By MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Snoop Dogg’s Super Bowl week is almost as busy as that of the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots players competing on Sunday.
He headlined BET’s Super Bowl Gospel Celebration and debuted music from his upcoming gospel album on Thursday. He held a screening for his new Netflix series, “Coach Snoop,” on Friday. And he was to work as the DJ of Playboy’s Big Game Weekend Party in Minneapolis, where the game is being played, on Saturday.
Snoop Dogg is so popular that NFL icon Deion Sanders was extra excited when he saw the entertainer at Friday’s event.
“I can’t wait to see ‘Coach Snoop,'” Sanders exclaimed. “You know what I told them, ‘See, rapping is what he do. Coach Snoop is who he is.'”
Snoop Dogg, born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., has coached a youth football league for years. The new series, which debuted Friday, follows the former gangster rapper guiding at-risk kids and helping them focus on their goals.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the rapper, who released a reggae album under the moniker Snoop Lion in 2013, talks about coaching, his favorite mentors, his advice to young rappers and his upcoming gospel album, “Bible of Love.”
AP: What can we expect from “Coach Snoop”?
Snoop Dogg: This show is like, it’s an emotional roller coaster. There will be tears of sympathy, tears of sadness, tears of joy. You’ll follow these kids, you’ll follow me and these coaches and the backdrop to everything, the goals we try to instill in them to want to be better people, not just better football players. And football is just the avenue that we ride down in order to get our message across.
AP: What has coaching taught you?
Snoop Dogg: It was a transformation as far as being a rapper to a football coach. All the things I couldn’t say as a rapper, I could say as a coach. So it was like another phase and step in my life as far as growing and becoming the full-grown man I became. Once football became a part of my life my manhood became different, as far as being a father, a husband, just a better man in general.
AP: Who were the mentors that helped you succeed?
Snoop Dogg: Charlie Wilson was a big mentor to me. Bootsy Collins. These guys helped me with my personal life, not just my music career. They’ve been real uncles to me — (they) tell me when I’m wrong, steer me in my direction to go back home, help me out when I’m lost. A lot of times when we become big, we don’t have nobody to check us, to get us back right because we become uncheckable. But when you got somebody in your life who don’t mind telling you when you are wrong and don’t mind standing on top of it no matter how big you are, and you respect that, that’s what I’ve been able to get out those two brothers my whole career. Charlie and Bootsy have been more uncles to me than I’ve been to the whole industry.
AP: Which team do you want to see win Sunday?
Snoop Dogg: You know, I’m a (Pittsburgh) Steelers fan. I just root for players once my team gets knocked out. I have homies on both teams, but at the same time if they win (New England Patriots owner) Mr. Kraft sure loves paying Snoop Dogg. I ain’t even going to act like I don’t like their money. Mr. Kraft sure love getting that money for me. Robert, how you doing?!
AP: What was it like performing your gospel music alongside other gospel artists?
Snoop Dogg: I don’t never be nervous to perform onstage, but I was nervous onstage to perform at that — this is gospel, this is church. These people, boy they would shoot you down if your game ain’t together … they would throw the Bible at you … ‘I can’t believe he got up there and did … .’ I said, ‘Hold on now. Let me get my thing together.’ I shook that nervousness, though.
… Donnie McClurkin (came) over to me when I finished performing, and he looked me into my eyes and said, ‘If you weren’t rapping, brother, you’d be preaching.’ I said, ‘My granny said the same thing!’ That’s cold when Donnie said it.
AP: It’s been 25 years since your debut album was released. What advice do you have for young rappers starting to find success?
Snoop Dogg: Just stay true to who you are. One thing about Snoop Dogg is he never changed, he stayed who he was despite the many albums and phases I went through. I stayed the same person. Whatever you’re going through in this industry remain who you are and stay true to who you are and respect those despite them being bigger or smaller than you because you never know when the roles will be reversed.
“Coach Snoop”: https://www.netflix.com/title/80157137