Editor’s Note: The CNN Film “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over” premieres Sunday, January 1, at 9 p.m. ET exclusively on CNN.
Gangsta rap dominated the music scene in the ’90s, and then one legendary singer’s intervention forever changed the genre.
So, when she heard the misogynist lyrics of the ’90s, she decided to confront the rappers in person.
“These kids are expressing themselves, which they’re entitled to do. However, there’s a way to do it,” Warwick said in the CNN Film, “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over.”
Warwick, who was the first solo Black female artist to win a Grammy in contemporary vocal performance, decided to host a meeting with Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, and several other rappers at her home.
The time? 7 a.m. on the dot. Not a minute before, not a minute after.
“We were kind of like scared and shook up,” Snoop Dogg said when he heard about the invite. “We’re powerful right now, but she’s been powerful forever. Thirty-some years in the game, in the big home with a lot of money and success.”
The rapper said they were all in her driveway at 6:52 a.m.
After greeting the men, she told them to call her a b****, a word they frequently used to describe women in their songs.
Warwick told them: “You guys are all going to grow up. You’re going have families. You’re going to have children. You’re going to have little girls and one day that little girl is going to look at you and say, ‘Daddy, did you really say that? Is that really you?’ What are you going to say?”
The rappers were dumbfounded to hear their own lyrics being used against them by one of the greatest female singers of all time.
“She was checking me at a time when I thought we couldn’t be checked,” Snoop explained. “We were the most gangsta as you could be but that day at Dionne Warwick’s house, I believe we got out-gangstered that day.”
Snoop then changed his tone with his new album, “Tha Doggfather.”
“I made it a point to put records of joy – me uplifting everybody and nobody dying and everybody living,” he said.
He went on to release 19 studio albums and 175 singles, including, “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” He is now a husband and a father to three boys and – as Warwick predicted – one daughter.
“Dionne, I hope I became the jewel that you saw when I was the little, dirty rock that was in your house. I hope I’m making you proud,” Snoop said.