones--Watts orCompton--where brothers burn shit down and got attitude. But, for me, those places are just names on a map, exit ramps I drive past to get where I'm going. For me, Long Beach'll always be the one place where I know I can always come back, no matter how far off I've gone or how long I've been away.
Long Beach may not be much to look at, at least not the east side, which was my turf growing up. Neighbors along the block tried to keep their front lawns mowed and their fences painted, store owners knew the names of their regular customers, and you could always get into a pickup game down in the schoolyard at Roosevelt or Lafayette or Cleveland Elementary. But, aside from that, you probably wouldn't give it another thought. It was like any other town at the edge of a big city, where whites moved on and left the streets to the blacks. But Long Beach was my home, my 'hood. I loved it, and I always will.
That might seem strange, speaking about the ghetto like that. Most of the time, you hear about people trying to get away from places like the east side of Long Beach, moving out and up to a more respectable address and leaving their roots behind. And, sure enough, these days, I don't live in Long Beach myself. Part of that has got to do with the 'hood not being the way it used to be, the way I remember it growing up. Part of it has to do with me changing and growing and moving on. But I never thought of my hometown as a place I had to escape from. I'm part of it, and it's part of me ... the best part, the part I'm proudest of.
The family I came up in, the homies I ran with, the secrets I kept, and the lessons I learned: those are the things that make a man who he is, and the man I am found his way on the streets of Long Beach.
People think living in the ghetto is all about misery-about rats and roaches, crime and poverty. And we had all that, but we never cried about our place and felt sorry for each other. We never whined or complained or looked at what someone else had and wanted to take it away. We were proud of where we lived, and we took all, the good and bad together, because that's the way it came to us. You deal with what you got and in Long Beach, California, what you've got is identity-a place where you belong and people you belong to.
That's how I remember it, anyway. And, if the 'hood didn't exactly stay the same as it was back in the day, then it's up to the youngbloods out there now to make it into the place they want it to be. A 'hood is only as good as the friends and neighbors who call it home. And I was blessed to be born in Long Beach.
That event came to pass at the Los Altos Hospital on October 20, 1971. 1 was the second of three boys born to Beverly Broadus, who herself had come out to California years before looking for a life a little better than the one she knew as a sharecropper's daughter in McComb, Mississippi.
It was back in McComb that my mama first met my daddy, Vernall Varnado, himself a son of the Deep South who was also looking for a way out. I still have a lot of family down that way, both my grandmothers and a few aunts and uncles, but growing up, McComb, Mississippi, might as well have been on the dark side of the moon. Like I said, my world ended at Long Beach city limits.
I do remember a trip we took out that way when I was a few years old, though. The recollections are dim, but a picture of all that flat farmland laid out as far as the eye could see is still fresh in my mind.
Copyright 1999 by Calvin Broadus
Posted February 20, 2003
This waz tha best book i have ever read...and ive read a few books....but this waz tha best outtah every book...BUY THIS BOOK!..its about the best rapper ive heard "tha king of tha coast" SNOOP DOGGY DOGG....Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2003
I love that cute little childhood name that your Mom gave you. Congratulation on the success of your book. Now, let me keep it straight with you. I loved reading every word of your book, and there are so many things about your book I'd like to say begining with the words "Fist of all", but instead I'll start by saying, thank you so much for being straightforward and for keeping it real. I feel that you did an "outstanding" job on your first book. Because it couldn't have been easy expressing so many personal experiences in your life. Your mother, wife, family and friends must be "very" proud of you. And to be honest...I am too. Really! Because even though I grew up in the hood in the 70's...I could identify with some of your experiences. And speaking of your friends, Warren G and Nate Dogg are really your "true" friends, and that's a valuble thing. I feel that your book helps explain the facts and fictions of life to all of us, young and old, and it is such a pleasure to hear it from a young, observant, intelligent, man such as yourself. Hey! It would be nice to read a second book or perhaps see a movie of this book. At any rate, like I mentioned earlier...there are many other things to say, but I wont't be greedy so take care of your precious family and keep up the good work!!! :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2002
Snoop Dogg ¿ I know what your all thinking, that this book is just sex drugs and rap but apparently you haven¿t taken the time to see the real Snoop Dogg and who he is behind the cameras and off the stage. This book has shown me there is more to rap music then meets the eye. Snoop has had a harder life then anyone I have ever known, this book also made me realize that I have an easy life and I should be very great full for everything I have. Snoop has gone through many hard knocks and bumps in his road of life and yet overcome them all, he is an inspiration to me and has given me a new respect for the people who aren¿t living the great life. Snoop Dogg has earned every penny he has ever had and he deserves all the luxuries he has today. With his Beverly Hills mansion, his many cars and his top of the line everything, he still has his ghetto roots and he will never forget where he came from. He has overcome so much in his many years and finally clawed his way to the top of the charts. I recommend that every single person in America read this book, it is a real eye opener to the way things are in the ghetto and it will keep your face stuck in the seams waiting to hear what bumps and knocks Snoop endures in the pages to come. This is a great book to take you away from your ordinary life and it takes you straight into the life of a ghetto child.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2002
