There comes a time in everyone’s life where they reach a crossroads, they can either continue doing what they’ve always done or take the road less travelled and try something new. To continue doing what you’ve always done means that you’ll end up feeling stagnant and bored of life whereas if you were to take the road less travelled, you could discover new things about yourself.
In my lifetime, pretty much 90% of Hip Hop culture’s lifespan, I’ve seen so many rappers come and slip into obscurity. I’ve seen rappers burst onto the scene hard as nails to go soft through a process of hopping from trend to trend in search of a hit record like a junkie trying to obtain the ultimate high. It was announced this week that Snoop Dogg had undergone a spiritual rebirth after visiting a Rastafarian temple in Jamaica. The resulting change was that he’d now make reggae music and be known as Snoop Lion for his third eye was now open and according to the high priest behind the revelation, “He is the light, he is the Lion. Sure we can all poke fun and say that he smoked so much extraterrestrial weed that he puffed himself into a new alter ego but the fact is, Snoop Dogg has officially been in the game since april 1992 and he’s pretty much seen and done it all.
Snoop Dogg is someone who throughout his trials and tribulations has continued to grow whilst remaining himself. He first burst onto the scene as Dr. Dre’s protege on 1992’s single soundtrack to the movie Deep Cover, starring Laurence Fishbourne. Snoop even played a major role in the Chronic, featuring on singles Dre Day and Nuthin But A G Thang throughout 1993.
It weren’t until releasing his debut Doggystyle in 1992 that Snoop began to carve out a spot for himself in Rap. 1994 was also when he released a soundtrack for a short film, Murder Was The Case, and he was cleared of murder charges in 1996. This was also the year that Snoop would release his last album with Death Row, The Dogfather, before moving to Master P’s No Limit Records where he recorded and released three albums -that shall not be named because I had written him off at the point but then if truth be told I found Todd Edwards, Turntables and UK Garage which resulted in me slightly drifting away from rap whilst I listened to Heartless Crew and So Solid.
Now if he’s going through a mid life crisis, No Limit was certainly a mid career crisis because a lot of fans like me felt he was in limbo land. To hear Snoop coming from a particular sound at Death Row, under Dre et al, to instantly jumping on the south type of what we called ‘Drum Machine Snare Roll Heavy’ beats was kinda shocking. There was to be no more Kurupt and Daz features, but Mystikal and Silkk The Shocker. It was a culture shock when flipping through the magazines and seeing the album cover for Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Sold crafted in typical No Limit blingery. I really thought there was no coming back for Snoop after this era. It weren’t until he linked up with The Neptunes for Beautiful that I began to take notice again…
My point is that Snoop Dogg has been through all the motions, he needs a new challenge. Snoop is a lifestyle rapper, he’s always made songs that reflect his lifestyle as opposed for being known for lyrical wizardry. I think the name change is a good move because a lot of us were wondering what’s next for Snoop…
Dre releases a solo album every ten years launching a new artist in the process, Jay-Z retired to dismantle and rebuild his business structure before returning stronger than ever, Nas constantly releases albums that live in the shadow of his debut Illmatic, Diddy changes his name every so often, Kanye switches it up for every single album and MF Doom continues to wear the mask which allows his music to stand up on it’s own. Snoop is 40+, he needs to do something lifechanging as we all do when we get to a particular age. Fair enough in this day and age of being bombarded with new information and technology, I find that myself and my peers have a ‘quarter life crisis’ at around 25 and, from my experience, don’t find our way out of it until you’re on the doorstep of 27.
- Snoop Dogg’s New Name Is … (foxnews.com)
- Snoop Dogg becomes Snoop Lion, makes reggae CD (thegrio.com)
- Snoop Lion: “I Want To Bury Snoop Dogg” (allhiphop.com)
- Snoop Dogg Swears Off Rapping, Goes Rastafarian (laist.com)
- Snoop Dogg – Snoop Dogg To Become Snoop Lion After “rebirth” In Jamaica (contactmusic.com)
- Snoop Dogg to Release Reggae Album as Snoop Lion (jambase.com)
- Snoop Lion: Snoop Dogg Unveils New Name, Reggae Focus (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Snoop Dogg Announces Reggae Album As Snoop Lion (noise11.com)
- Snoop Dogg changes name to Snoop Lion, prepares reggae album (myfox8.com)
- Snoop Dogg is changing his name to Snoop Lion (kansascity.com)