Snoop Dogg is crazy cool.

The icon, who started as a gangsta rapper but now steers an entertainment empire spanning music, TV, film and digital realms, is in Chicago this week on tour with a new stage play based on his life, “Redemption Of A Dogg.”

Premiering at the Arie Crown Theater Saturday, the play is the rapper’s first foray into theater, coming as his first book, “From Crook to Cook,” is set to hit stands Oct. 23.

But don’t express too much surprise at his evolution from a brash, weed-smoking rapper with myriad brushes with the law — including an acquittal on murder charges in 1996 — to the mellow, still weed-smoking, but faith-filled entertainment mogul he presents today.

“It’s always been there. There wasn’t like a moment that changed me. It’s just that in the early years, the focus wasn’t there,” Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., said in an interview with the Sun-Times Wednesday.

“I wasn’t in control. I was just doing me. I was reckless, an 18-, 19-year-old, active gang member. My upbringing taught me the right way. Out there, I learned the wrong way,” he said. “That’s what usually happens with our youth. They get taught the right way, then leave and do it the wrong way, and have to find ourselves going back home. That’s where I’m at now, finding myself back home.”

Snoop Dogg in a scene from his new stage play, “Redemption of a Dogg.” Based on his life, the play premiers Saturday at the Arie Crown Theater, its third stop on a 10-city tour. | Provided photo

Written, directed and produced by noted urban theater playwright Je’Caryous Johnson, the play explores one man’s internal battle between preserving his fame and legacy — and potentially losing the love of his life. It’s the story of Snoop and his wife of 25 years, Shante Taylor.

The high-school sweethearts’ beautiful family life has been long admired by the public — they have three children and three grandchildren. But it hasn’t been without trials, and Snoop decided he wanted to tell that story. Chicago is the third stop of a 10-city tour, and Saturday is also Snoop’s 47th birthday.

“It gives you moments of trials and tribulations I went through in my relationship, where nobody knew,” said Snoop. “I wasn’t taught to be a father, because my mother raised me. It’s just doing what’s right, looking at those before me, saying, ‘Well, I don’t want that to happen. Let me make sure that I love, spend quality time, do what matters, make sure that I hold on to this.'”

The rapper has enjoyed a prolific career since being discovered by Dr. Dre in the early ’90s, with 17 studio albums since his first chart-topper, “Doggystyle.” With global fame, over 35 million records sold, and a career in movies and TV, he holds several records — including 17 Grammy nominations, but no wins.

Rapper Snoop Dogg arrives at the 25th annual Brit Music Awards in London, on Feb. 9, 2005. (AP Photo/Adam Butler)

His lyrics and beats are the backdrop of a hip-hop generation, with No. 1 hits like “Gin & Juice,” “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?),” “Nuthin’ But A ‘G Thang” and “Next Episode.”

His first foray into gospel, the 2018 “Bible of Love” album, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard. “I was seeing so many schools being shot up, innocent kids killed by violence, and I was thinking about my grandmother, who never got a chance to hear my music because it was never clean enough,” Snoop said of the album. “I wanted to make a record my mother, while she’s still here, could be proud of.”

As a DJ, he performs worldwide under the name DJ Snoopadelic, and was the first hip-hop performer to get a Las Vegas residency.

Snoop Dogg performs on day three of Riot Fest in Douglas Park, Sept. 13, 2015. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times

His acting credits include roles in films including “Soul Plane,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Half Baked” and the Oscar-winner “Training Day.”

He’s done voiceover for many animated films and TV shows. And his production company, Snoopadelic Films, was nominated for an Emmy for his role as executive producer and co-host of VH1’s “Martha [Stewart] & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner.”

He’s still outspoken, though, with much to say about fellow rapper Kanye West’s visit to the White House last week and West’s bizarre, rambling monologue heaping praise on President Donald Trump. Snoop afterward called West an “Uncle Tom.”

“You’re showing him telephones and airplanes and all this stuff that has nothing to do with nothing,” he said Wednesday. “[Trump] has power, and [West] didn’t bother to even say anything about fixing things that should be fixed. We as black people need to send better representation if we’re going to say, ‘This is someone speaking for us.’ ”

But he had accolades for another ChiTown rapper who too has waded into politics.

Snoop Dogg talks about his journey from gangsta rapper to entertainment mogul, in an interview with Chicago Sun-Times reporter Maudlyne Ihejirika at the St. Jane Chicago, Oct. 17, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

“I love what Chance the Rapper is doing, being smart and doing something that’s effective in his community,” Snoop said.

“When we become successful as entertainers, we have millions of people who support and follow us. We are the voice of the voiceless. We have to choose to care,” said the rapper, who runs the Snoop Youth Football League, a 13-year-old nonprofit serving inner-city youth.

He also had a message to gangbangers wreaking havoc in Chicago’s inner city.

“To the leaders from these gangs that’s out here that care: Find a way to unify. Dialogue. Just get some conversation going, to where we can at least live for each other, because what y’all don’t understand is that you guys are related,” said Snoop. “We all ran from the South to come here. We’re all related. Do your history. I want y’all to live, man. This is Big Snoop Dogg.”

Snoop Dogg shared a message for gangbangers wreaking havoc in Chicago’s inner city during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times