If you thought the shift from Snoop Doggy Dogg to Snoop Dogg was radical, you’ve underestimated the popular West Coast gangsta rapper. At a New York City press conference on Monday to promote his new reggae album Reincarnated, Snoop announced that he was changing his name to Snoop Lion, and that he is the spirit of Bob Marley reincarnated.
All of this apparently stems from a profound spiritual awakening he experienced while making his new album in Jamaica last February. After writing and recording 12 new reggae songs, he shed his Snoop Dogg bluster for a more peaceful persona and Rastafari priests rechristened him Snoop Lion.
“I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated,” Snoop stated during the press conference held at Miss Lily’s, a Caribbean restaurant. “I feel I have always been a Rastafari. I just didn’t have my third eye open, but it’s wide open right now.”
He went on to say that, at 40 years old, he wanted to make music that might be pleasing to kids and grandparents and spread a positive message, as far away from the gunplay and misogyny that has populated so much of his output to date. He also sounded like someone who needed to break out of a pigeonhole that has made him successful but wary of irrelevance.
“Rap is not a challenge to me,” Snoop said. “I had enough of that. It’s not appealing to me no more. I don’t have no challenges. I’m ‘Uncle Snoop’ in rap. When you get to be an uncle, you need to find a new profession so you can start over and be fresh again. I want to be a kid again.
“There comes a point where you say I done it all, or there isn’t much more to do,” he added. “This was like a rebirth for me.”
The Reincarnated album hasn’t yet been assigned a release date, while a documentary of the same name, ostensibly about this transformation, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall.
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on Jul 31, 2012