Snoop Dogg has revealed that he almost joined the U.S. Air Force before he pursued music.
For Memorial Day on Monday (May 29), the West Coast rap legend took to Instagram to pay tribute to all the troops, while explaining how he had planned to sign up to the military when he was a teen — before backing out at the last second.
“1989, man,” he began. “We were finna graduate from high school, right? So we went down to the registration office downtown at Long Beach. Me, Duke and a couple other homies.
“So we’re in there filling out the paperwork and I’m looking at all the questions that they asking me and tryna decide, ‘Do I really wanna go through with this Air Force thing?'”
He continued: “I told Duke, I said, ‘Duke, give me a minute. I’ll be right back, I’ma go the car.’ Went to the car and never came back. And then four years later, my homeboy was a true vet, Air Force soldier.
“I love you for that, man. Appreciate the love, man. All the troops out there, y’all know I love y’all. It’s Snoop Dogg, man. One love. I wish I coulda been, shoulda been, but it ain’t no thing but a chicken wing ’cause I’m a soldier at heart.”
Snoop Dogg’s father, Vernell Varnado, served in the Vietnam War and received a Purple Heart after being shot four times.
“He told me when he got to Vietnam, the life expectancy for a Black male was 16.4 seconds,” Snoop told The Howard Stern Show in 2018. “They would send those Black guys to the front line to deal with the Vietnamese, and what about what’s behind them?
“These racist white guys who were really not used to being around Black guys and have a gun in their hands. So when the firing jumps off, you’re getting shot at from the back and the front. How about that?”
Snoop Dogg’s cousin, Nate Dogg, dropped out of school at the age of 17 to join the Marines. He served three years as an ammunition specialist and was discharged in 1989.
“I wanted to see if I was a man, so I joined the service as a litmus test,” the late rapper/singer said as his reasoning for joining the Marines, according to The Urban Daily.
Other rappers who have famously served in the millitary include Freddie Gibbs, Malice, Ice-T, MC Hammer, Mystikal and Canibus.