Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg credits GAP BAND singer Charlie Wilson for his decision to ditch marijuana.

The BEAUTIFUL rapper, real name CALVIN BROADUS, stunned fans when he announced his decision to end his longrunning devotion to weed, and he thanks Wilson for influencing his choice.

He says, "We had a long conversation at my house one day. Both of our families went out and when we got back and he brought me to the side and he's like, 'Nephew I see a whole lot of potential in you and you goin' places and you can really be a big star - but you need to really check yourself and try to do it clean.

"'Let's take a stand for once. Let's see you do somethin, let's see you be Snoop Dog without weed; let's see you be Snoop Dog without alcohol. Let's see you just be a real man.'

"I had never been challenged before; not by no man on that level of who I am and where I'm goin'. I know he had the game before. The Gap Band was a big group and drugs knocked him down, so for him to tell me that it was extra concern, it was love, it was care - it touched me.

"I just said I don't want it no more and just left it alone. I'm so controlled now. I'm such a better person, a better father; it helped to coach football, it helped me to find out what I really love to do, things that make me laugh is what I do now."

He adds, "I was really starting to feel like a drug addict because the association of Dogg was weed. It wasn't good movies or great music. It was Snoop Dog... weed, and I didn't want that."

27/02/2004 09:31