Blunted On Reality: A Journalist Recalls Smoking With Snoop Dogg, Biggie, Cypress Hill & More

Blunted On Reality: A Journalist Recalls Smoking With Snoop Dogg, Biggie, Cypress Hill & More

Twenty minutes later, as Kim and I sat in the control-room talking, Biggie walked in. “Yo, I’m sorry about what happened out there,” he said, deadpan as a black Woody Allen. “But next time, announce yourself or something.” We both laughed and everything was cool. Holding an already rolled L, he pulled a lighter from his pocket and asked the magical question, “You smoke?” A few months later, Biggie was dead.

After landing at LAX, my editor and I drove out to Snoop’s house. It was an hour-plus ride to Claremont, where Snoop was having a party and in my hedonistic mind it was going to be one of those wild-out affairs with nude chicks splashing in the swimming pools and champagne bubbles flowing down their cleavage.

Having made his vocal debut in 1992 on Dr. Dre’s first post-N.W.A single “Deep Cover,” the drawl-voiced rapper had a tone that reeked of reefer. Like a velvet-clad pimp leaning back in a crimson Cadillac, Snoop’s voice rode the grooves until he became the supreme pot poet of his generation.

As we entered the spacious crib, Snoop and his attractive church-going mother Beverly Broadus greeted us at the door. A few feet behind them was a life-size cardboard cutout of Tupac Shakur, middle finger raised in a Thug Life salute.

Dressed in green camouflage suit and a pair of leather Converse sneakers, Snoop welcomed us to a party that was a more a family and friends affair than the orgy I had anticipated. Walking down the stairs into the sunken living room, he introduced us to sharp-suited Uncle Junebug and rapper Warren G. From the nearby stereo romantic role-model Barry White sang “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me.”

Hoping to score some cool points, I told Snoop how I once shared a joint with Barry White in Brussels. “Barry told me how when he was a teenager, he was in a gang called the Businessmen and smoked bush in the park in South Central with his friends,” I told Snoop. “In his deep voice, White said, ‘Bush is the only high for human consumption. All that other shit is synthetic drugs made by man. Bush is a plant that grows out of the ground, just like a rose or a tree or a tulip.’”

 

Sliding behind the wheel of his car, D'Angelo looked around on the floor and found a cassette of Marvin’s underrated Here My Dear. Starting the car, D. slipped the tape into the player. Before saying another word, he opened the glove compartment and pulled out a cigar and a sack of weed.

 

Snoop laughed. “Barry White is a real O.G. Many people don’t know that Barry White comes from South Central and he’s straight gangster, except in an R&B way. He’s one of the originators of what we did. When I put on one of his old CDs, I let the whole thing ride; don’t touch it—that’s Barry White, kick back.”

After we chatted a bit, Snoop was ready to play tracks from his then-upcoming disc Top Dogg. Pointing to a door across the room, he said, “My studio is in there.” Painted in a bizarre yin and yang design, with a ceiling fan, a Daz Dillinger poster on the wall and a well-worn couch where we sat down. Slouched next to us was a grinning Chicano who passed Snoop a Ziploc baggie overflowing with sticky buds.

Minutes later, after instructing another friend to roll the blunts, Snoop emptied the entire bag on top of Marvin Gaye’s I Want Youalbum cover. “I stay high,” Gaye once told his biographer David Ritz. “I respect reefer; if you’re an artist, you’ll recognize its creative possibilities.” Though he was asked many times not too smoke weed at Motown’s famed Hitsville Studios in Detroit, Marvin refused to stop.

Watching Snoop’s homeboy crumble the weed on the Marvin Gaye album cover, I thought about an interview I did with D’Angelo in 1995, a few months before his weeded soundtrack Brown Sugar was released. “I met her in Philly and her name was brown sugar,” D’Angelo crooned on the title track. “See, we be making love constantly, that's why my eyes are a shade blood burgundy…skin is caramel with those cocoa eyes, even got a big sister by the name of Chocolate Thai.”

