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Snoop Dogg on His Olympic Gig, the Horse He Wants to Meet, and Being a ‘Very Legal Guy’

9 minute read

Snoop Dogg is on the line from Eugene, Ore., where he’s pitching in on NBC’s coverage of the U.S. track-and-field trials, to talk about his new TV gig and upcoming Olympic trip to Paris. On the heels of his memorable Olympic commentary with Kevin Hart on the streaming service Peacock during the last Summer Games, in Tokyo in 2021—a clip of Snoop saying a horse in the dressage competition looked like he was doing the crip walk went viral—NBC has hired Snoop as a special correspondent for the Paris Games.

But as Snoop is about to discuss the draw of the Olympics and what he hopes to deliver to audiences watching back home in the U.S., a car alarm goes off nearby. And just like any other red-blooded American trying to have an undistracted conversation on a Sunday afternoon, he pauses for a moment before flipping his lid.

“Where’s the driver? Turn it off,” says Snoop Dogg, exasperated but calm. But it won’t stop – beep, beep, beep. So Snoop has had about enough. 

“Turn your goddamn car off!” Snoop Dogg, to my great delight, yells at his offending neighbor, my cell phone picking up the entire exchange.

Your Guide to the Paris Olympics

In an instant, the alarm stops, and all is quiet.  

Thank you, Snoop. 

Interview crisis averted, Snoop, 52, is now ready and eager to talk Olympics. With the Games now exactly a month away—opening ceremonies begin on July 26—here’s the multiplatinum rapper, producer, actor, and entrepreneur on why he first started watching the Olympics, who he’s excited to see in Paris, and a potential meetup with that crip-walking horse.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity)  

While growing up in Long Beach, Calif., what are some of your first Olympic memories?

Bruce Jenner and the Wheaties box. Sugar Ray Leonard boxing. Edwin Moses. Things of that nature.

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What made you fall in love with the Games? 

Back then we only had so much. It's not like right now, where you got so many different things you can watch and social media and all that sh-t. We only had TV. There was only one TV in the house, so whatever one member of the family was watching, we were all forced to watch it. The Olympics was big because it would take over the whole house whenever it would come on. And it’s special ‘cause you’re seeing athletes for the first time in three, four years and they’re representing the country. So that meant a lot, watching it as a kid. 

When NBC came to you about this gig, why did you sign on? 

Why not? Not why. This is what I do, you know what I’m saying? I love being in front of the people. I love sports. I know what I'm talking about. The network is appealing enough to understand that we deserve each other. So we’re gonna make magic. 

And what do you plan to bring to NBC’s coverage that maybe we haven't seen before?

The fire and the smoke. 

What do you mean by that? 

You figure it out. I’m pretty sure you've been doing this sh-t long enough to figure out what I mean by that. [Laughs]

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Any stories you particularly want to do in Paris?

I definitely want to roll with the [U.S.] basketball team. And I definitely want to try to get in the water. See if I can get a 50-[second] time out of myself in the 50-meter freestyle.

I'm just a kid that's living his dream. I ran the 200 today. I wanted to do the pole vault till I seen what that sh-t looks like. I was like, ‘No way.’ I’ll try the high jump. It don’t require poles and holding [them] in the air.

There’s things that I’m going to try. And at the same time I respect the sport and I respect the Olympics.

Do you plan to try equestrian at all?

Me and horses, I’m gonna let them dance while I talk. 

I saw somewhere that you’re going to try to meet the horse you said was crip walking in Tokyo.

Yes, I'm definitely trying to meet him. Hopefully he’s in the Olympics so I can say, ‘What’s happening?’ to him. Bring him a couple of carrots, some apples or somethin’, know what I’m saying?

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Have you been to Paris before? 

Yeah, many times. I’ve performed in Paris a whole bunch of times. I ran through the Arc de Triomphe. I’ve been to a lot of the big buildings out there, classic buildings from back in the day. They never change. I've been all over Paris. 

What is special about the city to you? 

Love. Love is in the air once you get there. You feel the love.

How’s your French? Have you been working on it?

Nah, I don’t think I have to. I think they like my language, you know what I’m sayin’? They’re going to convert to me. I’m going to translate to them what we’re talking about. 

Do you think Caitlin Clark should have been on the U.S. Olympic basketball team? 

I just wish they got the best team possible. They ain’t lost in about 18 years. On the women’s side in basketball, in the Olympics, they know what they’re doing. What they said is basically, she’s great, but I don’t believe she’s gold-medal-worthy until she pulls her stuff in the WNBA.

This is a big step from college to the WNBA. I love what she's done for the sport in general. But you’ve got to understand, these are WNBA players that have been seasoned to do this. And when you’re going for that gold medal, you want your best girls out there. 

You just watched Sha’Carri Richardson win the 100-m title at the U.S. Olympic trials. What do you think of Sha’Carri? 

She’s living young, wild, and free. She’s supposed to. She’s supposed to be wild. She’s supposed to be everything that she is. The setbacks set up the comeback. I love the way that she’s doing it, the way the team is supporting her, the way she’s got great people around her. She’s going to be just fine. 

She had a big setback before the last Olympics, as she missed the Games for testing positive for cannabis, which is on the sport’s banned list. Do you think cannabis is performance-enhancing in track and field?

Nah, I just ran a 34.44 in the 200 meters and I was smoking all night. So that sh-t ain’t got nothing to do with helping my time at all. It f-cked my time up, if anything. Unless they got some supersh-t to get you faster. Let me know where it is and I’ll be the first to try. 

Cannabis is illegal in France, not sure if you knew that. 

Yeah, yeah. Trust me, I’m a very legal guy.

Do you plan on lobbying the French government to change that while you’re over there? 

Oh, nah. I plan on going out there and doing NBC Olympic work. Being clean as a book, clean as the athletes. They can test me if they want to. I’m going to be out there doing what I’m supposed to be doing to make sure I bring home the gold. Which is me. 

Any international Olympians you're excited to see in Paris?

The Australian swim team, up against the Americans. They push us to the limit. And I like Jamaica’s track team. And Canada’s basketball team. They got a shot to get to the gold-medal round, but they’re not going to win it. They got a shot ‘cause they’ve got a bunch of NBA players who are really seasoned and on top of their game. But the overall factor is going to be, the USA is the dogs. We’re not going to lose to no puppies. 

What do you think of Canadian star Shai-Gilgeous Alexander as a player? 

I think he’s the Snoop Dogg of basketball. I love the way he plays, his style. The way he stays focused and gets better every time he gets out on the court. I love his game. I respect it. 

Why is he the Snoop Dogg of basketball?

Look at him. He looks like me. He’s got the braids, he’s low-key, he’s the Silent Assassin. 

What is the Snoop perspective you can bring to the Games that nobody else can? 

It’s just me. It’s hard to explain. I can't say it’s going to be a bag of potato chips, Kool-Aid, but I know it’s me. Put some plastic around me and let me come there, I do what I do. You can sell me. I’m sold. 

Anything I didn't ask or you want to say before you get back to watching the trials out in Oregon?

Nah, I’m just going out there to have a good time. Potpourri. Comment allez-vous. Oui oui. And all of the above.   

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Write to Sean Gregory at sean.gregory@time.com