Born Calvin Broadus on October 20, 1971, in Long Beach, California, Snoop Dogggot his nickname from his mother because she thought he looked like the character in the Peanuts cartoon. His first album, Doggystyle (1993), climbed its way to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s hip-hop and Top 200 charts, and his music and trouble with the law have kept him in the headlines ever since. In early 2012, Snoop announced that he was working for the first time on an all-reggae album, Reincarnation. Later in 2012, he announced that, in conjunction with his reggae project, he was dropping “Dogg” from his name and becoming “Snoop Lion.”
Born Todd Shaw on April 28, 1966, Too Shortgrew up in L.A.’s South Central; soon after his family moved to Oakland in the early ’80s, he began selling tapes out of the back of his car. Signed to the local label 75 Girls, in 1983 he released his first proper album, Don’t Stop Rappin’. Three albums followed in the next two years, after which Too Short formed his own Dangerous Music label with friend Freddy B. He recorded Born to Mack in 1986, and sold more than 50,000 copies just by riding around the region. New York’s Jive Records picked up on the buzz from across the country, and provided a national deal for the album one year later. With virtually no radio airplay, Born to Mack went gold and its follow-up, Life Is…Too Short, achieved platinum sales by 1989.
Dedrick Rolison, (born August 9, 1971) is an American gangsta rapper and actor best known by his stage name Mack 10. He was a member of the hip hop trio known as the Westside Connection, along with Ice Cube and WC. He is of African and Mexican descent. Rolison is also the founder of independent record label Hoo-Bangin Records. Mack 10 made his first appearance on Ice Cube’s “Bootlegs & B-Sides” compilation on the track “What Can I Do? (Remix.)” His debut, gold selling album “Mack 10” was released in 1995 on the Priority label. His next two releases “Based on a True Story” (1997) and “The Recipe” (1998) also reached gold certification and peaked at #14 and #15 on the Billboard 200, respectively.
Born Warren Griffin III, Warren G exploded out of the burgeoning Long Beach rap scene in 1994 with the smash single “Regulate,” a duet with longtime friend Nate Dogg, and its accompanying album, Regulate…G Funk Era. G grew up in Long Beach listening to his parents’ extensive collection of jazz, soul and funk records, also frequently hanging out at the local V.I.P. record store. As a teenager, he and his friends Nate Dogg and future superstar Snoop Dogg formed a rap group called 213, after their area code.
Born Howard Bailey, Jr. on March 9, 1980, he began writing rhymes at the age of 10 and began rapping under the name of “H Thugs” during his teen years. Renamed Chingy after a slang term for looking wealthy, he signed with Fo-Reel Entertainment, an artist management firm with local heroes Nelly and St. Lunatics on the roster. While on tour with Nelly in 2002, he met rapper and Disturbing Tha Peace labelhead Ludacris. He would sign to DTP in 2003 and release “Right Thurr” on the label that same year. With Chingy’s slow drawl and laid-back swagger, the track became the anthem for hot summer nights, peaking at number two on Billboard’s Hot 100 while topping the magazine’s Hot Rap Tracks chart. Released in July, his debut album Jackpot spawned two additional Top Five hits, “Holidae In” with Ludacris and Snoop Dogg, plus “One Call Away” with J/Weav.