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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
8/13/2003 6:22:23 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Snoop Dogg.

If you buy into the stereotype that gangster-rappers - rappers, period - are just foolhardy hedonists with the business sense God gave a pigeon, then, my friend, you are seriously misinformed.

Listen up. These days, rap stars are becoming venture capitalists, exporting hip-hop culture and everything that encompasses it to untapped markets overseas.

The Rock the Mic Tour, which plays at AmSouth Amphitheatre on Monday, will feature two leading artists turned businessmen, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent.

Though 50 Cent's debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', is the biggest selling album this year, he has some years to go before his career matches the breadth of Snoop Dogg's.

At six albums deep, Snoop stands among the leaders of this school of business-savvy rappers, along with artists such as Jay-Z, Eminem and P. Diddy. They all personify the ethic that hip-hop is part art, part hustle.

It's not just about record-label ownership anymore; these days, it's about owning clothing lines and restaurants, energy drinks and liquor brands.

Snoop has his own clothing line, SDC Apparel. But he also has a line of action figures and his own MTV comedy show, Doggy Fizzle Televizzle. He even has a movie career and, of course, heads his own label, Doggy Style Records.

It's been 10 years since Snoop first debuted with his solo album, 1993's Doggystyle.

This man's been through wars, from being acquitted of murder to being in the midst of the mid-'90s bicoastal rap war, which many believe resulted in the deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.

Rumors persist that Suge Knight, the boss of his former record label, has it out for him.......

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