No longer Snoop D-O-Double G, Snoop Lion is gearing up to release his twelfth studio album in May entitled "Reincarnated". In case you missed it, after a "pilgrimage" to Jamaica, Snoop found spiritual enlightenment, converted to Rastafarianism and changed his name to Snoop Lion. His new, reggae sound is all about peace and love, not smoking and women. Fans can look forward to tracks featuring Chris Brown, Drake and Rita Ora.
In an interview with Q Magazine, Snoop explains his transformation, acknowledging that his music has an effect on people especially young people. He says it was time for him to grow up.
When you reach the pinnacle, you finally wake up, put aside childish ways and want to do something positive. You can affect people. You have kids and you understand what life is about. At 40 most men decide to live wild and crazy because they've been so conservative all along. Me, I've been living wild my whole life!
[The songs on my new album] will cross me over to a real musical icon. It's real important to me. You don't do it for the accolades but when you've been in it for so long and you've been great, you start to look for things to push you forward.
This socially conscious Snoop is a refreshing contrast to some of the violent and misogynistic music out today. He recently released a new video featuring his 13-year-old daughter Cori B. and Drake has clips from the Trayvon Martin case, Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre and the Aurora movie theater shooting. In the "No Guns Allowed" video, Snoop takes a stand against gun violence. He raps:
We don't want to see no more innocent blood shed. Me don't want for see no more youth dead.
Snoop's change is not completely selfless. He has set his sights on a new goal: being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He says:
I wanna go to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. And the only way I can do that is if I do 25 years of great music non-stop. So I've got two more years to go. That's my goal." He went to explain why he has gone for such a drastic change in his career, insisting that he didn't get bored of his rap persona, but just wanted to mix things up.
"It's like Michael Jordan. He won three basketball championships and decided to take a year off to play baseball 'cos he loved it. He struck out terrible and people were, Mike, you gotta put that 23 [jersey] back on! And he put that motherf–king number 23 back on and won three more championships in a row. So, to me? I'm at that stage where I won so many championships in rap that I wanna see if I can win a championship in reggae. And if it don't work out, I could always go grab my jersey, put it back on. Go back to the rap world.
(Amber L. Bogins is the entertainment editor for the Michigan Chronicle.)