Snoop Dogg recently checked in on his fans amid the coronavirus crisis. The “Drop It Like It’s Hot” rapper made a public service announcement on his Instagram, saying, “Stay safe. Stay close to your loved ones.” He told fans this wouldn’t be last they’d be hearing from him during the outbreak. “I’ll be checking in, making sure you good,” he said.
In typical Uncle Snoop fashion, the living legend showed his fans how much he cares, but the D-O-Double-G doesn’t get his caring bone from just anywhere — he’s a core part of a seemingly close-knit family, which includes his daughter and three sons, grandchildren, a brother of his own, and many, many cousins. In fact, some of the names of Snoop’s relatives might surprise you, considering they’re celebrities in their own right.
Snoop Dogg used to take Sasha Banks to WrestleMania
According to The Post and Courier, professional wrestler Sasha Banks (real name: Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado) is Snoop Dogg’s first cousin. The rap icon even had a hand in inspiring her career.
“I remember in 2008 when I took her to WrestleMania in Orlando,” he said when he was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016. “She was just a young little teenager, and I took her around to meet everybody that she wanted to meet, and you could just see her face light up. You could tell this is where she belonged. This is what she wanted to be.”
In May 2019, Banks even made an appearance on Snoop’s Instagram in a photo featuring the rapper; his son, Cordell Broadus; and Banks. The post included a simple but telling caption: “Family.”
Snoop cozies up with cousins Brandy and Ray J
Snoop Dogg isn’t the only one in the family with a knack for music. Brandy and her brother, Ray J, are also cousins.
Brandy Norwood — producer, singer, actress, and Broadway star all in one — has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide since the release of her self-titled debut project in 1994. She’s also collaborated with Snoop Dogg and appeared in one of his music videos, according to The Independent.
Ray J (aka William Raymond Norwood Jr.) is best known for his hit tune: “Sexy Can I” and for his appearances on reality TV shows Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood and the Norwood family’s own Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business. Oh, and he’s sorta kinda known for that other thing too. Yes, Ray J was Kim Kardashian’s co-star in the infamous tape that preceded her Keeping up with the Kardashians stardom. He’s currently entangled in a rocky marriage with Love & Hip Hop co-star Princess Love, but in good times and bad, Snoop Dogg is there. When Ray J appeared as a guest on the rapper’s YouTube show, he introduced him as “my cousin, my family, my familia.”
Snoop Dogg wrote an iconic track for cuz Daz Dillinger
Rapper and record producer Daz Dillinger (aka Delmar Drew Arnaud) is not only Snoop Dogg’s cousin, but he’s also somewhat of a colleague. The two have recorded music together on multiple occasions. According to Pitchfork, Daz’s record label even released an album with Snoop titled … wait for it … Cuzznz.
Daz may also have Snoop to thank for some of his music biz success. On an episode of the HipHopDX series Crook’s Corner, Snoop said he wrote some music specifically for Daz and pushed hard for Dr. Dre to include his cuz on The Chronic — considered by many to be “the most influential rap work ever made.”
“Daz first song he was on, “Deez Nuts,” I wrote that whole song ‘cuz I wanted him on the song ‘cuz I liked his voice,” Snoop recalled. Dre took some convincing, but after hearing Daz rap the now-classic “chiggy-check” verse, the producer came around. As Snoop tells it: “Dre was like ‘Oh, that’s hard!'” After that, Daz was in, and he reportedly got right to work making great music.
Nate Dogg and Snoop grew up together
Snoop Dogg’s cousin, Nathaniel “Nate Dogg” Hale, made a lasting impact on his life. The rapper, songwriter, and actor died in 2011 from complications following multiple strokes. He and Snoop got their start together as members of the OG rap trio 213 with Warren G, and they rose to fame on The Chronic. Nate Dogg also starred with Warren G on “Regulate,” which “became one of the defining songs of the 1990s,” per Rolling Stone.
His cousin’s death at age 41 hit Snoop Dogg hard. On Twitter, he referred to Nate as a brother and a best friend. “I love you buddy. You will always be with me forever and a day. You put the ‘G’ in ‘G funk’, you put the ‘1’ in ‘213’ and you put your stamp on everybody you ever did it with.” He added (per NME,) “I miss you because I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up with you, and I will see you again in heaven, because you know the slogan about ‘all doggs go to heaven.'”
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