Words by Jesse Serwer, Video Shot by Ethan Sigman—
Like it or not, Snoop Lion’s Reincarnated is the most talked about reggae project since… yeah, even we are struggling to remember the last time a new reggae LP elicited this level of intrigue from the world at large. Other non-Jamaican acts with big names have made surprising left turns into reggae before but none has generated the interest and backlash as the former Snoop Dogg has with his new identity.
Questions about the sincerity of Snoop’s embrace of Rastafari have dogged the project since it was first announced, and the criticism only ratcheted up when former supporter Bunny Wailer made his disapproval of Snoop known. Meanwhile, singles like “Put Your Lighters Up” and “Here Comes the King” have have elicited a lukewarm responses, with Snoop, firmly in cruise control, letting his collaborators do the heavy lifting. Still, we can’t help but be intrigued by the project, set to drop April 15 with guest appearances from Drake, Mr. Vegas and Mavado and, yes, Chris Brown. Meanwhile, the movie documenting Snoop’s pilgrimage to Jamaica, also called Reincarnated, hits theaters today.
We spoke to Snoop about which reggae he listened to coming up in LA, why Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie” was such a big hit around his way (“We thought they was talkin about pass the weed on the left-hand side… come to find out they was talkin about food”) and what it was about the Rastafarian lifestyle that appealed to him. Also, he wants us to know his fans have always been able to “reach out and touch” him “like AT&T.” Reincarnated producer Diplo also makes a cameo, offering some insight into their creative process. Watch the video here: