In an explosive start to 2021, tensions appear to be rising between rap legends Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Between interviews and social media comments to mentions in their music, both the rappers appear to have a soured relationship along with a beef that could change up the landscape of their genre. In this article, I will walk you through the ins and outs of their prior relationship and the events that lead to the divide.
During a Breakfast Club interview, Snoop revealed that Eminem is not on his list for the top 10 rappers of all time. The revelation was made after Snoop praised Dr. Dre for his discovering of new talent. It was during his praise of Dre that Eminem became the topic for conversation “Eminem! The Great White Hope. White rappers had zero respect in rap. Let’s keep that one thou,” “[Dr. Dre] probably put Eminem in the position that he would be considered one of the top 10 rappers ever.”
He then further clarified “I don’t think so, but the game thinks he’s a top 10 lyricist and everything that comes with it. That’s just because he’s with Dr. Dre.” Snoop then proceeded to say that Eminem couldn’t compare to artists from the 80s. “There’s some n* in the 80s that he couldn’t f* with, like Rakim, like Big Daddy Kane, like KRS-One, like LL Cool J, like Ice Cube” before adding “I ain’t got no time to play. It is what it is. Cuz did that. He did that to the fullest. He did that, but when you are talking about this hip-hop sh* I can’t live without, I can live without that.”
The initial response to Snoop was that he was throwing shade to the Detroit rapper, but Snoop would suggest that he had love and respect for him. Moving towards the end of 2020, Eminem would drop his Music To Be Murdered By: Side B a deluxe edition of his January 2020 album of the same name (minus the Side B).
His project would include a song titled Zeus, with a notable dig at Snoop. On the track, Eminem raps “And as far as squashing beef, I’m used to people knocking me, but just not in my camp, and diplomatic as I’m tryna be, last thing I need is Snoop doggin me, man, Dogg, you was like a damn God to me, nah, not really, I had ‘dog’ backwards, but I’m starting to think, all these people taking shots at me, sh*, it’s no wonder.”
The brief mention had fans on social media begging for elaboration as to the motive behind the name drop, and following these enquiries, Eminem would open up on the issue during a conversation on his SiriusXM radio channel Shade 45. During the conversation, Eminem confirmed that he was slightly offended by Snoop’s prior comments. While he said that he wasn’t hurt by Snoop’s general opinion, he revealed it was the way the opinion was presented and the manner in which it was spoken that rubbed him the wrong way.
“Everything he said by the way, was fine, up to a point.” He explained, “Him saying Dre made the best version of me, absolutely, why would I have a problem with that?” Would I be here without Dre? F* no, I wouldn’t. The rappers he mentioned from the 90s- KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, G-Rap- I’ve never said I could f* with them. I think it was more about the tone he was using that caught me off guard because I’m like, where is this coming from? I just saw you, what the f*? It threw me for a loop.”
He goes on to explain the line that annoyed him most “I probably could’ve gotten past the whole tone and everything, but it was the last statement where he said, ‘Far as music I can live without, I can live without that sh*’ now you’re being disrespectful. It caught me off guard”.
Just as it would appear the beef had died down, Snoop Dogg decided to respond to Eminem’s Shade 45 interview. He didn’t say much, but when an Eminem fan account shared his comments on Instagram, Snoop replied in the comments section “Pray I don’t answer that soft-ass sh*”. Whether or not Snoop is teasing a potential diss track or whether he will just address it in an interview, is yet to be seen.
Daz Dillinger recently offered his opinion on the matter, and where he believes the feud originated. During the conversation Dillinger reveals that Eminem had been asked to be on one of Snoop’s albums, and Eminem apparently refused.
“Back in the days, they did that song with Nate Dogg (Bitch Please) and then Eminem did that on his album. When I was talking to Snoop one time, he said that he asked Eminem to get on his song, to get on his album and they told him no. And Snoop felt like, ‘I did all this and all that, and tell me no? Nobody tells me no.’”
Daz goes on to say “But Eminem probably didn’t know that Snoop had even asked to do a song, that was probably Paul Rosenberg or somebody saying no. But Snoop took it personally. That’s why you have never heard a song from Snoop and Eminem since then.”
This feud appears to be a mix of bitterness and lack of communication from Snoop to Eminem. Eminem is notoriously hard to reach as MGK said before “he’s a recluse” in his Breakfast Club interview. This means that the likelihood of Snoop reaching out to Eminem’s management and getting rebuffed without Em’s knowing is more than likely.
Snoop and Eminem’s relationship to begin with was through their mutual relationship with Dr Dre. Dre had previously brought Snoop into Death Row Records, Suge Knight’s record label,to begin and transcend his rap career. Dre left Death Row in 1996 to begin his own record label named Aftermath, and Snoop Dogg remained tied to Knight’s label.
It was thanks to Dre leaving that Snoop realised he was tied into an ironclad time based contract with Death Row that essentially meant the label owned anything Snoop released for a number of years. It was with this revelation that Snoop refused to work on anything else until his contract was up, except for the disrespectful “F* Death Row”.
Master P’s No Limit Records bought Snoop out of his contract with Death Row in 1998. The fact that Dre had left the label without making an attempt to bring Snoop as well as Dre’s absence from Snoop’s murder trial was indicative of a breakdown in their relationship.
Meanwhile, Dre was looking for fresh talent for his new album, which would become known as the 2001 album. During his search, Dre found Eminem, who critics had tipped to change the landscape of hip-hop. When they launched The Slim Shady LP together it made Eminem the first commercial and critically successful rapper.
Whilst other artists have been sporadic and on and off in their relationship and loyalty to Dr Dre, like Snoop Dogg, Eminem has always remained a part of Aftermath, even after becoming the best-selling rap artist and starting his own Shady Records label.
The strength of their relationship can be seen in 2011 Grammy nominated song I need a doctor by Dre featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey with the lyrics “Went through friends, some of them I put on, but they just left. They said they was ridin to the death. But where the f* are they now, now that I need them? I don’t see none of them, all I see is Slim. F* you fair-weather friends, all I need is him.”
Despite what appears to be a patched up relationship between Dre and Snoop, Dre is explicit in how he believes Eminem is the only real friend he has by his side, even despite bringing some friends into their success. The lyrics match up perfectly to the likes of Snoop Dogg who he brought into Death Row and consequently birthed his career.
Could it be that Snoop’s feud with Eminem is a jealousy at the fact that of all of Dre’s acquisitions, including himself, Eminem has been the more successful artist commercially and critically? The thing with music is it 9/10 boils down to how you perceive the situation but it does make sense that two of Dre’s biggest selling artists would have tension between them, as Eminem continues to remain in the limelight despite having a lower prominence in the media.
Eminem currently drops an album, charts, and disappears before the end of the year. Whereas Snoop has become more mainstream with music with collaborations with Katy Perry on California Gurls, with Gangnam Style artist Psy on Hangover and Moves with Olly Murs as well as performing on Just Eat commercials.
In terms of commercial reception to their more recent projects, Snoop Dogg’s I Wanna Thank Me studio album sold 85,000 units worldwide and Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By sold 2,170,000 units, certifying as Gold according to RIAA.
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