If you thought that Snoop Dogg was the top dogg in the 1990s, think again. The 51-year-old rapper recently opened up about a time when none other than Dionne Warwick — legendary vocalist and unofficial queen of Twitter — once put him in his place. Or as he puts it, “out-gangstered” him.
In the new CNN film Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, the “Heartbreaker” singer and Snoop recalled a time when she set up a meeting with a group of prominent ’90s rappers after deciding she’d had enough of the misogynistic lyrics notoriously present in the decade’s rap canon. The “Drop It Like It’s Hot” artist, Suge Knight and more were invited to arrive at her home no later than 7 in the morning — a prospect so intimidating, Snoop says he and his peers were all in her driveway by 6:52 a.m.
“We were kind of, like, scared and shook up,” Snoop said. “We’re powerful right now, but she’s been powerful forever. Thirty-some years in the game, in the big home with a lot of money and success.”
Once they arrived, the rappers were confronted by Warwick, who demanded they call her a “b—h” to her face. After all, that was the term many of them had been using to describe women in their lyrics.
“These kids are expressing themselves, which they’re entitled to do,” Warwick recalled thinking at the time. “However, there’s a way to do it.”
“You guys are all going to grow up,” she told the group. “You’re going have families. You’re going to have children. You’re going to have little girls, and one day that little girl is going to look at you and say, ‘Daddy, did you really say that? Is that really you?’ What are you going to say?”
“She was checking me at a time when I thought we couldn’t be checked,” added Snoop, who actually did go on to welcome a daughter in addition to three sons. “We were the most gangsta as you could be, but that day at Dionne Warwick’s house, I believe we got out-gangstered that day.”
The Death Row Records owner says he was then inspired to change his musical approach, starting with his 1996 record Tha Doggfather. “I made it a point to put records of joy – me uplifting everybody and nobody dying and everybody living,” he continued. “Dionne, I hope I became the jewel that you saw when I was the little, dirty rock that was in your house. I hope I’m making you proud.”