Forget all about Snoop Lion, and get excited for Snoopzilla.
Earlier this year Snoop Dogg released a reggae album under new moniker Snoop Lion, which traded the menacing gangster rap that made him a superstar for a rasta-inspired patois. The album, "Reincarnated," and its companion documentary, opened to mixed reaction -- with a few critics writing it off as a gimmick -- and were coolly received.
Now the iconic, multi-platinum rapper continues his inescapable pop culture dominance (Hot Pocket commercials! Merchandise! Daytime soap guest appearances!) by adding yet another nickname to his arsenal: Snoopzilla.
Like Snoop Lion, the new alter ego is being introduced to roll out to introduce a new project. This time Snoop D-O Double G is trying out a genre that's more familiar: funk music.
Snoopzilla teamed with Dam-Funk to form 7 Days of Funk, and the duo is prepping a self-titled album set for release on Dec. 10 via Stones Throw Records.
We were admittedly skeptical of Snoop Lion -- the documentary is more compelling than the album -- but this is one reinvention that goes without question. Snoop has long steeped his rhymes in bouncy synths, deep bass, altered tempos and hypnotic grooves, and his early, Dr. Dre-produced discography is part of gangsta-funk’s DNA.
Teaming with Dam-Funk, who has perfected a modernist take on the old-school flair of the genre, is an absolute no-brainer. The duo began working together after Snoop invited Dam-Funk to perform with him at a 2011 South by Southwest gig.
“We're the babies of the Mothership,” Snoopzilla said in a statement. “I’ve had funk influences in my music my whole career. Dam-Funk is cold. He’s keeping the funk alive, and I knew I had to get down with him.”
“Snoop knew what I was thinking without me having to articulate it. That’s how you know when you gel artistically with someone,” Dam-Funk added. “These beats were made for him, and he laid down some of the smoothest harmonies and melodies I’ve ever heard. It’s hip-hop, but you can also hear what we grew up on, from Zapp to Evelyn 'Champagne' King and Patrice Rushen.”
7 Days of Funk issued its first official single “Faden Away” on Tuesday. It’s a breezy, hypnotic jam that Zapp would be proud of. Listen below: