A complete history of the relationship between Eminem and Snoop Dogg, former collaborators and proteges of Dr. Dre who currently stand at odds.
It’s no secret that tension has sparked between Eminem and Snoop Dogg, two hip-hop legends and graduates of Dr. Dre’s prestigious academy. Given where we currently stand a little over twenty years removed from their first and only collaboration, many have attempted to speculate as to what -- if any inciting incident -- may have caused the animosity. While not quite hostile enough to be declared a rap beef, it seems as if Em and Snoop are currently headed down one of two possible roads. The first: reconciliation. The second, and far more dangerous option: a full-scale battle. A battle that KXNG Crooked wisely predicted would be detrimental to hip-hop culture as we know it.
So why then have two long-standing teammates gotten to this point in the first place? It feels appropriate to start at the beginning, when Snoop and Em united for their first and only collaboration.
BIG SLIM DOGG
When Eminem delivered The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000, his project featured a few notable ties to the Death Row era. The Dr. Dre involvement goes without saying, with Doc producing six of the project’s instrumentals. Not only that, but both RBX and Snoop Dogg provided a verse apiece on “Remember Me” and “Bitch Please 2” respectively. It should be noted that prior to the “Bitch Please,” sequel appearing on Slim’s sophomore project, the original was part of Snoop’s 1999 album No Limit Top Dogg, which featured his first collaborations with Dr. Dre since 1993’s Doggystyle. The Dre-produced track, which featured Xzibit and Nate Dogg, became an instant west coast classic.
It’s unclear as to why Dre ultimately decided to place the sequel on The Marshall Mathers LP, but the end result was certainly a highlight. For the record, it wasn’t the first time Eminem collaborated with Xzibit -- they worked together on Dre’s 2001 track “What’s The Difference” -- but it did mark his first collaboration with both Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg. While there isn’t much behind-the-scenes insight into the song’s creation, consider that Snoop and Em actively engaged with one another in their verses. In Snoop’s case, he affectionately referred to Slim Shady as his nephew, as well as “the great white American hope.” Returning the favor, Em styled himself as “Big Slim Dogg,” trying out Snoop’s signature cadence at the onset of his verse. Given that they would soon go on to partake in the legendary Up In Smoke tour together, it seemed as if there was a solid camaraderie between the two Dr. Dre proteges.
Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Nate Dogg, & Eminem - Bitch Please II
In a curious turn: When The Marshall Mathers LP dropped on May 23rd, 2000, it went on to double the record of the highest first-week sales in U.S. history at the time -- a record previously held by Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle.
A NEGLECTED FEATURE?
Following the Up In Smoke tour’s conclusion however, Eminem and Snoop Dogg went on somewhat of a collaborative hiatus. A little strange, given that the post-MMLP found Em working with Dre, Xzibit, and Nate Dogg. Yet never once did Slim and Snoop reconnect on wax. While no real reason was ever confirmed, Daz Dillinger recently revealed an interesting tidbit in early January of 2021. Speaking in a Clubhouse room, Daz explained that Snoop Dogg had been actively seeking a feature from Eminem, only to have the rapper or his camp (it wasn’t specified) decline. "Snoop was like, 'Don't nobody tell me no,'" explained Daz, revealing that Snoop was particularly caught off-guard given their work on “Bitch Please 2.” "He took it personally, and that's why you never heard a song from Snoop and Em since then." While neither Snoop nor Eminem have commented on Daz’s revelation, it does seem to coincide with an interview the Doggfather did during the release of his 2006 album The Blue Carpet Treatment.
When the interviewer notes that the Dr. Dre-produced “Round Here” used the same sample as the 45 King-produced “Stan,” Snoop appeared slightly triggered by the comparison. “I can’t tell,” says Snoop. “‘Stan’ talking about a fan, a groupie on Eminem’s dick that’s writing letters and dreaming to be him. My shit is ‘Round Here,’ gangsta shit.” The interviewer points out that his observation was strictly speaking on the music, prompting a slightly defensive tone from Snoop, who maintains Dr. Dre can use whatever samples he so chooses. “I didn’t hear ‘Stan’ when I heard it,” he continues. “It made me want to start talking shit about ‘Round Here.’” He proceeds to bust out a mocking impression of Eminem’s cadence, belittling “Stan” and the lyrical content. “I wasn’t on that bullshit!” he concludes, adamantly distancing himself from Slim Shady’s beloved hit.
Snoop Dogg speaking on "Round Here" and Eminem's "Stan"
Given what Daz revealed surrounding Em’s rejecting Snoop’s feature request, perhaps it can be reasoned that it was intended to appear on The Blue Carpet Treatment. The timing would have made sense, as it marked the first time Snoop worked closely with Dr. Dre since 2000’s Tha Last Meal. Not to mention the fact that Snoop appears to have little fondness for Eminem in the aforementioned interview -- though all of this is purely speculative. It should be noted that throughout this time, Eminem was in the middle of battling with his addiction; as he later revealed on Recovery, the struggle was not only impacting his ability to rap, but his relationships within the industry.
