The massively acclaimed single features many of the conventional topics found in the gangsta rap genre, as Snoop Doggy Dogg, with the laconic, laid-back drawl he became famous for, raps about his involvement with gang crime, killing, drugs, parties, sex and black-on-black shootings. However, the song adopts a more 'funky' tune, (as seen across much of Snoop and Dr. Dre's earlier work). The single quickly became a hugely successful hit, and is recognised as one of Snoop Dogg's "greatest pieces".
Additional vocals were contributed by LaShana Dendy, Tony Green, and Dr. Dre. The follow-up version of it titled "Snoop Dogg" was released on his album, Tha Last Meal. The cover artwork is by Joe Cool. The song features the line "Shit that I drop 'cuz ya know it don't stop / Mr. One Eight Seven on a motherfuckin' cop", a reference to Snoop and Dr. Dre's previous single, "Deep Cover".
The song briefly features Dr. Dre; although he is uncredited, he is clearly rapping towards the end of the first verse.
Since then, other rappers have used the song's lines in their own songs, most notably Jay-Z, who would borrow the lines "Went solo on that ass / but it's still the same" and "What's my motherfuckin' name?" from for his own hit "Jigga My Nigga", and Ja Rule, who used the latter line as the intro to "I'm Real (Murder Remix)", one of his many collaborations with Jennifer Lopez.
In the UK in 2014, the song was used on an advert for MoneySupermarket, which featured Snoop Dogg.
"Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" was the third top-ten of Snoop Dogg on the Billboard Hot 100, the first as lead artist. The song reached number 8 on the chart. The song topped the US Hot Rap Songs for three weeks. It was certified gold by the RIAA in 1994.
Fab 5 Freddy directed a CGI-driven music video for the song. Snoop and others are able to turn into dogs (such as Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers, and the females Cocker Spaniels and several other breeds) to evade angry fathers and run amok. One scene shows the animals wearing sunglasses, smoking cigars and gambling on dice games (a parody of the series of paintings titled Dogs Playing Poker). Throughout the video Snoop can be seen standing on the roof of V.I.P. Records, a record store and studio where Snoop Dogg recorded some of his first materials. Other associates of Snoop make cameo appearances such as Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, and Warren G.