Snoop Dogg’s success after releasing his first gospel album, “Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love,” stunned many in the industry but for gospel singer Erica Campbell and her record-producer husband Warryn Campbell, it wasn’t surprising that the rapper wanted to make the switch.
“I’m totally fine with it! Snoop’s been telling us he wanted to collaborate since around 2003,” says Erica, who is featured on the song “Come as You Are” with her sister Tina as Mary Mary and Marvin Sapp, to Ebony magazine. “Seriously, every awards show, every red carpet where we’ve crossed paths, he’d say, ‘I want to do a record with you.’ I think he just finally had the time to do it. He told me he let his mama hear it and she liked it, so he knew he was on the right path.
“I think everybody evolves in their own time,” she added. “God is always shaping our hearts, always, and I’m proud that Snoop sat down and took the time to convey his love for God. I don’t think everybody was on board, but they don’t have to be, because when he stands before God, nobody else is going to be there.
“When he asked us to feature, there was no hesitation. I’m honored to be a part of him stepping outside of his genre at a time when I’m sure much of hip-hop culture looked at him like, ‘What are you doing?’ I think it speaks volumes, and I think he’ll be blessed for it.”
Indeed, Snoop has been criticized for moving away from mainstream and gangsta rap toward more faith-driven music.
In response, he told TV One at the Stellar Gospel Music Awards that Christians have had the wrong response to his musical transition, which he noted has always been part of his music.
“I thought church was supposed to welcome sinners,” he said of the response to his no. 1 charting album. “If the church was full of saints it wouldn’t be right. So if you finding somebody trying to find their way back home, the natural thing to do is be warm and welcoming, open your arms and say ‘Brother, we accept you for who you are and what you going through. Come as you are.’”
Meanwhile, Erica’s husband and “We’re the Campbells” co-star Warryn, also sung Snoop’s praises.
“You hit the nail on the head. For me, I’m proud of him for doing it,” he said. “We come from the same place, we both got our start at Death Row Records, and to see him survive all that and come full circle without losing who he is, it’s amazing.”