|Snoop Dogg: rtvchannel.com|
Forget aging gracefully -- aging strangely is far more interesting. Indeed, the last few years have seen '90s rap superstars transition into their late 30s and 40s with different approaches.
There's the dignified mogul archetype of Jay-Z, who has fulfilled his ambition of becoming rap's Frank Sinatra. There's Ghostface Killah, who recorded an R&B/rap hybrid record touching on "mature" themes from adultery to the difficulties of sustaining long-term love. And there's Chef Raekwon's "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" strategy, where he continues to produce artful songs within the confines of a familiar aesthetic.
Snoop Dogg has had one of the most endearing evolutions, transforming from a cold-blooded gangsta rapper into a lovable stoned uncle. Indeed, there's nothing too bizarre for Snoop: country songs dedicated to weed ("My Medicine"); Auto-Tuned retro funk jams ("Sensual Seduction"); guest hosting "WWE Raw." But then, he's also serving as the creative chairman of Priority Records. Eighteen years after "Deep Cover," Snoop remains at the top of the charts, collaborating with Katy Perry and still highly sought after for cameos.
(click here to read the full story and watch the YouTube clips on the LA Times website)