The hip-hop mogul and Snoop have shared a decades-long friendship that was formed in the 1900s. At the time, Master P and his No Limit Records crew were at the helm of the Southern rap scene, and Snoop was a dominating force in the West Coast rap movement.
The Long Beach native, however, threatened to self-destroy his career and livelihood after falling at odds with his label, Death Row Records, and its frontman, Suge Knight.
The beef fueled Snoop with a vengeance as he began putting together an album to diss the troubled label. But it would never see the light of day, all thanks to Master P.
This week, the “Make ‘Em Say Ugh” artist shared a video snippet on Instagram of Snoop recounting how the Louisiana-born entrepreneur intervened in his life at a dire time.
“P was smart enough to know I wasn’t ready to go to war,” Snoop told “The Pivot” podcast host Ryan Clark last week about the diss album “F—k Death Row.”
“I was like f—k it I gotta defend my pride, but my pride would have got me killed,” he continued.
The gangsta rapper explained, “Sometimes you gotta be smarter than the average man. You gotta know and understand why you here. I needed him as a big brother, as a mentor, to pull me out of that bad environment, take me to the South, and show me a different world.”
Death Row Records was founded by Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, the D.O.C., and Dick Griffey in 1992. At the height of its success, the controversial label’s roster included the likes of Dre, Tupac Shakur, Nate Dogg, Warren G, and the D.O.C.
Snoop signed in 1993 despite Warren G’s attempt to persuade him to hold off until his contract was reviewed by a lawyer. Iconic records such as “The Chronic,” “Doggystyle,” and “All Eyez on Me” each helped cement Death Row’s legacy in hip-hop.
But its reputation for violence combined with Knight’s rap sheet of assaults, and the death of Tupac marred the label’s prominence as a force to be reckoned with.
Snoop, whose familial roots tie back to Mississippi, admitted that Master P gave him a way out of the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to.
He said, “Sometimes you gotta get taken back to your roots,” while noting that he was able to spend time with his grandmother and other relatives during his sabbatical away from rap.
“It was showing me how to separate, ’cause at that time I didn’t know how to separate from the homies. I felt like I needed them with me everywhere I went. But they was baggage because they wasn’t doing a job, they was just on my job,” explained the 16-time Grammy-nominated act.
In his caption, Master P saluted his friend’s openness to evolving. He wrote, “We have to stop thinking out of emotions!
“We all We Got! @snoopdogg is successful & where he’s at today is because he didn’t let pride stand in his way & wasn’t afraid to change and grow, salute to my brother and partner. #GODISGOOD look how God work now he own that same record company.”
Fan reactions to the post include:
“P don’t get enough credit for the work and people he put on!!”
“Master P was and is a real one… he signed Snoop when labels were afraid of Suge and Death Row.”
“This is called taking a young man under your wing and mentoring him in the RIGHT way yes sir.”
“If yo friends not looking out for you like P did for Snoop, gotta cancel em.”
Last February, after his Super Bowl halftime performance, Snoop announced that he had acquired his former label from MNRK Music Group.
“I am thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value,” he said in a released statement. “It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members.”
“I’m looking forward to building the next chapter of Death Row Records,” he continued.
Snoop has since shared that he plans to launch a music streaming app named after the label. He is considering re-recording his albums that were released during his tenure as a Death Row artist.