During the late summer of 2012 Snoop introduced a new stage name, Snoop Lion. He tells the story that when he was in Jamaica working on a new album that he went to meet with Jamaicans and was rechristened Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest. Snoop then declared himself the reincarnation of Bob Marley who passed away in 1981, but Snoop was born in 1971, so the jury is still out on that part of the story. He says the reason was partially due to not liking the violence in hip hop, and wanting provide the world light.
The album starts off with a track called “Rebel Way” which starts off with a monologue that may explain the Dogg Father’s transformation into Snoop Lion. “There’s so much death, there’s so much destruction, there’s so much mayhem, and there’s so much misunderstanding in music. We’re losing so many great musicians and we don’t love them while they’re here. And I want to be loved while I’m here, and the only way to get love is to give love,” a very touching monologue which really is the mission statement behind Reincarnation. The song itself is a solid track consisting of well thought out lyrics and a steady back beat which carries the song.
When you think you’re getting into the record and believing the whole reggae thing the second track, “Here Comes The King” kicks in and you hear one of the most annoying things and that is the Major-Lazer tag. This ruined the song for me as it didn’t make the song feel like an authentic reggae track. The next track that comes up, “Lighters Up” makes up for it. It’s a great track that talks about unity and getting high together.
One of the best songs on the album is entitled “So Long.” It’s a strong track with a solid beat, but it doesn’t stray much from the traditional reggae sound which makes the track perfect. The song also has very good lyrics that are very potent and deserve the listener’s ears and undivided attention. Another track that is very lyrically strong is the sixth track “No Guns Allowed” which is a relevant song with all the violence in our world today. The lyrics of the track feature many interesting lines like the first verse which states “Money makes a man, and that’s a crime/If we all were rich we’d spend more time/With our daughters and sons their losing their minds.” This is a very touching lyric considering the events of last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School and all the other violence that happens on the streets. The song also features Snoop’s daughter, Cori B, harmonizing nicely throughout. It also features a great verse from Drake.
The next song that is definitely worth a listen is Snoop’s collaboration with Miley Cyrus, “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks.” This song is great especially Snoop’s verse, but what carries the song is Cyrus’ slightly processed voice.
Overall I think this album has some great cuts. I think this change to Snoop Lion will be a good thing for everyone’s favorite from Long Beach.