Playboy: Are financial problems the main reason that many ghetto families split up?
Dogg: Face it: If he has no job and she has no job, and she lives with her mother and baby, and there are no diapers, no milk and his only means of getting money is through drugs, and her only means of getting money is through the county or drugs, it will all break down, and nobody will give a fuck. If they have an argument because he's not able to do for her, he's gone. The kid's father is nowhere to be found. Yet nobody cares.
Playboy: Nobody cares?
Dogg: Nobody cared about the riot until they thought it might spill into their nice neighborhoods. Then they got scared and called the National Guard. When it was in my hood, the police didn't give a fuck. When the looting was going on, the police ran right past. You saw it on TV: Everybody was running out of the stores and the police weren't doing shit. But when it spread to Beverly Hills, the police started beating motherfuckers. We got smart. We backed up before too many of us got hurt.
Playboy: Were you in South Central during the riot?
Playboy: Doing what?
Dogg: I move with the time. Whatever's happening in time, I'm in.
Playboy: Meaning what?
Dogg: I was there. Trust me, I was there.
Playboy: Did you loot or fight?
Dogg: I was there. I wasn't a negative cause, I was a positive cause. Because that movement wasn't negative. It was a positive move to show that we're not going for this shit anymore.
Playboy: Do you think the riot had an impact?
Dogg: Yes, it did. But now it's forgotten, because everything is back to normal again. We don't know what to do about it, so we try it both ways. They killed Martin, they killed Malcolm. You got two black folk representing us through the Sixties. One of them was for violence, one was against it, and they both are dead. What is that saying?
Playboy: What is that saying to you?
Dogg: That's saying America doesn't give a fuck about a black motherfucker. Nigger, you're outta here when we say you're outta here. That's it.
Playboy: Yet Malcolm X was killed by black men.
Dogg: It doesn't matter how they do it. They do it. They pull you down, they set you up, they arrest you.
Playboy: In your case, for murder.
Dogg: They find some way to bring you down.
Playboy: It's always "they." Don't you feel any personal responsibility when you or your friends get in trouble?
Dogg: If I had been a straight-A student my whole life and had rapped about Jesus coming back to save us all, I wouldn't get no media. The motherfuckers wouldn't give a fuck about me. But since I'm telling the truth, and been through what I'm stressing and know what I'm talking about, I'm a threat. Because the motherfuckers have to respect the fact that this motherfucker knows what they know, but has a little more power than they do. That makes them feel I'm a threat, the same way Malcolm and Martin were. They had control of the whole black race. One side or the other, whether you were with Malcolm or with Martin, you were with the black race. Now there ain't any unity out there. Ain't no one motherfucker who could just call those shots. But the motherfuckers with power knock them down, so they can't use that power.
Playboy: In your case, whether your bodyguard shot in self-defense or not, there was no outside force getting you in trouble. It was black men against other black men.
Dogg: So many people representing different sections of our community are taken down one way or another. The system was designed to break us down. You think it isn't true? The three-strike rule is to break down a black man. How are you going to say a motherfucker committed three crimes and you have to give him 25 to life? OK, on the fourth time he might not even want to commit that crime.
Playboy: Americans want repeat offenders to be behind bars. Do you understand their fears?
Dogg: That's not giving no love. Black folks don't have a chance, so they are in the hood, dealing drugs, in a shoot-out. They do it again and one more time they are out. Those in charge are going back to your juvenile record. If you have two felonies as a juvenile, those count. You need only one more strike as an adult and you're through. This is a way to get rid of more of us -- the ones who ain't already dead because they are shooting each other. They are building more jails in California. What about building more schools in our neighborhoods? Like Ice Cube asks, "Why are more niggers in the pen than in college?" It's easier to go to the pen than it is to go to college. The media created the buzz of rap being so terrible, but terrible is the ghetto shit we write about. We put it in their faces. Motherfuckers losing their lives. The fucked-up system. They don't want to hear it.
Playboy: So they kill the messenger.
Dogg: Exactly. Because it happens whether we rap about it or not. But when we rap about it, and their children are listening, it's right in their faces.
Playboy: Does being a messenger make you a target?
Dogg: It does. A target from outside or inside the community, because you have someone working inside for the outside. They got house niggers they give drugs and money to, and they got their agents in our community, and they bring in guns. But I was sent to do this by God, so he's not going to put anything on me I can't handle. If death comes to me, that's what he wants me to have. For now, he wants me to keep building and passing on his message. That's what I'm going to do, because I'm destined to live and say things.
Playboy: There's a growing reaction in the black community against gangsta rap. Some black radio stations won't play your music.
Dogg: I sold 4 million records without them. They're hurting themselves. It's old white ladies, old black ladies, old black men, who don't even listen. Everyone else, everyone who understands, likes Snoop Dogg. They like my music.