Snoop Dogg changes name to Snoop Lion, releases reggae album - Listen
Snoop Dogg is bringing a new name to go with his new reggae-inspired sound.
The rapper will now go by Snoop Lion and said during a recent press conference that he will be embracing reggae instead of the gun culture that was once a prominent subject in his lyrics in an attempt to make music that his "kids and grandparents can listen to."
The 40-year-old artist said on Monday, July 30, in New York that he was "born again" after a visit to Jamaica in February, according to The Associated Press.
The "Drop It Like It's Hot" rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is releasing a new reggae album in the fall called "Reincarnated." The album's lead single "La La La" can be heard below.
Snoop told reporters that while he was in Jamaica, he connected with Bob Marley's spirit and is now "Bob Marley reincarnated." Marley's son Rohan was on hand at the conference and gave the rapper his blessing.
The name change happened during the rapper's 35-day trip to Jamaica when he visited a temple and was renamed Snoop Lion. He was also reportedly given the Ethiopian name Berhane, meaning "light of the world."
"I feel like I've always been Rastafarian," Snoop said, according to the wire service, which notes that the change to Lion is "likely a reference to the Lion of Judah, a religious symbol popular in Rastafarian and Ethiopian culture."
One of the new tracks on the album called "No Guns Allowed" features his daughter and includes the lyrics, "No guns allowed in here tonight, we're going to have a free for all, no fights."
"As a 40-year-old man ... I've got to give them something," he said. "That's what you do when you're wise."
The rapper denied he was retiring from hip-hop but added that he is "tired" of the genre because it is no longer challenging.
"Reggae was calling ... it's a breath of fresh air," he said. "Rap isn't challenging; it's not appealing."
The album will be followed with a documentary of the same name, also produced by Vice. It features Snoop making music and will include some personal elements of his life, a producer of the film said. It will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
The rapper, who is a noted marijuana enthusiast, was recently banned from Norway for two years after getting caught in June for trying to enter the country with a small amount of cannabis.
Check out the single "La La La" from Snoop Lion's new album below.