Snoop Dogg is retiring his name and his rap career only to revive himself as Snoop Lion and begin again as a reggae artist. This came about when Snoop traveled to Jamaica, had a spiritual awakening and realized an artistic transformation. Later this year he will release a new, completely reggae album called Reincarnation, accompanied by a documentary of the same name about his shift into Snoop Lion.
His abandonment of rap may upset many longtime fans and rile up skeptics but this new career path goes beyond pleasing the everyday fan. Sometimes a musician has to reinvent himself/herself to have a creative spur. Snoop Lion may seem silly but it was inspired from a Rastafarian priest who showed him the light and helped him realize how necessary it was for him to change genres. “I’ve won every accolade you can get in rap; they call me ‘Uncle Snoop’ in rap. When you’re an uncle, it’s time to find something new…I want to feel like a kid again,” Lion said in a press conference when announcing his name change.
It is easy to shrug this off as ridiculousness coming from an aging stoner but Snoop Lion might be an essential piece in a revival of popularity for reggae. Maybe reggae needs him. The genre hasn’t had a major icon since Bob Marley and Snoop Lion could be that new icon. He has always had a lightweight tone with his vocal styles and his love of marijuana is commonplace in Jamaica and with reggae. He has already released a single titled “La La La,” which stays true to traditional reggae. The track was produced by Major Lazer and has some killer laid back beats. Snoop is accompanied by a female vocalist and the pairing is ideal and really makes the simplistic nature of the song.
“La La La” isn’t anything mind-blowing but Snoop does sound very natural and in his element. It isn’t contrite or bland but just solid reggae. It’s easy to hate on him for leaving rap behind but it’s also easy to appreciate his new career path because it is such a natural fit.