This past week, Snoop Dogg was honored at the BMI Awards for a storied career that has spanned over three decades. Good for Calvin, too, as he has long been one of the genre’s leading ambassadors. Inadvertently, he’s also the chain smoker with more than one legendary awards show performance under his belt. His 1995 Source Awards showing stands in the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame as one of the more infamous moments and a catalyst that helped pour gasoline on an already bitter East Coast/West Coast civil war. Yet, it was Snoop’s 1994 MTV VMA performance of “Murder Was The Case” which was just as controversial, if not more.
Unless Wayne performs his verse from “It’s Good” or Jay-Z throws a shot at the other Mr. Carter, chances are no fireworks will even come close to the significance of this moment. And even then, it still won’t. Everyone in the building that evening knew the Death Row Records superstar was in legal hot water. Wanted for being an accomplice in the murder of Phillip Woldermarian, Snoop and the choir boldly taking the stage to proclaim his innocence by performing the already spooky, soul selling number helped cultivate an epic moment.
The urban legend goes Snoop was arrested shortly after stepping off stage and the trial of his life began some time afterwards. Still, 17 years ago at the awards show Twitter will explode over tonight, the world witnessed art imitate life and life’s adversity inspire a portrait that would define not only an artist, but an entire generation.