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A Dogg's life.

Byline: By JO MANNING South Wales Echo

He was the embodiment of gangsta rap, was arrested in connection with a murder charge and the Daily Mail wanted him out of the UK on only his first visit here. But despite and perhaps because of those controversies in the mid-1990s, Snoop Dogg - the Long Beach rapper famed for his drawled, laconic rhyming - has prevailed and prospered. Now with a film career gradually fulfilling his ambition to become the 'black Tom Cruise'; clothing, shoe, mobile and grill lines in the offing and his latest album, 2004's R&G (Rhythm and Gangster): The Masterpiece still selling like hotcakes, Snoop Dogg is truly at the top of the rapper-turned-entrepreneur pile.

Although the man himself might claim 'I'm just a regular ol' guy', don't expect anything less than spectacular when Snoop's How The West Was One tour hits the Cardiff International Arena on Sunday, July 3.

Before Snoop's sold-out February concert run of this year with supporting acts, The Game and Flipsyde, there had been a seven-year lapse in European appearances by the big D O double G. Due to the unexpected pandemonium that greeted Snoop at each venue, he was reportedly keen to put together a follow-up tour to try satisfy his beloved fan base.

Backed by his live seven-piece band, the Snoopadelics, DJ Jam, Uncle Reo, June Bug and various other cameo appearances (including one from regular Neptunes collaborator Pharrell Williams earlier this year - keep your fingers crossed he'll show up in Cardiff too), every night is a different show.

Fans should expect Snoop to perform his recent chart-topping hits such as Drop It Like It's Hot and Let's Get Blown as well as his classic hits such as Gin n' Juice, Murder Was The Case and What's My Name, giving his audience a sampling of times past and present.

As for that past, Snoop, now 33, certainly has a colourful one. Nicknamed Snoop by his mother because of his appearance, Calvin Broadus was raised in Long Beach California, where he frequently ran into trouble with the law.

Arrested for possessing cocaine, serving a stint in jail and the member of a notorious gang, Snoop already had a name for himself before teaming up with Dr Dre on Dre's album The Chronic.

After Snoop released his solo debut album in 1993 - Doggystyle - he became the biggest gangsta rap star in the world and during his 1994 UK tour, the tabloids and a Tory minister pleaded for the government to kick the rapper out of the country, largely based on his arrest in connection with the aforementioned murder. He was eventually cleared of all charges relating to the drive-by shooting in 1996.

Now he's one of the more accepted faces of rap and in-between tours he even coaches his 10-year-old son's American football team.

WE'VE got a pair of tickets to give away to Snoop Dogg's gig at Cardiff International Arena on Sunday, July 3. Tickets are priced at pounds 28.50 they're available from 029 2022 4488.

But to be in with a chance of winning just answer the following question: What's the name of Snoop's solo debut album?

Send your answers on a postcard, together with your name, address and daytime telephone number to Snoop Dogg Competition, Ali Stokes, the week, South Wales Echo, Thomson House, Havelock Street, Cardiff, CF10 1XR. The closing date is Thursday, June 30.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 24, 2005
Words:566
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