Wearing a thick, black and white checkered shirt and dark green tam cap, Snoop Dogg strutted to the stage smoking a blunt.
As the rapper took his seat at the end of the stage for the Broadcast Music Inc.'s “How I Wrote That Song” panel, an annual event, he puffed thick smoke rings into the air.
The rapper, who now goes by Snoop Lion, passed the blunt to two of his fellow panelists -- rapper Busta Rhymes and rapper/musician B.o.B. -- while songwriters Luke Laird and Evan Bogart generously declined.
The panel featured videos of hit songs by each participant, followed by insight from the artists about the background of how it was crafted.
Snoop recalled first performing his breakout hit "Nothing But a G Thang" over the phone from jail for Dr. Dre, while Busta Rhymes recollected how the various rappers on Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" didn't allow each other to hear their individual verses until they got to the studio.
"It's great to be able to show the general public how some of the greatest hits came to be," said Catherine Brewton, vice president of BMI, in an interview prior to the event.
Brewton said the goal of the annual panel is twofold: decoding the songwriting process for aspiring musicians and allowing panelists to meet partners for future collaborations.
"From genre to genre, there is a lot of common ground among songwriters," Brewton said.
Panelists spent much of the two-hour event interacting with each other.
During almost every video, B.o.B. peppered Laird with questions about the writing and music behind his hits and, later, borrowed the country writer's guitar for an acoustic version of "Don't Let Me Fall."
Later, Bogart revealed that his first songwriting hit -- Rihanna's 2006 single "S.O.S." -- was written as an emotional rap, inspired by his earlier days as an aspiring rapper.
To the marvel of the others on stage, Bogart took the mike and rhythmically rhymed the pop hit's opening verse.
The two veteran rappers both gave Barton thunderous applause, and seemed equally impressed with the videos of songs crafted by Laird, particularly Rodney Atkins' 2011 song "Take a Back Road."
"That's a dope song," the California rapper mouthed to Rhymes, as the smoke from his blunt drifted in thick clouds above the panelists.
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