Taking on the name Snoop Lion, the rapper embraces reggae on his new album and brings his Jamaican experience to the Toronto Film Festival in the form of a documentary.
“This awakening was necessary,” he told a press assemblage at Miss Lily’s jerk joint in New York’s West Village on Tuesday. “I don’t even know why, I don’t know how. I thought I was going to make another gangsta record. I thought I was going to do another pimp album. I thought I was going to do what I do. But this called me and put all of that to rest.”
The album, Reincarnated, featuring the lead single, “La La La,” was produced by Major Lazer, the team known for their work with Beyonce, Usher, M.I.A. and Santigold.
“Snoop wanted real reggae music,” Major Lazer’s Diplo explained. “He wanted to sing and find a new voice. It’s a dream for a producer to work on an entire record. I always work on a song here or a song there, but working on an entire record is very rare to do that with an artist nowadays. There’s no label here. It’s Snoop putting together the project and Ted. That’s 100% creative control. That doesn’t exist anymore.”
“I thought I was going to make another gangsta record. I thought I was going to do another pimp album. I thought I was going to do what I do. But this called me and put all of that to rest.” —Snoop Dogg
Snoop opened up at length when MTV’s Sway asked him if he was tired of hip-hop. “I’ve been making rap since 1985,” he replied thoughtfully. “I’ve been pretty good at it. I’ve had a long career in rap. Been on top. The greatest. One of the greatest. Top 5. Top 10. All that. It’s just to a point you win so many accolades for a certain thing you’ve mastered you want to try things that’s different. It just seems that reggae music was calling on me because it’s something I always had in my music. If you listen to my early rap music, I always made reggae references, always had me sounding like I was Rastafari.