Snoop Dogg is telling his side of the story regarding his controversial comments to Gayle King after she posed a headline-making question about Kobe Bryant during an interview.
Earlier this month, the rapper directed an expletive-laden rant toward King after she brought up Bryant's 2003 rape case in an interview with Lisa Leslie shortly after Bryant died in a helicopter crash. Snoop Dogg has since apologized to King.
Snoop sat down with Jada Pinkett Smith for an episode of "Red Table Talk" that aired Wednesday, revealing what prompted him to lash out at King.
"It was a matter of me losing control because we still haven’t swallowed Nip ... we still hurt behind that and then Kobe and his daughter," Snoop said, referencing Nipsey Hussle's death in 2019 before sharing losses he personally experienced. "I lost a grandson, a grandmother and then I gotta be strong in front of everybody… What about when I want to cry? What about when I’m hurt and I’m feeling bad and I feel disgusted and I want to be angry and I want to just blurt out, I can’t."
He continued: "I let my emotions get the best of me, I was frustrated on top of just venting and doing it the wrong way."
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 while en route to an AAU basketball game.
Snoop spoke about his close relationship with Bryant, saying they were both fans of each other and reiterating the former LA Laker's impact on the city.
"Kobe was like the son and the brother to LA that we all needed and we all loved him for that. From the early 90's to his last days of him playing basketball, we watched him grow into a father, a mentor, a leader," Snoop said. "He was the kind of guy that was forgiving, he was the kind of guy that was apologetic so I had to take that on and say 'let me put a little bit of him in me.' "
Snoop Dogg said he felt the need to protect Bryant's legacy.
"When someone becomes a superhero – we don’t have a lot of them – but when someone becomes a superhero, it's our job to protect that superhero," Snoop said.
Snoop said that although many people seemed to take his side, he felt the need to apologize because he didn't want to create a worse situation.
"I needed to be bigger," he said. "I wanted to make sure what I said was said the right way and I wanted to make sure that the message was across that we love Kobe and be respectful of Vanessa and those kids. That's what the whole intent was to protect that woman and them babies over there because she's still grieving and let's give them that respect."
Snoop said his mother was one of the reasons he decided to apologize.
"When your mama can make you feel like a kid that's when you gotta get right," Snoop said. "She didn't say I was wrong, she was just giving me: 'You know I raised you better than that… You're a representation of us, every woman that has ever crossed your life, you're a representation of that.' "
After hearing his mother's words, Snoop said he felt the need to issue a public apology to King.
"Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based off of emotions about me being angry about questions that you asked. (I) overreacted. Should have handled it way different than that. I was raised way better than that," Snoop said in his apology.
The rapper said that although he hasn't been able to speak to King in person, he's reached out through her people and sent her a DM to apologize and offered to meet with her privately.
USA TODAY has reached out to King's reps for comment.
"Me apologizing was a big difference because people didn't expect that, they thought I was gong to hold on to my gangster," Snoop explained. "People looking up to me and saying 'I like what you did Snoop. How can we better ourselves and correct our mistakes, and not feel ashamed and not feel less of a man, because I said I'm sorry?' "