With little more than some artful percussion and his own iconic flow, Snoop Dogg was on top of the Billboard Hot 100 on Dec. 11, 2004 with "Drop It Like It's Hot" - not only one of his most popular songs, but one of hip-hop's most popular, to this day.
"Drop It" was the lead single from R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, Snoop's seventh album and first since departing Master P's No Limit label. His last album, Paid tha Cost to Be Da Boss, featured "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace," a minor hit collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, the production team known as The Neptunes.
"I wanted to work with somebody that was different, that was dynamic, and that could handle me," Snoop said in a 2013 interview. "Pharrell was poppin'. When me and him hooked up, it's like it was a brotherhood. I was a fan of his work - everything he had done."
Known for a wildly stripped-back sound with The Neptunes, Pharrell built the beat to "Drop It Like It's Hot" on almost nothing: a few drum loops, the click of someone's tongue, the occasional digital noise that sounds like a spray paint can, and one sudden synthesizer riff from Hugo. Snoop said Pharrell also helped him hone his verses, after taking the first to rap himself.
"I did the first verse, I did the second verse - then you were like, 'Nah - you gotta write that over,'" Snoop recounted on a livestream with Williams in 2014. "Y'all shit was cutting edge."
"Drop It Like It's Hot" became Snoop's first No. 1 pop hit, garnering Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Billboard later named it the most popular hip-hop song of the 2000s.