When he did end up mounting his comeback with the back to back tandem of Relapse and Recovery in 2009 and 2010 respectively, Snoop Dogg once again took a moment to speak on Em’s music in an interview. This time around, he was far more flattering, going so far as to celebrate Slim Shady’s scene-stealing “Forever” verse. “I think Eminem went hard in the paint, he did kill that shit,” says Snoop. “He spit like, forty-five bars. They turned his light on. That’s the young generation though. Drake inspires n***as that have been doing it for a while. Em probably feel like Drake got his spotlight now, because it used to be Eminem that was the hottest muthafucka talked about.” He proceeds to claim that Eminem absolutely obliterated Jay-Z on “Renegade,” arguing that Slim had to come correct given the stakes of appearing on The Blueprint. “Jay-Z known for killing n***as, but to have the whiteboy killing him on his own shit?” Snoop whistles. “That was nerve-wracking. I don’t want Eminem on my album. I’m cool.”
Snoop Dogg praising Eminem's performance on "Forever" and analyzing "Renegade."
THE INCITING INCIDENT
Despite the fact that balance appeared to have been achieved between Snoop and Shady, that long-desired collaboration never actually came to fruition. In October of 2018, the pair did reconnect in Eminem’s Detroit studio, when Snoop slid through to catch the premiere of the autobiographical stage play Redemption Of A Dogg. “Had to c M. To get the stamp,” captions Snoop, alongside a picture of the “Bitch Please 2” collaborators. While the reunion did spark speculation of a possible duet, those dreams were ultimately squashed following a 2020 Snoop Dogg interview -- one that went on to kick the first stone in the ensuing rockslide.
In July 2020, Snoop spoke with The Breakfast Club about the brilliance of Dr. Dre, which led him to speaking on the rise of Eminem. “Eminem, the great white hope,” begins Snoop. “White rappers had zero respect in rap, let’s keep that one thousand. Dre has probably put Eminem in a position where he can be considered one of the top ten greatest rappers ever. I don’t think so, but the game feels like he’s top 10 lyricists. That’s because he’s with Dr. Dre, and Dre helped him find the best Eminem he could find.” Charlamagne appreciates Snoop’s honesty, agreeing with his assessment that Em is not a top ten rapper. “There’s some n***as in the eighties that he can’t fuck with,” says Snoop. “Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J. Ice Cube. I ain’t got no time to play, it is what it is. Cuz did it, he did that. He’s a teammate, he’s one of my brothers. But when you’re talking about this hip-hop shit that I can’t live without, I can live without that.”
"There’s some n***as in the eighties that he can’t fuck with. Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J. Ice Cube. I ain’t got no time to play, it is what it is. Cuz did it, he did that. He’s a teammate, he’s one of my brothers. But when you’re talking about this hip-hop shit that I can’t live without, I can live without that" - Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg on whether or not Eminem is in his Top 10
It didn’t take long for the masses to react negatively to Snoop’s assessment, adding fuel to the fire and accusing the Doggfather of being out of line. It got to the point where Eminem himself was fielding questions about it, which ultimately pushed him to address Snoop’s comments on his Music To Be Murdered By Side B cut “Zeus.”
As far as squashing beef, I'm used to people knockin' me
But just not in my camp, and diplomatic as I'm tryna be
Last thing I need is Snoop doggin' me
Man, Dogg, you was like a damn god to me
Nah, not really -- I had "dog" backwards
Naturally, the direct name-drop caused quite the stir. Many fans immediately found themselves in a painful conundrum, pledging loyalty to two bonafide hip-hop legends. Dreams of “Bitch Please 3” faded at an alarming rate. While Snoop Dogg took his time in acknowledging the “Zeus” bars, Em explained his motivation during an extensive Shade 45 interview. “"Everything he said, by the way, was fine, up to a point," Em explained. "Him saying Dre made the best version of me, absolutely, why would I have a problem with that? Would I be here without Dre? Fuck no, I wouldn’t. The rappers he mentioned from the ‘90s—KRS One, Big Daddy Kane, [Kool] G Rap—I’ve never said I could fuck with them."
Eminem explains why he addressed Snoop Dogg on "Zeus"
“I think it was more about the tone he was using that caught me off-guard cause I'm like, where is this coming from? I just saw you, what the fuck? It threw me for a loop," Em continued. "I probably could've gotten past the whole tone and everything, but it was the last statement where he said, 'Far as music I can live without, I can live without that shit.' Now you’re being disrespectful. It just caught me off-guard."
Many had hoped this one could have been settled behind closed doors, perhaps with the moderation of Dr. Dre, to whom both rappers owe quite a debt. Unfortunately, neither party seemed particularly willing to back down. Following Em’s Shade 45 interview, Snoop Dogg offered up a brief but provocative response on Instagram: "Pray I don't answer that soft ass shit.” He also appeared to double down on his defiance, taking to IG Live to preview an unreleased track -- one that made reference to several Eminem albums, including Curtain Call and Kamikaze. "That n***a better leave me alone," warned Snoop, at the beginning of the track. Given the current state of affairs, it seemed as if Snoop was all but inviting further smoke from Shady.
On a more somber note, the hospitalization of Dr. Dre drove home the reality that feuds of this nature are ultimately trivial. Most hip-hop fans could agree that Snoop and Eminem are much more effective as allies than enemies. At this point, it feels as if the two legendary rappers should put aside their differences and make efforts to find common ground. After all, the very fate of "Bitch Please 3" hangs in the balance.