Snoop Dogg has been honoured for his longstanding, influential contributions to hip-hop, by being presented with an I Am Hip Hop accolade, during the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
Snoop “paved a way into many hearts,” said Kendrick Lamar, who surprised guests by presenting the award to the west coast rap legend at the Cobb Energy Performing Centre in Atlanta. “He mastered the game through tests and challenges that earned him the respect of a college professor,” he said, “Except his game came from the streets.” Crediting him as a major influence for his career, he went on, “He put [me] on game, so I would avoid the same pitfalls. … Snoop Dogg was the god, and continues to be so.”
In his acceptance speech, Snoop spoke about how he felt “misunderstood” when he first started out, encouraging young upcomers to push boundaries and be original. “To all the young rappers in the game, a lot of people don’t understand you,” he began. “Y’all are misunderstood. I was misunderstood at the beginning. So you got to keep pushing, be original and diverse. Hip-hop was created many years ago and it’s taken people so many places. You have to be who you are.”
The rapper has been a prolific, thoroughly unique hip-hop trailblazer for the whole of his career, which began by collaborating with Dr Dre, then in N.W.A, before his 1993 debut album Doggystyle immediately cemented him as an incredibly important name in gangsta rap.
BET Hip Hop Awards went to Kendrick Lamar (Lyricist of the Year), DJ Khaled (Hustler of the Year), Fat Joe & Remy Ma (Track of the Year for All The Way Up) and Chance the Rapper (Best New Hip-Hop Artist) among others.
Read more: Flashback Friday: Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle
Image: Rich Fury/AP