About a year ago Snoop Dogg announced that not only did he convert to Rastafarianism but he also was changing his name to Snoop Lion, he said at his conversion press conference “I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion.”
Why the name change? In Jamica, the home of the Rasta movement, calling someone dog is an insult. Ennis Edmonds , a scholar at Kenyon College and Rastafarianism expert, further explained that “Rastas would probably see calling yourself a dog as an indication of lack of self-knowledge.” So with that Snoop Lion was born.
Many seem to believe that Snoop’s transition to the Rasta way of life is only for marketing purposes. The biggest skeptic is Bunny Wailer, who funny enough, bestowed Snoop with his new name: Snoop Lion. Bunny Wailer may be on to something though, under this new name Snoop is releasing a reggae/ dancehall based album “Reincarnated” complete with collaborations from the likes of Chris Brown, Drake and Jamaica’s Mr. Vegas.
When asked to respond to Bunny Wailer’s comment Snoop replied “If I was Snoop Dogg: `(Expletive) Bunny Wailer.’ But I’m Snoop Lion right now, so I’m chilling.” Is he really a changed man? Accompanying the album will be a documentary following his trip to Jamaica and introduction to the Rasta lifestyle. Snoop makes it very apparent that this is all part of his ongoing personal growth rather than a dramatic change.
The album will be released on April 23rd while the film is in limited release this week. Will Snoop’s future be only dedicated to reggae here on out? The former rapper was unsure but had this to say “To me it’s not about record sales, so I believe I’m going to do it whenever I want to. So I’m not doing this to create financial gain or money. So it’s fun. So anytime it’s fun, it’s to be done over and over again. Just like with rapping. Rapping had got not-fun to me because 20 years of doing it and being on top.”
Only time will tell if Snoop Lion will stick or if he will evolve into a higher being with the next album. What is higher than a lion? pun intended ;)