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Throughout the history of rap, few artists have been as universally loved and respected like Snoop Dogg, who has enjoyed one of the more tenured and successful careers the public has bared witness to. Since emerging on to the rap scene in 1992 with his appearances alongside Dr. Dre on the Deep Cover soundtrack's title track, as well as his show-stealing performance on The Chronic, Snoop has captured the attention of rap fans time and time again with his laconic flow, fluid delivery and lyrical wit.
No stranger to controversy or backlash, which he endured throughout the early years of his career -- particularly while being tried on a murder charge -- Snoop has managed to win over many of his detractors with his knack for humor and unabashed charm. These aspects of his personality have bled over into his music videos. The bulk of them find him reinventing himself as some sort of fictional character and have made for a number of classic moments that have helped solidify his standing as not only one of the best, but most entertaining rap artists of all time.
To help celebrate Snoop's 47th birthday, REVOLT takes a look back at nine of the most cinematic videos the Doggfather has released throughout his career that fully capture his essence and gregarious personality.
1. "Doggy Dogg World"
The first instance of Snoop getting in character was in the music video for his Doggystyle single, "Doggy Dogg World," which serves as a nod to the stars of the blaxploitation era. Playing the role of a pimp/musical performer named Silky Slim, "Doggy Dogg World" captures Snoop in full playa mode. He takes the stage while rocking a full-length suit with a fur collar and fur cufflinks, while backed by R&B greats The Dramatics. The video also features cameos from the likes of Antonio Fargas, Pam Grier, Ron O'Neal, Fred Williamson, Fred Berry; all of whom get into character for this star-studded affair.
2. "Murder Was The Case"
In 1994, Snoop released the music video for "Murder Was the Case," a soundtrack cut from the short-film of the same name. Inspired by the rapper's real-life trial for the murder of Phillip Woldermarian, "Murder Was the Case" finds Snoop on the wrong side of the gun, as the rapper is gunned down in cold blood before being rushed to a local hospital and making a deal with the devil in exchange for eternal life. Directed by Fab 5 Freddy and Dr. Dre, the "Murder Was the Case" music video is as cinematic as it gets and serves as a precursor to future sinister roles like his starring role in the film Bones.
3. "Snoop's Upside Ya Head"
In the music video for Tha Doggfather single "Snoop's Upside Ya Head," Snoop escapes an execution and helps save a live news reporter, before taking the police on a high speed chase. While Snoop is ultimately arrested, the video -- which also stars actor Vincent Schiavelli as the prison warden -- depicts Snoop as an inmate rocking the stage in the prison mess hall twenty five years after the fact.
In the accompanying music video for Snoop Dogg's 1997 single "Doggfather," the Long Beach rep assumes the persona of a 1940s' gangster with actor David Foley, who plays the owner of a lavish nightclub, as well as his foil. Shot in black and white, the "Doggfather" music video wins off the strength of Snoop and Foley's comedic moments and its vintage mafioso aesthetic, the latter of which would later go on to become a common theme in the rapper's visuals.
5. "G Bedtime Stories"
Snoop's flair for the dramatic saw an uptick with the rapper's transition from Death Row Records to Master P's No Limit Records in 1998, as the rapper released and appeared in multiple films during his tenure with the label. For the music video for his No Limit Top Dogg album, Snoop called in director Gee Bee to help him create his eerie take on Slick Rick's own "Children's Story." The rapper was spinning tales, while clad in a robe and puffing a pipe, as a group of children evaded ghouls and ghosts' capture.
6. "Snoop Dogg (What's My Name Pt. 2)"
Having presented himself as a gangbanger, a smooth crime boss, and a pimp; Snoop brings all three incarnations together in the music video for "Snoop Dogg (What's My Name Pt. 2)," the lead-single from the rapper's fifth studio album, Tha Last Meal. Although the video -- which was directed by Chris Robinso -- captures Snoop in his natural state, all three of his characters make cameos throughout the clip. This was prime evidence of the west coast legend's willingness to get into character for the sake of the public's entertainment.
7. "Lay Low"
Snoop plays the role of a crime boss in the mafioso-inspired music video for "Lay Low," a single from the rapper's 2000 album, Tha Last Meal. Directed by Hype Williams, the clip finds Snoop and costars Master P, Nate Dogg, Butch Cassidy and Tha Eastsidaz defying the orders from a made man. This guy advises the crew to "lay low" and stay out of the club. Conducting business and wreaking havoc on employees and patrons, Snoop and his syndicate performance in the "Lay Low" video brings to mind classic films like Casino and Goodfellas albeit with a west coast twist.
8. "From Tha Chuuucch To The Palace"
In the music video for "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace," Snoop's day takes an unexpected turn when a young fan of the rapper's get his hands on a Snoop Dogg action figure, which just happens to be an actual voodoo doll. Directed by Diane Martel and featuring cameos from Tony Cox, Tommy Davidson, and Lauren London; the clip shows the child unknowingly controlling Snoop's bodily movements. This causes Snoop to wreak havoc throughout the streets of L.A. and even evade arrest. This makes the video among the rapper's most imaginative visuals in his videography.
9. "Sexual Eruption"
Snoop channels the spirit of musical legends Roger Troutman and Prince in the accompanying clip for "Sexual Eruption," the lead-single from the Doggfather's ninth studio album, Ego Trippin'. Directed by Melina and produced by Steven Johnson, the video pays homage to music videos from the 1970s - 1980s and "When Doves Cry." It features Snoop playing a keytar and using a talkbox, as well as wearing an array of vintage outfits from yesteryear.
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