Snoop made me think about life a whole nother way than throw my eyes. and made me think that even know i grew up in Detroit it dosent mean i have to have a hate for people from a diffrent place. and after i left Detroit for Montana with my mom i thought i would hate every one there just because they where from another place and snoop should that it is not where there from but who they are.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2002
Posted October 13, 2001
Posted May 5, 2001
My teenage son wanted to read this book. I purchased it for him, but before allowing him to read it I read it (because of the reputation that rap has). I finished this book with a respect for Snoop Dogg. I was happy to give it to my son. He tells it straight, like it is, not how most kids think it is!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2001
Posted December 10, 2000
I don't like to read and I actully liked this book.Snoop is one of the best rappers and it is all about his life. From the ghetto selling drugs to big house and makeing cd's.Most of the book is about his life before he was a star and what it took to become the rapper he is today.If you like snoop you will love this even if you hate to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2000
Im not much of a reader but my friend told me I had to read this book. It really gets you thinking about Snoop's life and what he went through and how he made to the top. One element that really gets you thinking is that Snoop makes sure you know whats going on around him. How the world is changing and how his life got that way.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2000
There is not much to say about this autobiography except Snoop keeps it real from cover to cover. His in depth discussions of life growing up as a west gang banger and the rap industry he was incorporated with provide the reader with vivid illustrations of 'real' life. Even if you are not the least bit interested with rap music, it should not be a factor, it is a 'must' read. This book depicts the real hardcore times, trials, and hardcore truths of Snoop Dogg.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2000
This book gives a great insite to the life and time of a a great artist. It shows the ups and down of Snoop Doggs rap game and home life. If you are a true Snoop Dogg fan or just a lover of the rap game you will like this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2000
NOT ONLY IS SNOOP DOGG A GREAT RAPPER, BUT HE ALSO HAS A WAY WITH WORDS. HIS BOOK SURPRISED ME. HE SPEAKS SO WELL WITH WORDS. IT'S THE TYPE OF BOOK I COULD READ OVER AND OVER. I THINK ONCE PEOPLE READ THIS THEY WILL RESPECT HIM NOT ONLY AS AN ARTIST BUT AS RAPPER. CAUSE MY BABY'S THE BOMB. AND I'M SICK OF ANY KIND OF RACES HATIN ON HIM. HE'S THE BEST AT WHAT HE DOES. THIS BOOK WILL LET YOU SEE HIM IN A WHOLE NEW WAY. A TRUE FAN SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. I WISH HIM MUCH SUCCESS. YOUR TRUE #1 FAN, FOR LIFE.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2000
Tha Dogg father is the DOPEST book i have ever read.If your a fan of Snoop Dogg youll love the book.It says everything about Snoop; how he became snoop doggy dogg,and even says stuff about 2PAC.The book is off tha Hook!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 5, 2000
Posted March 28, 2000
I was waiting for my mom at Barnes and Noble for her to get a book but i wasn't because iv never really liked reading a whole lot, but while i was waiting, i saw tha book about snoop and picked it up because im a big fan of snoop, when i was looking at the book i started to read while i was waiting for my mom, it took her about 30 minutes so i read tha book the whole time, when she was ready to leave i had her get me the book because i coulden't put it down after i started reading it.Out of a scale of 10, i would give this book a 20.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2000
I am a 52-year-old, white upper middle class lawyer who has never listened to a rap song from start to finish in his entire life. I started perusing Tha Doggfather one day before Christmas in a Barnes & Noble bookstore. I was intrigued enough to buy the book. I finally got around to reading it during the past week, and can honestly say it's one of the best books I've ever read. Snoop says 'Anything that's got the ring of truth, you got to deal with one way or the other.' And this book is the author's truth. I am struck by how different our lives have been, but how much we seem the same. Although I do not agree with all of Snoop Dogg's views, after reading the book I can truly say that I respect them. I recommend the book highly, particularly to readers who are not part of Snoop Doggy Dogg's culture.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 24, 2000
This is one of the best books i've ever read, talks about Snoop's entire life, from a dealer/hustler to a No Limit Soldier Millionaire. tells the real story behind the life of one of the best rappers to have ever lived.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2000
While I found this book very good and well written, It did leave me wondering about Snoop. I have been a Snoop fan every since 187, Snoop caught my attention then and I have always bought any cd with Snoop on it. The thing that bothered me about Snoop was his portrayal of white people. I grew up in a white middle class family that worked hard for everything we got. I played a lot of ball, even through college and never once saw a difference between black and white. Snoop generalizes all whites. Basically saying all whites have it made and that all whites, and blacks for that matter, are racist. This dissappointed me about Snoop because I thought he was down with all people, black or white. One statement that really got me was when he said 'while white youngbloods were playing soccer and going to church camp, black youngbloods were car jacking and gangbangin'.' I never played soccer and never went to church camp. I know a lot of blacks from the 'hood' that did not car jack or gangbang. I think Snoop should be more open minded and realize that black and white have a lot more in common than he thinks. Overall though, I think it was a great book and I am still a Snoop fan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 18, 2000