Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) opens up with the media at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) about his journey from rap to reggae, from the streets to Rastafari. Reincarnation a docu-film commissioned by the artist, was shown at the festival and Snoop spoke to reporters about important moments in the film which was shot over a one-month period in Jamaica. He was there recording his first full-length reggae album-also called Reincarnation.
In the Q & A session he spoke to reporters about the reason for the embracing Rastafari, what he hopes to accomplish with his new found faith and new musical pursuits. He fielding questions about first-time experiences in Jamaica, Sizzla’s take on his new-found faith and singing Patois on his album :
Check out some excerpts below:
On how he got the name Snoop Lion and what it means to him:
They just crowned me the lion, you know its associated with Rastafarai, it’s associated with Reggae music and they felt like the ‘Dogg’ was no longer needed for my journey that I was on. So it was given to me. It wasn’t that I chose that name … It’s a natural transformation: from the dog to the lion. It’s not anything but a transformation and a growth of an artist, and a person and a man.
On addressing suspicion and cynicism about his transformation:
I don’t believe you have to address it as long as your actions show that its real. People know me, since day one I’ve always been upfront person. I’ve always been me. I’ve never faked the funk . I’ve always given them uncut and raw so this is just another page in my book so please enjoy.
On how Naiabingi elders helped him find his calling:
The Niabingi center laced me with the information and the guidance and the nurturing that I needed. That my mind and my body were so desperate for. I’ve always been a peaceful caring individual. I’ve always been one in the Hip-Hop community whose been looked at as the peacemaker. Whenever there’s a beef or a misunderstanding they call me to end it all but I never really knew what the reason was. Now that I understand what my calling is I can truly do what I need to do.
On when the transformation started for him:
I believe it was always a part of my life but I was double-dutching. Jumpin in and out, still living the young childish gangster life because that’s what I was brought up to love and to know. But once I sought out information on my own and found out what a true man was and true love was all about that’s when I became who I am today.
On what he wanted to achieve with the documentary:
I wanted to figure out how could I get into the minds, bodies and soul of the people of Jamaica, not just go and steal their culture and take their music and run off with it but go be apart of what they’re going through and understand their struggle, because at the same time, people from different parts of the world go through the same things no matter where they are from. What I found out and what you’ll find out from watching this movie is the Wailers were similar to 213. We grew up the same way: struggling, trying to make music, trying to find our way and once we made it we gave back and we looked and found ways to help out other people and to inspire people.
Raspect to you Snoop Lion. Loving the grassroots approach!
However, I disagree that cussing is the language of hip-hop. Chamillionaire showed that a record can me made with no cussing… we have the Roots, Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, KRS1, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah…so many examples.
Still, it’s great that you making the effort to head in this positive direction.