Snoop Dogg ‘Froze Up’ the First Time He Rapped For Dr. Dre

California rappers Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre have three decades of history together in the music industry and as friends. By the time Snoop Dogg first started rapping in the early 1990s, Dre had made a name for himself as a member of the hit rap group N.W.A. and had teamed up with Suge Knight and fellow N.W.A. member The D.O.C. to launch Death Row Records in 1992. When the young Snoop first performed in front of Dre, he lacked the confidence and the skill that he’s known for today.

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performing at the Super Bowl
(L-R) Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre’s history

Dr. Dre first discovered Snoop Dogg after hearing him freestyle on a mixtape over En Vogue‘s song “Hold On.” Dre reached out to him and took him on as a protégé.

Dre started working with him on the theme song of the 1992 film Deep Cover and on Dre’s 1992 solo debut album The Chronic. Snoop released his debut album Doggystyle in November 1993.

Snoop Dogg, who has his own children's show
Snoop Dogg | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Snoop ‘froze up’ while rapping for Dre

Snoop Dogg first started rapping as a child in school in the 1980s. He recounted his first encounter with Dr. Dre before his drug-related arrest in 1989 when he rapped for the N.W.A. rapper in a 2022 appearance on the Checc’n-In podcast with Big U.

“[Dr. Dre] came over one Thanksgiving and Warren G had me nervous because he was telling Dre ‘Snoopy can rap,’” Snoop remembered. “And I was like, ‘Man, shut the f*** up, I ain’t ready yet.”

At the time, they played him the instrumental for N.W.A. rapper Eazy-E’s 1988 hit “Eazy-Duz-It” from his debut solo album before it was released later that year. Dre gave Snoop a chance to show his skills by rapping over the beat.

“So Dre takes us to the back room and he starts playing that ‘He once was a thug from around the way,’ before it had even come out,” Snoop recalled. “He turned to me and was like ‘You rap?’ And I’m like, ‘Nah, I don’t rap!’ That was my moment and I froze up on cuz. I wasn’t ready.” 

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

RELATED: Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg Paid Homage to Tupac Shakur During the Super Bowl Halftime Show

They performed at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show and are working on new music together

Of course, Snoop Dogg went on to become a hit-making rapper on his own. He signed with Death Row Records and became one of the West Coast’s prominent rappers alongside the likes of fellow labelmates Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre. Snoop and Dre continued to perform together over the following decades.

In 2022, three decades after Snoop recorded his first song with Dre, the two teamed up for an unforgettable ode to hip-hop at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show in their own backyard in southern California. They were joined by fellow hip-hop icons Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem.

Snoop also confirmed in August 2022 that he and Dre were working on new music together. “We’re cooking up a little something,” Snoop told Entertainment Tonight. “I don’t wanna talk about it too much, but we’re back together again.”

RELATED: Snoop Dogg Bought Death Row Records, But Won’t Get the Rights to Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre’s Music