Tha Doggfather; The Times, Trials, and Hardcore Truths of Snoop Dogg


This is a tale of a young man's struggle against a system that consigned him to a destiny of poverty, crime, and hopelessness from birth. Set against the mean streets of L.A.'s South Bay 'hoods, the book is populated by a cast of vivid characters, including Tupac Shakur, Snoop's one true friend and musical soulmate, cut down at the beginning of a brilliant career, and Suge Knight, whose Death Row Records brought street-level credibility?and gangland tactics?into the corporate ...

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This is a tale of a young man's struggle against a system that consigned him to a destiny of poverty, crime, and hopelessness from birth. Set against the mean streets of L.A.'s South Bay 'hoods, the book is populated by a cast of vivid characters, including Tupac Shakur, Snoop's one true friend and musical soulmate, cut down at the beginning of a brilliant career, and Suge Knight, whose Death Row Records brought street-level credibility—and gangland tactics—into the corporate suites of the entertainment industry.

From the Crip gang members who recruited Snoop virtually off the playground to the pimps and players, whores and hustlers who formed his extended family on the streets and behind prison walls, Tha Doggfather offers a scathing, unexpurgated look at life on the edge in a modern urban jungle. Snoop's rise to the pinnacle of rap stardom is chronicled, along with his nearly career-ending arrest and trial for a murder he didn't commit.

Raised to the pinnacle, brought to the brink, Snoop Dogg eventually found sanity and salvation in his relationship with Shantay Taylor, his high school sweetheart. Married in 1997, the couple started a new life with their two young sons, even as Snoop's career reached new heights in his creative collaboration with Master P and No Limit Records.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Straight Dope from Snoop Dogg

In his own words, raw and up-front, Snoop describes his ascent to the pinnacle of musical success and the O.G. legacy that nearly earned him a murder rap. Just as Snoop lives large, his world is populated by larger-than-life characters and talents: Dr. Dre; Suge Knight; Master P; and Tupac Shakur, Snoop's musical soul mate and one true friend, whose loss cuts deep. The observations are sharp. The language is blistering. The story is real.

Rapper Snoop Dogg has been doing a lot of soul-searching lately, as indicated in his new autobiography, Tha Doggfather. Co-penned with writer Davin Seay, the 229-page cruise through Snoop's ghetto-fabulous life is shot up with a pocketful of maxims. For Snoop, each life experience documented yielded not only a great lot of wisdom but also a knowledge of the world and himself. And for the sake of brevity, Snoop chose a set of his life's moments that left the strongest impressions on him, leaving out, we imagine, countless others. But what results is a smooth ride, minus a lot of fluff and circumstance.

Snoop tells us his upbringing was typical of many black boys growing up in Long Beach, California. His dad deserted the family while he was very young, and his mother and a host of transient boyfriends fathered him through adolescence. Although there's no early indication of Snoop's lyrical prowess -- he never seemed to pick up a book -- his father and mother bequeathed him a love of soul music.

His experiences with black adult males was as alien to him as his experiences with whites. Prior to entering high school, Snoop and his friends spent a summer selling candy in the affluent white suburbs, and it is there that Snoop develops his first taste of race distinctions. "White people have what you might call an attitude of entitlement. They expect things to come their way, go their way, and get out of their way. White people have got nothing if they don't have self-esteem," Snoop writes.

How does Snoop further perceive his experiences as a black boy selling candy in a white neighborhood? "You might say that job I had selling candy was like a training program to get me ready for the next step up the ladder of financial success," he writes. Which was, of course, drug dealing. "It's no wonder pimps and hustlers and gangstas are the heroes of the 'hood. They're the ones that got their props the old-fashioned way -- they took them." Snoop's corner drug-dealing days land him two trips to jail, and a boot out of his mother's house.

There are virtually no school memories -- though he does tell us in detail of how he lost his virginity. We learn that he did hold down a job at a supermarket and went around with a few friends rapping, but basically, Snoop did very little through high school except get high, sell drugs, hang around, and join gangs. Interestingly, he is quick to dispel the myth of gangs, saying anyone could've joined.

The biggest irony of Snoop's story is that aside from a few jam sessions with Warren G, there is no indication that Snoop would be the musical star that he is. But he admits, he never had the self-confidence to pursue music, let alone the desire -- until a fateful gig in a hotel room during his crack-selling heyday in September 1988. "Rapping did something for me that nothing else ever had -- it was like I'd had an itch way down deep on the inside someplace that I'd never been able to scratch. For the first time in my life I knew exactly where I was going."

