After an inspiring trip to Jamaica in 2012, Snoop Dogg transformed into his alter ego, Snoop Lion. Connecting with the Rastafarian way of life, he was prompted to change his name in honor of the Lion of Judah, a valuable symbol to the Rastas.
Along with the new name came a change in music style, of course. Snoop Lion's Reincarnated is different from his usual hip-hop ways and embraces a complete reggae makeover.
Luckily before hearing Reincarnated I stocked up on classic reggae, Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. Reminding myself of their greatest, then listening to Snoop Lion's attempt at reggae, made Reincarnated seem mediocre, at best.
The elements of a good reggae song are all there, but the execution is lacking. Each song meanders along without ever getting anywhere. For supposedly blooming from so much "cultural inspiration," the songs could not feel more uninspired. The reason for this may be the fact that rather than collaborating with a single modern frontrunner in reggae, Snoop decided that people such as Miley Cyrus and Rita Ora are better suited for a reggae album. C'mon Snoop, really?
Here Comes the King stands out, though, and has a real Rasta flavor. The catchy childlike chorus sung by Angela Hunte and Snoop's rotating faux Jamaican accent and classic rapping make it the best song on Reincarnated by far.
The songs aren't painful to listen to but they are easy to forget, which may be worse poison for the success of this Rastafarian venture. The lyrics are very vague and weed-related on a majority of the album, which becomes obnoxious after a while.
It's obvious Snoop wasn't trying to make a fully authentic reggae album, and the pop music collaborators were just added to put the album more in the accessible mainstream, but in the end this method backfires because it just leaves each song in an awkward middle ground - between Rasta and bad pop music. The awkwardness will lead this album and perhaps, it is hoped, Snoop Lion, into irrelevance, because I don't see this catching on with any demographic.
* * *
***** Can you marry a thing that's not a person?
**** Silver medals are still cool.
*** Nobody's perfect
** Its mom still loves it.
* No. Just, no.