Snoop Dogg is 40-years-old, and he’s ready to try something new. At midlife, the gin-and-juice guzzling gangster rapper has been Reincarnated as the reggae legend Snoop Lion, for an upcoming all-reggae album and accompanying documentary (for which you can check out the trailer below), but also for the sake of his enlightened self. Yesterday, in a Rasta knit cap and a Kobe Bryant jersey, Uncle Snoop sat down with the New York Times at a trendy Caribbean restaurant in New York to talk about what exactly it all means. Good vibes all around.
Here’s what we learned:
- THIS IS MEANT TO BE: He “underwent a spiritual and artistic rebirth” while recording in Jamaica last February that inspired him to scrap rap and record instead in a traditional Reggae style. This, though, was always part of the plan, as Snoop has always counted himself “Bob Marley reincarnated.” “I just didn’t have my third eye open, but its wide open right now,” he explains.
- RAP GAME TOO EASY: “Rap is not a challenge to me,” he said. “I had enough of that. It’s not appealing to me no more. I don’t have no challenges.”
- RAP GAME GETTING OLD: “I’m ‘Uncle Snoop’ in rap. When you get to be an uncle, you need to find a new profession so you can start over and be fresh again. I want to be a kid again.”
- RAP GAME NOT GOOD FOR THE KIDS: Snoop’s a dad, and he hopes that his PG new material might be give him “a chance to perform for kids and grandkids” who were excluded from his Doggystyle days. And so, he’ll sing and about things that “really stand for something,” like peace and gun control.
- HE HAD A LOT OF HELP: Rastafarian priests chose that new, feline name for him; Diplo — who has done both No Doubt and Usher good in their returns — helped produce, and Angela Hunte, of “Empire State of Mind” fame, helped write; Vice put together the documentary (watch the trailer below) and will release the album.
- AND INSPIRATION: In Jamaica, Snoop smoked weed with Rastafarian priests, hung out at Nyabinghi temple in Scotts Pass, and listened to a lot of Rocksteady OGs like Ken Boothe and Alton Ellis.