Jill Johnson, JPI
"I don't feel like [an icon] because I'm still doing it; I'm making music," he told The Boombox. "I'm still doing what I do, so it's kind of hard to think of myself as an icon. For me, an icon is somebody like [singer and close friend] Charlie Wilson. For [BMI] to be honoring me, for him to come out tonight -- this is my uncle, somebody I grew up listening to -- and to say I that I've been able to make records with him, he's gone on tour with me ... this is crazy to me."
Also on hand to celebrate his award were rappers Kurupt, Warren G, Busta Rhymes and Drake -- all admirers of the Long Beach native.
"I think Snoop is probably one of the most non-threatening personalities that you can meet," said Busta Rhymes. "He still exemplifies what he represents from the street perspective. I think that's a genius skill set in itself, to make people feel proud to just want to be friends with a gangster. That s--- is genius to me! He's a gentleman. He's an honest brother, too. And he has a great way of going about being honest."
"If there's anybody that can do anything, it's Snoop Dogg," said Drake. "There's things that he's done that I wouldn't even do, but at the end of the day, he takes these risks in his career, and they've always worked out, and he remains a very poised, G figure. He will forever be a legend, and I respect that a lot. To be able to branch out as wide as he's gone and not do damage to your career is an incredible thing. I mean, you have to have a serious catalog and track record to maintain it."
Capping the night off with a star-studded tribute, Wiz Khalifa, Game, Kurupt, and Nas all performed some of Snoop's biggest hits. The guest of honor eventually took the stage, receiving his award from Dr. Dre.
The BMI Urban Awards also acknowledged other artists, songwriters, writers and producers whose hits have ruled the Billboard charts over the past year. Drake took home the Urban Songwriter of the Year award for his various projects, while Atlanta rapper B.o.B. became the youngest recipient ever of the BMI Urban Song of the Year prize -- awarded for 'Nothing on You.' Top producers Kanye West, Polow tha Don, Lex Lugar and R. Kelly were also recognized.