Let's be real. If Snoop Dogg suddenly retired from making new albums but didn't retire from the public eye, his hordes of fans would probably not even blink. Though he's nominally a musical artist, Snoop Dogg wisely long ago transitioned from Snoop Dogg the rapper to Snoop Dogg the brand. Something of a mascot for himself, Snoop Dogg often seems more like the idea of Snoop Dogg — the 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 Muppet movie (OK, so his footage wound up on the cutting-room floor) and lose not an ounce of cred?
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Yes, these days, Snoop's more famous for his TV and film appearances and random other media exploits than he is for his music. Yet out of his devotion to rap or at least to his hard-core fans, he continues to record and release new music, which pretty much always charts. Guess Snoop's got the magic touch in any artistic form, including live performances, in which he's loved for starting a party atmosphere that dutifully touches on his biggest hits from across the decades. Expect those mixed in with some new joints from his upcoming 11th studio album, Doggumentary, due out in March.