Source: August Brown / Los Angeles Times
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. Adocumentary 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.
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