Calvin Broadus, Jr., Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion — take your pick.
After 10 years of making a name for himself in the world of hip- hop, Snoop Dogg ditched the K-9 name and under the pseudonym Broadus was able to spend a period of time in Jamaica, during which he experienced a spiritual transformation that led to his name change.
Consequently, Snoop found solace in the genre that originated in Jamaica.
“I was at the forefront of the most violent time in hip-hop,” Broadus said in his “Reincarnated” documentary. “That’s what forced me to find a new path and I found peace.”
The 12-track album,“Reincarnated,” released on Tuesday, was found to be less than impressive, though the album is laced with collaborations from the likes of Collie Buddz, Drake, Rita Ora and even Miley Cyrus.
Cyrus makes an unexpected appearance with the Lion on “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks.” Surprisingly, the dynamic between her tone and Snoop’s reggae sound is a promising combination, but the song is simple and the presentation isn’t as epic as the names on the track wouldsuggest.
Snoop, as a reggae singer, simply doesn’t make sense and doesn’t do the genre justice. The concept of the lyrics is a nice thought — to keep the memory of lost loved ones alive — but the chirpy voice of Cyrus isn’t enough to cover the fact that Snoop isn’t a natural at this genre of music.
A pop-style song,“The Good Good,” featuring Iza, opens in the style of most Jason Mraz tunes — with a disposable island feel that would get lost among any Billboard list. While it is nice to hear Snoop address love in his songs — something besides sex, weed and violence — the track follows in line with most of the other songs. Simplicity didn’t work out for this one either, and Snoop seems to try to hide his voice with multiple collaborations throughout the entire album.
An interesting turn of subject comes with “No Guns Allowed,” where Snoop teams up with his daughter Cori B and Drake to address a buzzword in American politics. It’s obvious throughout the song that Snoop put more care into this song than many, particularly with the topic. His sincere message of violence within global society gives the song depth and power where it’s least expected. More powerful is the recently released music video which includes a montage of newsreels from shootings in China to the Columbine High School shooting and even the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This album is an interesting attempt by Snoop Lion to branch out. There are moments where it seems that the Rasta life is too much for Snoop to take on, but he should get some credit for taking a risk. Many people may be put off by the fact that he is taking an indefinite step away from hip -hop, but after more than 20 years he deserves some kudos for trying something new without the fear of it hurting his career in the long run.