Snoop Dogg becomes Snoop Lion, announces reggae album and film
The Long Beach rapper Snoop Dogg has several iconic traits -- a laid-back and menacing flow, evocatively violent lyrics and a deep affection for cannabis sativa among them. He’ll get to keep at least one of those interests in his new incarnation as Snoop Lion, an alias gleaned from a new interest in Rastafarianism and a hard pivot to traditional reggae music.
The identity change, which he first announced last week, is suprising but not unprecedented in contemporary hip-hop (Nas recorded a collaborative album of reggae-infused tunes with Damian Marley). But it is a major re-imagining of the music and image of the man born Calvin Broadus.
A forthcoming album of straightforward reggae, “Reincarnated,” is due soon on Vice Records, and features production by noted Jamaica-philes Major Lazer. A documentary film of the same title, about the trip to Jamaica that spurred Snoop’s new spirituality, will debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September.
Snoop has been wearing Ethiopian-themed clothes at recent concerts, including his headlining Coachella appearance, and the documentary suggests it’s the start of a real and profound new path for Snoop. In the trailer, he implies that the identity of Snoop Dogg is truly over.
In a statement, he described the change as a spiritual awakening. “I wanted to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion, but I didn’t know that until I went to the temple and received the name Snoop Lion from the Nyabingi priest,” said Snoop. “From that moment on, I started to understand why I was there and was able to create something magical in this [‘Reincarnated’] project ... something I haven’t done before in my career.”
View the trailer for “Reincarnated” below:
PHOTOS AND MORE:
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.