Snoop Dogg switches gears for gentler "Seduction"

Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:18pm EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Gail Mitchell

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - When Snoop Dogg hit CNN's "Larry King Live" February 1, the segment may have brought into focus everything that's working for the rapper-turned-singer these days.

For starters, his electro-funk, '80s-influenced new hit, "Sensual Seduction," played in the background as Snoop took the talk show host to the Los Angeles hangout Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles.

The track is shaping into one of the fastest-climbing crossover hits of his career. After just 14 weeks on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, "Seduction" resides at No. 8, and claims the No. 7 rung on the Hot 100. The song's clever, retro-themed video is reaping its share of attention on the usual video channels and, perhaps more important, is a massive viral hit on YouTube. The heat the single has generated pushed the release date for Snoop's new Doggy Style/Geffen/Interscope album, "Ego Trippin'," up from May to March 11.

'I DON'T CATEGORIZE'

Also present on that King segment was Snoop's charisma and charm. When King ordered an "Arnold Palmer" -- a mix of lemonade and iced tea named for the golfer who drank it -- Snoop immediately coined "The Tiger Woods" (lemonade and water). And when King was shuffled off by his handlers, Snoop eyed the talk show host's substantial leftovers and asked for -- what else? -- a doggy bag.

"Larry is live, down to earth," Snoop says. "A lot of people were like, 'This is going to be awkward: an old white guy and this young black man.' But it felt natural, like we've known each other 40 to 50 years. I get with people, do s--t with people. I don't categorize anyone, so everyone feels comfortable with me."

Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus) has been full of surprises during his 15-year transition from gangsta rapper to lovable mainstream artist. That he's been able to tweak and have fun with rap's tough-guy image without losing street or mainstream credibility -- despite well-publicized run-ins with the law over weapons and drugs -- is a singular accomplishment.

Snoop attributes his career evolution to simply being a smart "PIMP": Player Into Making Progress.   Continued...

 
<p>Rapper Snoop Dogg performs during the J.A.M Awards concert in honor of the late hip-hop icon Jam Master Jay and to benefit his Foundation for Music in New York November 29, 2007. When Snoop Dogg hit CNN's "Larry King Live" February 1, the segment may have brought into focus everything that's working for the rapper-turned-singer these days. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>