The artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg announced in a news conference Monday in New York that he was “born again” during a recent trip to Jamaica and is ready to make reggae music. He also has a new name: Snoop Lion. Snoop is releasing a reggae album called Reincarnated this fall on Vice Records.
Diplo, well known for his work with M.I.A. and Major Lazer, is producing the album. “He wanted to do real reggae,” Diplo said. “To sing and find a new voice. It was a dream to work on an entire record. That’s very rare.”
While in Jamaica, Snoop claimed that he felt a connection with Bob Marley’s spirit and even went so far as to call himself “Bob Marley reincarnated.” Rohan Marley, son of Bob Marley, attended the conference and even gave Snoop his blessing. “Music is universal,” Marley said. “Jamaica is just a part of music, so we were open to Snoop.”
“I feel like I’ve always been Rastafarian,” Snoop said of the spiritual Jamaican movement. Snoop received the name Snoop Lion upon visiting a Rastafarian temple in Jamaica. Snoop told the priest at the temple that his name was Snoop Dogg. The priest then looked in his eyes and replied, “No more. You are the light. You are the lion.”
Snoop was also given the Ethiopian name Berhane, meaning “light of the world.” The “Lion” in Snoop’s new name is most likely a reference to the Lion of Judah, a religious symbol popular in Rastafarian culture.
Snoop said he’s not retiring from Hip Hop but is “tired” of the genre because it no longer challenges him. “Reggae was calling… it was a breath of fresh air,” he said. Snoop said that he’s excited to perform music that his family and children can listen to. “This reggae music is music of love — happiness and sadness.”