Snoop Dogg at Club Cinema March 11

Let's be real: If Snoop Dogg were to retire suddenly from making new albums but not withdraw from the public eye, his hordes of fans wouldn't even blink. Though he's nominally a musical artist, he wisely transitioned long ago from Snoop Dogg the rapper to Snoop Dogg the brand.

Something of a mascot for himself, he often seems more like the idea of Snoop Dogg — a lovable, weed-smoking, shamelessly lusty slickster who even appeals to awkward suburbanites — than the person himself. What other rapper could make a cameo in a Muppets movie (even if his footage wound up on the cutting room floor) and not lose an ounce of cred?

Yes, these days, he's more famous for his TV appearances and other random media exploits than his music. Yet out of devotion to rap or at least his hard-core fans, he continues to record and release albums. And they almost always chart. Guess Snoop's got the magic touch.


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