After connecting with D’Angelo over drinks, conversation, and cigarettes, he offered to drive me home when the interview was over. Sliding behind the wheel of his car, he looked around on the floor and found a cassette of Marvin’s underrated Here My Dear. Starting the car, D. slipped the tape into the player. Before saying another word, he opened the glove compartment and pulled out a cigar and a sack of weed.

Concentrating on the task, D’Angelo split the casing, dumped the tobacco out of the window and built a blunt that would have made Marvin proud. Firing it up, he took a deep hit from the tightly rolled Philly as the bluesy funk of “Time to Get It Together” mixed with the smoke. “One of the reasons I like Marvin Gaye so much he didn’t give a fuck,” D’Angelo explained. “He just said whatever the fuck he wanted to say, but he did it so dope motherfuckers had to appreciate it. He was an artist, a true artist.”

D’Angelo was only ten years old when Gaye was gunned down by his minister father in 1984. “It was a Sunday, and we were coming home from church. We stopped at my cousin’s house and the first thing he said was, ‘Yo, Marvin Gaye got killed by his father.’ I thought he was joking. After that, I had nightmares for years.

“Finally, I had to go to a shrink and she broke the whole thing down for me. His father was a preacher and my father was a preacher. I can’t explain what happened, but one day I was able to listen to his voice without being petrified. I can’t explain that either.”

Twenty-four hours after Snoop’s party, I returned to his house for our interview. Already puffing from a blunt when I walked in the door, Snoop asked, “You still smoking?” Laughing, he slapped me five. “You look a little hazed.” Hell, more than likely I was still buzzed from our listening session the night before.

 

Twenty-four hours later, Mrs. Broadus handed me a bottle of cold water. Rubbing my eyes, I was slightly ashamed to be so stoned in front of someone’s mother. However, instead of judging me, she simply smiled and shook her head. “You shouldn’t try to keep up with Snoopy when it comes to smoking that stuff,” she advised. “He’s used to it.”

 

An hour and three blunts later, photographer Davis Factor (grandson of cosmetic baron Max) arrived and we all retreated to the backyard for the photo shoot. Not used to sweating in the Cali sun after smoking high-grade grass, I felt nauseous and stumbled back into the house. Sitting on the couch, I slowly faded to black and slept for an hour.

“Baby, are you all right?” a honeyed voice asked. As my eyes flickered open and I saw Snoop’s lovely mother standing over me. Sitting-up, I was as dazed and confused as a Zeppelin record. “I’m fine,” I croaked. The night before, we had sat together on that same couch as Mrs. Broadus cheerfully recounted stories about her baby, “Snoopy.” Telling me about her baby boy singing in the choir at Algonquin Trinity Baptist Church when he was a kid, she smiled.

“Snoopy had such a beautiful voice. First he was in the angel’s Choir when he was small, then he was part of the Youth Choir. He also went to bible study and even took piano lessons for a while.” Yet, while she was a church-going woman she seemed able to deal with her son’s then maddening life of guns and violence. “When he was going through the drama with Death Row, around the time that Tupac died and Biggie died, I asked the Lord to please cover him in holy blood and protect him from evil. That’s why now I give him a lot of love and kisses, because in his line of work he needs it. I might not like all the things he be saying, but I love him. And I support him.”

Twenty-four hours later, Mrs. Broadus handed me a bottle of cold water. Rubbing my eyes, I was slightly ashamed to be so stoned in front of someone’s mother. However, instead of judging me, she simply smiled and shook her head. “You shouldn’t try to keep up with Snoopy when it comes to smoking that stuff,” she advised. “He’s used to it.”

From my spot on the couch, through half-open eyes, I saw the Tupac Shakur cutout with its middle finger in the air and was transported on weed fumes back to the night of his death on Friday the 13, 1996. Shot numerous times six days before, nobody really thought that Tupac—who came off like a hip-hop Superman—would actually die. However, in the end, Tupac proved to be just another mortal.

Tags: the-notorious-big, biggie, cypress-hill, tricky, d-angelo, weed, 420, marijuana, dj-premier, method-man, tupac
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