There's plenty of rhyme and reason to Snoop Dogg's interest in Celtic
SOCCER ANGLES:The rapper would be welcome at Celtic as there’s already a connection, writes MICHAEL WALKER
A man called Calvin Broadus jr spoke on the subject of Celtic this week. You may know him as Snoop, or as Snoop Doggy Dog, or SnoopDogg or, in his latest incarnation, as Snoop Lion. Some Celtic fans altered that to Snoop ‘Lisbon’ Lion in recognition of this week’s trip to Benfica. Or, you may never have heard of him at all, at all.
If you fall into the latter category, Snoop is a 41-year-old American rapper who has sold millions upon millions of records, CDs, downloads and whatever for two decades. In black America, Snoop is as famous as Mike Tyson and rather more shrewd with cash.
Snoop is also into sport, so when he mused aloud about the possibility of him buying a slice of Celtic, it caused a stir. It might be about as likely to happen as Ally McCoist buying a green v-neck for Christmas, but Snoop declared his new Glasgow fascination following Celtic’s defeat of Barcelona in the Champions League.
Snoop said that he will speak to “my man David” – Beckham – about it again. Apparently the two have already talked Celtic.
It gave Neil Lennon something to smile about in Lisbon on Monday, the thought of Snoop hosting a post-match party in a Parkhead executive box. Lennon understands enough about Snoop to know you wouldn’t introduce him to your auntie. It would be a struggle to call rap culture’s attitude to women two-dimensional.
But if the famous rapper is intrigued now by Celtic, wait until he hears of the existing black, musical and American connection to the club. Maybe he is aware of it already because Snoop is bound to know more about Gil Scott-Heron than he does about Charlie Mulgrew.
Gil Scott-Heron was known, by some, as the Godfather of Rap. His father, Gil Heron, played for Celtic. Without Gil Heron there would have been no Gil Scott-Heron and without him there would have been no Snoop, Dog or Lion.
Gil Heron was known as the Black Arrow when he joined Celtic from Detroit in 1951. He is said to have made quite an impact. He certainly did via his son, who is not complimented by that rap term or by the description ‘musician’. Gil Scott-Heron was a bit more than that. A good bit more.
Tragically, at the far-too-young age of 62, Gil Scott-Heron died last year. There were times in his life when he wrestled with drugs but he never did with words and thankfully this January his memoir/ autobiography came out. The Last Holiday was published by a Scottish firm and merits a strong mention in those end-of-year booklists.
There is not a lot about Gil Heron and Celtic in the book but that is sort of the point – the book contains more about Martin Luther King and Stevie Wonder.
Scott-Heron did not see much of his father after he left for Celtic. The son was in Tennessee with the Scott side of his family. But the son understood just what his father meant when he came to tour Europe, and to Scotland in particular.
Scott-Heron tells a story in the book about a tour – possibly in 1976; he’s vague on dates – when the Scottish promoter needed him to do some interviews to sell tickets.
“You just need to be there for Glasgow at Five,” Scott-Heron was informed. “The promoter had told me the combination of elements on this show would be a Scottish orgasm: there would be talk about soccer, nostalgia about soccer, and living evidence that they had never allowed their racism to interfere with soccer. It was just like they’d been telling all the other Europeans: ‘You can carry that racism thing too far, you know.’”