“My process when I get ready to paint? I definitely gotta have a blunt, because the blunt is inspiration to the creation,” so says Snoop Dogg during a new commercial for a Swedish sock company that placed the rap legend in a studio equipped with your typical art-making paraphernalia: blank walls, blank canvases, paint, brushes, spray paint cans, tennis balls, water guns, boxing gloves, water balloons, three skimpily clad assistants, and at least one blunt.
“For many years I’ve always felt like painting was something that I wanted to do, but I never had time to do,” Tha Doggfather explains. “Painting gives me an emotion like no other. I could cry while I’m painting. I can laugh while I’m painting. I can be serious while I’m painting. I don’t have no parameters. When I’m rapping there’s certain things I can’t do. When I’m acting there’s certain things I can’t do. There’s certain things I won’t do. But with the painting, there’s no limit.” Accompanying slow motion footage of Snoop (legal name Calvin Broadus) in the studio shows him laughing and being serious while painting, though any evidence of tears shed over the sublime beauty of his Willem de Kooning-lite compositions apparently wound up on the cutting room floor.
The erstwhile Snoop Lion’s works appear to fall predominantly in an abstract vein, borrowing from the canonical Ab Ex painters like Jackson Pollock as well as more contemporary figures like Julian Schnabel. Despite their non-figurative imagery, Snoop’s paintings are informed by very real, lived experiences.
“My mind is somewhere else where it was a colorful time,” he says, “where these colors and these patterns and these ideas really mean something to me and what I was going through as a kid or maybe what i was going through yesterday, or maybe right now.”
Though Snoop is just starting out as a painter, he appears to be just as confident in the work coming out of his painting studio as he is of the pieces he makes in the recording studio. Not surprising, considering that a painting he made earlier this year sold for $10,200 on eBay. In fact, Snoop seems so confident in his art, you might say he’s ego trippin’.
“I know that I’m an artist, I know that my paintings mean something and people are going to be interested in them and they’re gonna want to buy them, and, you know, have them hanging up on their walls in their favorite spots because it’s an expression of somebody who has been giving the truth from day one,” he says. “They’ve been riding on this journey with me so it’s another piece of the puzzle, it’s like a piece of Snoop that we can take with us forever.”
In other words, be on the lookout for Snoop’s paintings in Miami in December.