06/19/2008 AT 04:40 PM EDT
Rapper Snoop Dogg is embracing country music in his new video
for the single "My Medicine."
A cowboy hat-wearing Dogg dedicates the YouTube video to the late Johnny Cash, calling him "a real American gangster."
"His music touched people like myself, which you probably didn't know," Dogg explained at the CMT Awards
The single features Willie Nelson, Dancing With the Stars
champ Julianne Hough and country star Brad Paisley. It's considered a surprising turn from a man known mostly for gangsta rap.
But the rapper said country music's appeal is universal.
"Country music is the most underrated music in the world," he said. "It always has the test of time, it's great, it's heartfelt, and it touches people no matter what color they are or where they're from."