Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. (born October 20, 1972), better known by his stage name Snoop Dogg (previously Snoop Doggy Dogg), is a Grammy Award-nominated American rapper, record producer, and actor. Snoop is best known as an MC in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of producer Dr. Dre's most notable protégés.
His mother nicknamed him "Snoopy" as a child because of the way he dressed and because of his love of the cartoon Peanuts. When he began recording, he took the stage name Snoop Doggy Dogg. He shortened his name to Snoop Dogg in 1998 when he left his original record label Death Row Records and signed with No Limit Records. He popularized the catch phrase suffix "-izzle," a slang term developed by Oakland, California rap group 3X Krazy in the mid-1990s and used by Bay Area rapper E-40.
Snoop Dogg was born in Long Beach, California, the son of Beverly Tate and Vernell Varnado, who was a singer and postal worker. Snoop mentioned in his reality show, Snoop Dogg's Father Hood that his uncle was influential in his parents moving to Los Angeles from Southern Mississippi. At an early age, he began singing in Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church and playing piano; when he was in sixth grade, he began rapping. Snoop Dogg attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, then changed to Lindhberg High School and was later convicted for cocaine trafficking and served six months at the Wayside County Jail. Snoop Dogg was a member of a local Crips gang in Long Beach. Snoop Dogg's conviction caused him to be in and out of prison for the first three years after he graduated from high school. He thus followed up on the homemade rap tapes that he had made with his cousin Nate Dogg and best friend Warren G (stepbrother of Dr. Dre of N.W.A). Originally, Snoop's and Nate's cousin Lil' ½ Dead was also part of the group, called 213, named after the Long Beach area code at the time. One of his early solo freestyle over En Vogue's "Hold on" had made it to a mixtape, which was heard by Dr. Dre, who phoned to invite him to an audition. Former N.W.A member The D.O.C. taught him how to structure his lyrics and separate the thematics into verses, hooks and chorus. Several of his cousins also became hip hop artists and Aftermath collaborators, including RBX, Joe Cool, and his cousins, Nate Dogg and Daz Dillinger.