His career, it seems, steamrolls ahead following that historic party gig where he first rapped for an audience. Warren G hooks him up with cousin Dr. Dre, and the rest is history. And, of course, Snoop manages better than two of his closest associates at the time, Tupac Shakur, who was later killed, and Suge Knight, who is now in prison.

At 28, Snoop Dogg has a wealth of wisdom. But as anyone who knows Snoop's music will attest, he is not known for his lyrics; it's his laconic flow that made his first record, 1993's "Doggstyle," the first rap album to enter the charts at No. 1. Which is what makes Tha Doggfather so special. Here the self-effacing, reserved man gives everything he was unable to turn into a rhyme. These are words to live by -- and survive by.

—Kevin Giordano

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this cross between a memoir and a manifesto, rapper Snoop Dogg (aka Calvin Broadus) saves discussions of his hip-hop career until the book's last quarter. For most of the book, he delivers candid thoughts and colorful anecdotes from his upbringing in Long Beach, Calif., to his time as a gangbanger, jailed drug dealer, musician and cultural lightning rod, all told in lucid prose that maintains the inflections of street talk. When Snoop does reach the part of his life with which his fans might be familiar, he has become so likable that readers will cheer for his professional success and acquittal on murder charges. Certainly Snoop has his unapologetic moments: he rants, "until you can give them [inner city youth] something better to belong to--and I'm not talking about midnight basketball or summer jobs or junior fucking achievers--they're going to be shooting at each other." But beneath this bluster is an introspection rare among the celebrity class. Snoop wonders, "What did it all [partying] have to do with making music?" He explains: "I wanted my life to be like one of those action movie previews we saw down at the multiplex--all the highlights singled out and strung together... but I don't have to tell you that most of those movies turn out to be a ripoff." Like the verses Snoop raps, his book comes fast and full of insight. 25 photos. (Dec.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Like all cultural innovations, rap music was disdained when it first entered mainstream consciousness--not only because of its unorthodox sound but also due to its ghetto origins and its accessibility: anyone with a beat-up turntable and an imagination could alarm the establishment with funky beats. Now, 20 years later, rap maintains its vitality--even though it is used to sell everything from fast food to automobiles. This book, written by one of the genre's most influential artists, explores the factors that shaped the music. According to Snoop Dogg, rap speaks to a generation of underprivileged children, often raised in families without a stable father figure and in front of a TV that emphasized the difference between the glamour of Dallas and the harsh reality of the 'hood. Whether he's describing his drug and criminal activities, hanging with rap's baddest brothers, or his views on race, this book, like his music, keeps it real. Not for the faint of heart, this book still belongs in most big city libraries.--Dan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Federation, Curwensville, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688171582
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/15/1999
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Davin Seay has coauthored numerous books, including, most recently, Hello Charlie with Charles Hess and In Justice with David Iglesias. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

You'll be driving down the freeway, the 405 from L.A., through O.C., on down to San Diego. Maybe you're heading to Disneyland with a carful of kids. Or maybe you and your homies are out to have some kind of illegal fun, 'cross the border in Tijuana.

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

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    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....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    Hey " Snoopy"! :)

    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!!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    A True Dogg for life

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2002

    you made me think

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2002

    Tightest Book

    best book i have read ever. if you like snoop read this book. Pe@ce!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2001


    The only thing i can say is that this book is amazing...i love snoop and wish him the best! He is good at what he does and should be respected by everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001

    Snoop is Rolling Down the Street Sober This Time

    Snoop Dogg can tell a story in his raps, and he does the same here in this tale about his life growing up and his life as a star!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2000

    Best book i have read!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2000

    This book really gets you thinking

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2000

    True To The Game

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2000

    Tha greatest book

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2000



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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2000

    The DOPEST Book

    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!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2000


    Snoop is brilliant in this great life story. Snoop Dogg has been my inspiration to music and life since the days of Death Row.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2000

    Tha Snoop book

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    The Rap on Tha Doggfather

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2000

    Tha truth about da NO LIMIT TOP DOGG

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2000

    real deal

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2000

    Snoop Dogg:The Horny Devil

    I think this book was very touching and it made me cry.I also liked it because it reminded me of 2pac Shakur who is my hero and so is Snoop of course.

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