SXSW Keynote: Snoop Dogg

D-O-double-G Keynizzle

The grumbling began as soon as the keynote announcement was made. The old guard wanted Dylan. Instead, on Friday morning, they got the Doggfather.

Photo by Gary Miller

Photo by Gary Miller

Predictions that no one cared to hear from the Long Beach rapper born Calvin Broadus were off the mark as the Austin Convention Center ballroom reached capacity before the start of the wake-and-bake conversation. Sporting a crisp dress shirt, gray sweater vest and bowtie, the D-O-double-G looked dapper while dishing on everything from weed to Reaganomics.

When not blatantly pushing his latest media projects or boasting about his leadership qualities, Snoop was insightful, funny, and charming. It’s a shame the interview was conducted by his manager Ted Chung who, while polished and professional, gave the appearance that this was little more than a carefully crafted infomercial.

One piece of real news to emerge from the interview was the announcement that Snoop is developing a drama with HBO that centers on the influx of drugs and gun violence in Los Angeles neighborhoods in the Eighties. Producer Allen Hughes (Menace II Society) and writer Rodney Barnes (The Boondocks) have reportedly signed on as well.

“When Reaganomics kicked in, certain things got taken away – after school programs and things of that nature,” Snoop explained. “It was a shift from having fun and playing football to selling drugs and shooting at each other. To me, it was a system that was designed because once Reaganomics began, that’s when this began.”

Snoop’s team was smart enough to know that any Austin audience can be won over with a good Willie Nelson story. The odd couple spent 4/20 together in Amsterdam one year playing dominoes (“Willie was kickin’ my ass!”), and venturing to the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-through for a munchie run.

“I don’t know why people think me and Willie have nothing in common. We like animals, we like good music, and we both like grass.”

Snoop’s forthcoming album Bush was entirely produced by Pharrell, another kindred spirit and the man behind his crossover hits “Beautiful” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

“The mothership is reconnected,” he said of the new project. “It’s a ride through the funkmosphere.”

It’s been more than 20 years since Snoop first barked onto the scene with G-funk classic Doggystyle, but Uncle Snoop continues to reinvent and remains as relevant as ever.

“I always keep my ear to the street and my feet to the pavement.”

Photo by Gary Miller


Complete SXSW Music coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw/music

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Tanya Tagaq Owns Fusebox Music
Tanya Tagaq Owns Fusebox Music
Inuit throat singer reanimates Nanook of the North

Raoul Hernandez, April 3, 2015

Playback: Upholding the Code
Playback: Upholding the Code
Keeping SXSW safe selectively?

Kevin Curtin, April 3, 2015

More by Thomas Fawcett
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Dallas Acid blows some bubbles, KUTX remembers the Armadillo, and more music for the moment

Aug. 14, 2020

Colombian Folkloric Post-Punks Nemegata Drop Four-Star Debut
Colombian Folkloric Post-Punks Nemegata Drop Four-Star Debut
Local trio finds the fire of the jaguar

July 3, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Snoop Dogg, SXSW Music 2015, Pharrell Williams, Allen Hughes, Rodney Barnes, Menace II Society, Doggystyle, HBO, Willie Nelson

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle