The maturation of the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg continues its press run. On Wednesday March 5, the multi-platinum selling Hip Hop icon spoke with media members about his upcoming documentary, Reincarnated in West Hollywood, California's famed Westlake Studios. The film details the one-time Doggfather’s spiritual journey to Jamaica and entrance into the Rastafari religion, the creation of his first Reggae release (Reincarnated) as well as the birth of his new moniker: Snoop Lion.
Snoop Lion Explains Why He Shared His Faith With His Fans
Sitting in what’s referred to as Westlake's “Bubbles’ Room”—a space built for Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee during the Thriller recording sessions in 1982—Snoop spoke in depth about his spiritual transformation and why he decided to share his journey with his fans. “One thing about it is that when it’s in you, it’s in you and you can’t do nothing but let it out of you,” he told HipHopDX.
“It’s a spirit thing,” he continued. It’s not even about being bashful or shy. I’ve never been offensive with [my beliefs]. I’ve always been the one to let people know slowly but surely who I am. I don’t force it on you or try to make you become what I am—whether it was the gangster shit; whether it was me hanging with the Fruit Of Islam; [whether it was] me being with the Rastafari, whatever. I’ve never forced anything on people other than what you believe.”
Snoop’s religious affiliations were largely pushed to the background of his gangster rapping, marijuana loving reputation. However, the Doggystyle-emcee says that he never intentionally hid his faith.
“Sometimes the questions are posed as to what do I believe in and what do I stand for,” he explained. “But if those questions aren’t asked, there’s no need to speak on it because my religion is a liberty. It’s the way I live. Not what is presented to me or what is supposed to be religion. To me the best religion is the way you live. Not by a book or by what someone tells you. By the way you live. That’s your religion because it’s your life and it tells exactly who you are and what’s gonna happen when you’re gone. That’s my belief.”
Snoop Lion also discussed the creation of his first Reggae release—Reincarnated—a departure from his Rap roots that is executive produced by Diplo & Major Lazer. Stepping away from the cypher wasn’t a challenge for Snoop. He says he was comfortable making a Reggae album because Reggae was always “intertwined” into his music.
“It was always in there but never at the forefront,” he noted to DX. “As far as being challenging, nah. It’s all music. It’s all melodies and harmonies. It’s what feels good to you. Reggae music feels good if you do it right. I’ve always been able to do it right but I’ve never been able to do it all. So I wanted to step in and do it right and do it all at the same time.”
Along with Diplo & Major Lazer, Reincarnated the album features production by 6Blocc, Dre Skull, Supa Dups, and Ariel Rechtshaid. Notable appearances include Chris Brown and Busta Rhymes on “Remedy,” Akon on “Tired Of Running” and Collie Buddz on “Smoke The Weed.” Snoop’s daughter Cori B is featured on “No Guns Allowed”—an anti-gun violence anthem which also features Drake rhyming in an Andre 3000-like style.
Snoop Lion Shares Solution To Rise In Gun Violence
When asked his thoughts on what individuals can do to help quell the recent rise of shootings nationwide, Snoop offered a solution. “One of them is doing what I’m doing: correcting my mistakes by being a better person and putting out more energy and more music that represents what we’re going through as opposed to what we went through,” he said. The Lion continued:
“I ain’t going through that no more. I’m going through what you’re going through, watching the world and watching the power that I have and watching the way people react when I walk into a room. What should I do with this power? Should I abuse it? Should I continue to send my peoples down the wrong path? Or should I at least try to wake them up and let them know that there is another way and show them that the way that I’m doing it may be the new way. They’ve been following everything else that I’ve been giving them, let me give them something that got some substance to it with thought behind it.”
During last July's New York City press conference where he first announced his name change, Snoop Lion said he was initially drawn to Jamaica because he always thought he was "Bob Marley reincarnated." Last January, original Bob Marley & The Wailers member, Bunny Wailer lambasted Snoop's Rasta conversion, calling it an "outright fraudulent use of the Rastafari communities personalities and symbolism." In response to Wailer, Rohan Marley—Bob Marley's son—spoke out in support of Snoop Lion.
Reincarnated the album is available for purchase on April 23. The documentary of the same name hits theatres on Friday, March 15. Visit SnoopLion.com for theatre and ticket information.