Snoop Dogg is breathing life into West Coast hip hop

25 Jan

From the early to mid-1990s, the West Coast dominated the music scene. But, after the surprising demise of Death Row Records, the genre began to fall off. For over five years, the only consistent artist from the West was Snoop Dogg. Years later, Game would rise to become another consistent act, but the East and the South have much more than the two artists featured out West.

There have been times in the past where Snoop Dogg has spoken on the state of his area of hip hop. Given his time in the game and his success, many look at Snoop Dogg as the unofficial leader of the West. As close as he is to Dr. Dre, he criticized him when he chose to begin pushing 50 Cent as opposed to introducing Game, as planned. He said that people like his close friend are in a position to help the West Coast, but they choose not to.

Snoop Dogg, as the head of his own label, signed many West Coast artists to his Doggystyle imprint. However, Doggystyle was a label under Geffen Records, which is a label that is under the big label of Interscope Records. Not having the pull of Dr. Dre, whose Aftermath label was directly under Interscope, there was not much that Snoop could do to get their music out there.

By 2009, the West Coast hip hop scene was still comprised of Snoop Dogg, Game, and Dr. Dre holding off on Detox. Right at the beginning of the fall season, big news came, though. The label that was responsible for the early gangsta rap era of Ruthless Records and NWA, Priority Records was being re-launched. Making a name for itself in distributing independent West Coast hip hop labels, they signed Snoop Dogg on to run the label.

Aside from having Snoop Dogg as an executive, they also signed him on to become one of the new artists on the label. Priority Records agreed to release all new albums from both Snoop and his Doggystyle Records from this point on. After the release of Snoop Dogg’s most-recent album, Malice n Wonderland, the focus shifted to adding more acts to the label. Already using his role effectively, Snoop Dogg has signed quite a few acts.

In only four months time, he has signed 213, Cypress Hill, and Mac Dre 100. He is also rumored to be prepared to sign Warren G. When Snoop Dogg first spoke of his new role at the acclaimed label, he said that he was going to use his position to rebuild West Coast hip hop. Not only can he sign new artists with his role as Creative Chairman of Priority Records, but Snoop Dogg also decides when an album is going to be released.

The artists from the West Coast do not have a problem getting signed to a major label. The problem comes in trying to get their albums released. This is why more and more artists from the West Coast began signing to Koch Records. Now, with Snoop Dogg keeping an ear to the streets, he can sign an artist to either Priority Records or his own Doggystyle Records and an artist can finally see their albums released.

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