Snoop holds hands in prayer before the verdict is read on a 1993 murder charge; Photo: N/A

“I didn’t have no expressions. You know what I’m sayin’? It was all inner. I prayed on it,” said the Lion formerly known as Dogg to MTV, following the emotions he visited while the verdict of the OJ-esque circus trial of the hip-hop elite’s infamous 1993 murder charge was deliberated.

A day earlier on February 20, 1996, he and his bodyguard were acquitted on the majority of charges revolving around the gang-loyalty shootout death of 20-year-old Philip Woldermariam. The following day, subsequent acquittals rolled out, Snoop strutting in his pinstripe suit and braids into his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce a free man. So went the real life version.

Rewinding back to 1994, Snoop, Dre, Tha Dogg Pound and a record’s worth of a rap entourage immortalized their gangsta cred in a short film and accompanying soundtrack christened Murder Was The Case, anti-glorifying through means of questionable drug, violence and sex glorifications, in one spectacularly produced swoop.

Dre’s signature falsetto key work is one ghetto-genius thing. But Snoop’s life imitating art, God-fearing deal with the devil on the title-track, is his Rod Serling of rap moment:

As I look up at the sky
My mind starts trippin’, a tear drops my eye
My body temperature falls
I’m shakin’ and they breakin’ tryin’ to save tha Dogg
Pumpin’ on my chest and I’m screamin
I stop breathin’, damn I see deamons
Dear God, I wonda can ya save me
I can’t die Boo-Boo’s bout to have my baby
I think it’s too late for prayin’, hold up
A voice spoke to me and it slowly started saying:

‘Bring your lifestyle to me I’ll make it better’

How long will I live?

‘Eternal life and forever’

And will I be, the G that I was?

‘I’ll make your life better than you can imagine or even dreamed of
So relax your soul, let me take control
Close your eyes my son’

My eyes are closed

Murder… murder was the case that they gave me
Murder… murder was the case that they gave me