Snoop Dogg’s Reggae Awakening

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - August 1, 2012

By the Caribbean Journal satff

Global rap superstar Snoop Dogg has a new moniker, “Snoop Lion,” and he is attributing the change to a recent trip to the hills of Jamaica.

Snoop Lion, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, recently took a trip to Jamaica, which began what is something of a career reawakening.

“I had no planning to go to Jamaica, and making a reggae album,” he said at a press conference. “The spirit called me, and anytime the spirit calls you, you gotta know that it is serious, and it’s real. So when the spirit called me, it told me to basically find something that was connected to the Bob Marley spirit, because I’ve always said that I was Bob Marley reincarnated — and it drew me to Jamaica.”

The reggae project, “Reincarnated,” which is a collaboration with Major Lazer, will also include a similarly-titled documentary chronicling the trip to Jamaica. It is being launched with the single, “La La La.”

The name change was born during a trip to the Nyabinghi temple in Jamaica, the rapper said.

“I went to the temple of the Nyabinghi centre, where the high priest was,” he said. “When I walked in, he asked me what was my name, and I said ‘Snoop Dogg,'” he said. “And he looked me in the eye and said, ‘no more — you are the light, you are the lion.’ And from that moment on, it’s like I had started to understand why I was there, and we hadn’t even recorded one song.”

It’s a major departure for the 40-year-old native of Long Beach, Calif., who said the change in sound would help reach an audience that may not have previously listened to his music.

“I’ve always wanted to perform for kids and my grandmother, and people that I love that can’t really accept the music that I made,” he said. “And this reggae music is a music of love, happiness and struggle. Now I get a chance to perform for kids, my grandparents and to just make music that feels good do me.”

Asked whether he would convert to Rastafarianism, Snoop said he felt he had already been living the philosophy.

“One thing I heard about Rastafari, it’s not a religion, it’s a way of life — it’s the way you do what you do,” he said. “And I felt like I’ve always been Rastafarian, i just didn’t have my third eye open. But it’s wide open right now, so it is what it is.”

Whether he will return to rap is not yet clear.

“I’m a wise man in the music industry,” he said. “Not that I’ll never do rap again, but right now I’m Snoop Lion and i’m having fun with this reggae movement.”

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