Hip Hop

Reinvention: Snoop Dogg Changes His Name For “Reincarnated” Project

Snoop Dogg is the Madonna of hip-hop! If she is the queen of reinventing herself, he has to be the king!

The rap superstar has a new moniker, Snoop Lion – his Reggae alter ego.  The birth of Snoop Lion and the making of the CD are also captured in a new documentary called “Reincarnated.”

Snoop introduced his new persona during a press event on Monday at New York’s famed Jamaican-themed record store and restaurant, Miss Lily’s.  “F— Snoop Dogg…All that s—t be out of here.  Rastafari called me,” he said in the video opening.

Snoop revealed the story behind his alias Snoop Lion, a name that was given to him by Nyabinghi upon his arrival to Jamaica.  The name is derived from the Lion that appears on the Imperial Ethiopian flag and remains an honored symbol of former Ethiopian Emperor Halie Selassie I and the Rastafarians themselves.

“I didn’t want to be Snoop Dogg on a reggae track…I wanted to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion, but I didn’t know that until I went to the temple and received the name Snoop Lion from the Nyabingi priest,” Snoop explained. “From that moment on, I started to understand why I was there and was able to create something magical in this [Reincarnated] project…something I haven’t done before in my career.”

The 13-time Grammy nominee, best known for hits like “Gin and Juice,” “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Sensual Seduction” and “What’s My Name,” said his “Snoop Lion” project wasn’t a contrived concept, but instead something he was led to do.

Snoog Dogg as Snoop Lion

“For this project, I had no intention of making a reggae album, but the spirit called me.  Anytime the spirit calls you gotta know that it’s serious and real,” he offered, before adding: “I always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated!”

The 40-year-old talent shared that after several years in hip-hop, he was tired of rapping and felt his creative juices plateau.  While at a Rastafarian temple in Jamaica, Snoop met a high priest and instantly felt a spiritual awakening.

“No more. You are the light; you are the lion,'” said the priest. This prompted his name change and a new direction for his music.

The documentary, “Reincarnated,” which captures the entire journey, was produced by Diplo in conjunction with VICE Media. “Reincarnated” was also accepted to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and will premiere on September 7 and 8, 2012.  Additionally, photos from the experience were captured by Los Angeles photographer, Willie T and will be released as a coffee table book through VICE.

The first single “La La La” from his reggae album has just been released to radio.  In celebration of his song and to commemorate 50 years of Jamaican independence on August 6, Snoop has made 1962 copies of limited edition seven-inch vinyls records to distribute.

VIDEO: Watch official trailer of “Reincarnated” here.


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