Snoop Dogg Samples Liberace

Hip Hop legend’s latest production doubles down on the legacy of Mr. Showmanship

Among the most fascinating stories in the world of Hip Hop music and culture is that of Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, better known to the world as Snoop Dogg.

Snoop rose from the streets of 1980’s Long Beach, South Central L.A. and Compton, to the heights of the recording and entertainment industries. Thirty Years in, he has done everything from gansta rap to Disney voice-overs, from Girls Gone Wild to Martha Stewart collaborations. Snoop Dogg enjoys today one of the most diverse repertoires in the entertainment business, and is among the most sought after celebrities.

Among the career defining moments for Snoop was when his friend Tupac Shakur recorded the song California Love for Death Row Records in 1995. The song became a hip hop anthem, and one of the seminal works of the genre. The lyrics famously namecheck Liberace with, “…they clock me, watch me diamonds shinin’, lookin’ like I robbed Liberace.”

Tupac Shakur was gunned down on the streets of Las Vegas in 1996, but Snoop and former NWA rapper Dr. Dre continued to perform, and ultimately record Shakur’s California Love, as both Snoop and Dre built vast, legitimate business and recording empires. California Love doubtless triggered many other rappers who namecheck Liberace in the years since 1995. The phenomenon has been a key driver in licensing of the Liberace brand. Never seeming to find where it would top out, California Love was the highlight of the 2022 NFL Halftime Show.

Snoop Dogg wasn’t done with Liberace yet. In his latest work, Snoop Dogg: From the Streets to the Suites, on Audible Original Words and Music Vol. 36, the veteran rapper, who now owns Death Row Records valued at $50 million, tells the story of his rise, performing the music along the way. Two minutes in, this time he samples a famous show business quote, from 1969 when Liberace turned to the camera and said, “…for my next number, I’d like to return to the classics.” The line repeats several times during a transition.

Snoop Dogg:  From the Streets to the Suites.  Audible Original Words and Music Volume 36

What is a minor inclusion for an artist like Snoop Dogg can be a major shot in the arm for a legacy estate like Liberace. Each such sample by legitimate artists is licensed for with compensation, but it also serves to validate the influence of Liberace. We congratulate Snoop Dogg on his latest production, and thank him for helping to keep Liberace in the game.

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