...Continued from page one
Playboy: Have you been shot at before?
Dogg: Plenty times.
Playboy: How? In drive-by shootings?
Dogg: Drive-bys, walk-bys. It ain't like that Boyz N the Hood shit. It's worse. In the movie, you know it's going to come, because of the music or the scene before. On the streets you don't get scenes. You could be hanging out, holding your baby -- you know what I'm saying? And talking to your mama, and a car will ride up real slow. You ain't even paying attention, and they serve y'all. You, your baby and your mom.
Playboy: So innocent bystanders are fair game.
Dogg: Shit, yes. If you're trying to get somebody and this might be the only time you're going to catch him, but he is holding his baby and with his mama, you ain't gonna let that chance go by. That's the mentality of the streets. If you let that chance go by, he might catch your ass. That's the way we are brainwashed. Instead of jumping out of the car without the gun and talking to him, you have to shoot.
Playboy: What would happen if someone tried that, if he got out of the car to talk?
Dogg: He'd be shot. Instant.
Playboy: Simply because he's in a different gang?
Dogg: Motherfuckers die for crazy reasons. That's why you have to ask yourself, What is heaven and what is hell? I think this is hell, where we're living.
Playboy: You've twice been arrested for carrying guns. Did everyone in your neighborhood carry guns?
Dogg: Not everybody. Everybody doesn't have access to one, or the money to get one.
Playboy: How about you?
Dogg: Why do people carry guns? Protection, right? To protect me and myself. Whether it's home protection or street protection.
Playboy: Not all people use guns for protection -- often they're for perpetrating crimes.
Dogg: For some. But, mostly, you view the perils and you know you can be a target. That's this life.
Playboy: You seem fairly accepting of guns and violence.
Dogg: When I was a small boy, if we had a problem, we would fight about it with our fists. I thought that made more sense -- it showed something about you. We wouldn't shoot somebody, killing them or wounding them. That's not hard to do. I would like people to put down the guns. If you have a problem, talk about it or fight about it.
Playboy: Yet you've glamorized guns by posing with them in photos.
Dogg: It wasn't glamorizing or glorifying. It was just something I was asked to do. I wouldn't do it again, except if I do a movie and play an Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Playboy: Are you carrying a gun now?
Playboy: When did you see your first shooting?
Dogg: When the family moved to north Long Beach from the east side, when I was 15. That's when I started seeing real gangsta shit. I had motherfuckers getting shot, shooting at me. Getting robbed. Drug deals. Prostitution. I started seeing that shit hands-on. It wasn't just, "Oh yeah. Little Johnny got killed down the street the other night." It was like, pow, pow, pow, pow. Oh shit! Motherfuckers crying and shit because some of their people just got smoked. One time I had a deuce five. Me and two other homeboys had that motherfucker sitting in the trash can in case the police came. We were between these buildings, just sitting around. So, a car drove by, right? It hit the corner real slow. I'm closest to the gun. I see the car creeping around the corner. But instead of grabbing the gun, I'm like, "Fuck that." I say, "These motherfuckers are going to blast." We get up and run instead of grabbing the gun. I almost got killed. But if I would have gone for that gun, I would have been killed.
Playboy: Did you learn anything from that experience?
Dogg: Motherfucker don't need a gun. He needs his smarts.
Playboy: What were they retaliating for?
Dogg: I shot a motherfucker in the head with a BB gun by accident. I had just bought a little BB gun. You know how you pump it up and shoot. Pow! I was just shooting. And the motherfucker hit the guy on the cheek. He went and got his homeboys and said I had shot at him or something.
Playboy: After you got away, did they come after you again?
Dogg: Hell yeah! It's not like they get only one try. [Laughs] Doesn't go like that. Numerous occasions.
Playboy: What's it like growing up with that constant threat?
Dogg: You're always ready.
Playboy: You must have been afraid.
Dogg: Shit yes, you're afraid.
Playboy: Now you have a son. How has that affected the way you live?
Dogg: And I'm going to have another one. It makes you think. We have to be good fathers to our babies, so we can put a stop to that pattern. Now people think it's cool to have a baby, but it ain't cool to take care of it. We have to change that. You make your life for that baby. That's the future.
Playboy: Why is it cool to have babies but not cool to take care of them?
Dogg: Sex was around before we got here. It wasn't something that was taught to us. Nobody said, "If you have a baby, you'll need money to take care of it." Nobody said there wasn't going to be any money there for it. In Bel Air and Beverly Hills, 90 percent of the babies get taken care of. In the ghettos, it's 15 percent. Kids don't learn. It starts in the home. A mother and father or no father or mother. Nobody lays out a foundation of how shit is supposed to be. The pattern goes on.
Playboy: Does fatherhood make you more careful? Do you take better care of yourself to make sure you're around for your son?
Dogg: I really don't do anything to break myself. As far as the damages to my body, I'm not a drinker. I let the gin and juice alone.
Playboy: This comes from the writer of "Gin and Juice"?
Dogg: You won't hear any more alcohol songs from Snoop Dogg -- unless I stumble upon some Hennessy.
Playboy: Clearly you think marijuana is different.
Dogg: It ain't for bad, it's for good. I take good care of myself. [Laughs]
Playboy: Beyond alcohol or drugs, do you think you will be able to stay out of trouble, either with the police or with gangs?
Dogg: Trouble comes looking for you. Lots of times I just stay in the house and enjoy my family. I try to be a father to my child. I'll stay out of trouble if I can, because I have lots to do. Other folks have different hardships. It's hard for a black man to raise a family.
Playboy: What makes it hard?
Dogg: Finances are a big pressure. Welfare ain't shit anymore, and they're cutting it. So if mama can't do it with the father, she's damn sure not going to do it by herself -- unless she takes some illegal means of making money.