So as of July 20, 2012 – Snoop Dogg let the world know that he will be known as Snoop Lion while he evolves his reggae music career and grows within the genre. Snoop Lion, born Calvin Broadus Jr., traveled to Jamaica in search of a new path. He immersed himself fully into the culture of Jamaica including the religious movement of Rastafari. Snoop Dogg received his new moniker Snoop Lion while engaging in a ceremonious occasion with the high priest, who after hearing Snoop Dogg’s reply on what his name was the priest replied “No more. You are the light; you are the lion.” From that moment, Snoop said he realized what he was truly looking for on this journey and he gained overstanding of his higher purpose. He claimed he has always felt that he was a Rasta but he had not been enlightened to this knowledge until his third eye was opened during that encounter with the high priest. . (Credit: NY Daily News)
Snoop Dogg proclaimed that he had always referred to himself as Bob Marley reincarnated, which I personally find odd seeing as Snoop Dogg was 10 years old at the time of Marley’s death. Conversely, Snoop has made it clear to his collaborators that he does not wish for them to refer to him as Snoop Dogg but Snoop Lion. He also requested that they forget about any of the works done by Snoop Dogg, any sounds Snoop Dogg had – he does not want them to reference them on this new project. Snoop Lion wants the sound of this new album, Reincarnated, to be authentic to reggae music and its influences. He does not wish for this project to be considered a crossover project but a new project by a new artiste within the reggae music industry. (Credit: Washington Post)
Additionally, Snoop Lion included a member of his family on this new project. His daughter can be heard singing on his record ‘No Guns Allowed’. Snoop admits that this process has been an enjoyable one thus far and he is having a fun time recording this new music. He hopes that his fans will received this new music as positively as he has felt while he has creating his new sound. Snoop’s first single off the project is ‘La La La’ which is produced by Diplo of Major Lazor and features upcoming artist Jovi Rockwell. The album, Reincarnated, is a part of a three-phase project which will also include a documentary film of the same title to be released on September 7, 2012 and a photo book is said to be made available as well. Both will include depictions of Snoop’s journey from Dogg to Lion. (Credit: Urban Islandz)
I personally have nothing negative to say about Snoop’s new record ‘La La La’. I welcome him into the reggae music genre warmly. I see nothing wrong with an artiste gaining enlightenment and choosing to change from a genre that fosters and promotes violence and disrespects women to one that promotes social consciousness and one love. I do not think Snoop has the wisdom of a Rasta man who was born into Rastafari and who has been taught the ideology since their born day but I will not judge him for his exploration of the religious movement. One of the greatest issues most religions and religious movement have, in my opinion, is that those who claim to be ‘of that religion or movement’ for an extensive time period act as if no one is of their status or can ever accomplish the overstanding they have of the religion/religious movement.
Hypocrites exist in just about every concept that is on this earth – from religion to politics, from family to friends, from occupational to social – in some form a hypocrite does exist on this earth. I think one of the greatest lessons to be taken away from Snoop’s journey from Dogg to Lion for me is that judgment is not up to us, mankind. We are the least perfect beings on this planet and we have yet to prove ourselves worthy alone, for us to least of all judge others. Whether you think Snoop is doing this music to gain new fans and gain more money, you are entitled to that opinion. But do not shun him because he was not born Rasta or just learned of it in the past 12 months. From my spiritual journey through Bible scriptures, readings within the Kebre Negest, and other works on Rastafari the one thing that is promoted and is recurring theme in the religious movement is spreading love and accepting each man for who he/she is. I hope that you will think twice before writing Snoop off as looking to make another dollar in another country and respect his journey.
Food For Thought: When Jamaican artists such as Heavy D classify themselves as Rappers and produce solely hip hop music – industry executives, fans and supports of the hip hop community do not shun those artists away. So why should we, as a culture that celebrates differences and embraces them, do so [shun new comers away]?