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The Reincarnated Snoop Lion; Is He Really a Rastafarian?

Updated on May 1, 2013

From Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion

How could Snoop Dogg ever change his image and style while still remaining faithful to marijuana? In other words, what do hardcore hip-hop gangsters and peaceful Rastafarians have in common? The answer is marijuana. It must have been a light bulb moment for the reincarnated Snoop Lion when the idea first came to him. It was an opportunity to leave the negative connotations associated with the DOG behind and embrace the new identity associated with the LION.

Changing his name from Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion may have been a strategic commercial move. This is how some hardcore Rastafarians may have interpreted his new image. Even though it helped his career, I would not say the move was purely commercial. Jamaicans have always loved him because of his laid back demeanor. The exceptional treatment that he received in Jamaica may have weighed heavy on his heart. Therefore, on his three week Journey to Jamaica, Snoop Dogg became closer to the Jamaican sub-culture of Rastafari. The Island has a very strong artistic impression on musicians. Snoop Dogg was not exempted from the positive vibes of the Island.

The new image of Snoop Lion
The new image of Snoop Lion | Source

What Happened to Snoop Dogg in Jamaica?

Did he smoke a potent marijuana blunt in Jamaica and experienced a moment of eureka? It has happened to many people visiting the island before. I do not think that is the case but anything is possible. The most important thing is that Snoop Lion is moving into a positive direction with his music.

While Snoop Dogg was in Jamaica, the communication protocols of the Rastafarian community may have given life to the name Snoop Lion. Within the culture of Rastafari, it is rude to refer to another human being as a dog. It is even stranger for someone to refer to themselves as a dog. Hence, the Rastafarians must have explained to the rap star the negative spiritual attributes associated with dogs.

In order for Snoop to integrate the Rastafarian-Reggae sub-culture into his music, he could no longer use the name dog. On the other hand, the highest name attribute that can be given to a human being is Lion. Within the hip-hop sub-culture, it is okay to say “What’s up, my dog”. Within the Rastafarian-Reggae sub-culture, it is ideal to say “Greetings Lion”. At that moment when they blessed Snoop with the name Snoop Lion, it was probable clear to him that the hip-hop sub-culture was the wrong path chosen.

Bob Marley’s Rastafarian name is “Iron Lion


Adopting the name Snoop Lion was the first step to becoming a new person. The reincarnated Snoop Lion also underwent a Rastafarian NyaBinghi purification ceremony at the holy grounds in Jamaica. This was done in order to rejuvenate Snoop Dogg’s spiritual energy. The new objective for him was to go out into the world and deliver the message of peace, love and unification. After his travel to Jamaica in early 2012, he would never be the same person. This experience has been documented within his reality documentary called Reincarnation.

The Reincarnated Snoop Lion Accused of being a Fake Rastafarian

While Snoop Lion was basking in the glory of being a Rastafarian, he was suddenly accused of being an imposter. The Rastafarian community accused him of self-righteous commercialization tactics. This is a serious blow to his image but also plays into his popularity scheme. Even though there is no formal channel to becoming a Rastafarian and there is no official method of excommunicating a member, Snoop Lion may have not trodden the correct paths to being a Rastafarian.

The controversy may have started because the rap star should have returned to Jamaica in order to experience the real struggle of the Rastafarian culture without the cameras. They probable wanted to teach him the real knowledge of the movement. The senior members of the movement may have gotten upset because Snoop Lion was pursuing other commercial endeavors instead.

Bunny Wailer and several other significant members of the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica are against Snoop Lion posing as a Rastafarian. The Nyabinghi Millennium Council also sent a letter to the media discrediting his new persona. This was an embarrassing episode for the hip-hop mogul.

TMZ also made a mockery out of the Rastafarian movement by heightening the controversy with a lot of lies and comedic display. This further enforces Rastafarians’ suspicion towards the media and commercialization.

Snoop Lion Defends Himself

The Hip-Hop superstar made things worse for himself by disrespecting the only surviving wailer; Bunny Wailer who happens to be a major figure in the Rastafarian movement. Jamaicans did not like the things Snoop Lion had to say such as “You wasn't the shit in the Wailers. You was just one of them: Bob, Peter Tosh, then you. They dead mean more than you do alive” and “That gave me fair warning to get this mother……..r off my shit”. This was said in an interview with the Rolling Stones Magazine. During the interview, he referred to himself as Snoop Dogg twice.

Snoop Dogg should have known that Rastafarians are not allowed to use curse words especially in public. Even when the Rasta movement shunned him, there were no curse words used against him. If Snoop claims to be Bob Marley reincarnated, he should have known that Bob Marley does not curse.


Is Snoop Dogg a Rastafarian?

At the end of the day everyone wants to know if Snoop Lion is a Rastafarian. I can’t really say what is inside of a man’s heart. However, Snoop Lion still refers to himself as Snoop Dogg. This is evident based on the design of his special pimp microphone that is fashioned in white gold to read Snoop Dogg. It is hard to be a Rastafarian while denoting yourself as a dog.

I do not think the West Coast rapper really understands the spiritual obligations associated with the Rastafarian movement. He portrays himself as a Rasta by wearing multicolor tams, smoking weed and listening reggae. These actions within the eyes of the media do not help the Rastafarian movement. It only helps to reinforce Jamaican stereotypes. The media does not see the days of fasting, drum chanting, raw vegan diets, meditation, discrimination and the long suffering that Rastafarians endure.

A lot of Rasta’s are upset about the Adiddas endorsements and other product placements in the documentary Reincarnation. The real story of the Rasta man is still being infiltrated by major companies. All they want to see is some Rasta men smoking. The full has never been told.


Do You Think Snoop Dogg exploited the Rastafarians in his Documentary, Reincarnated to make money for himself?

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      Diego 3 years ago

      means the Jew'. It is important to dtuiingsish between the Jews the people of ancient (Y)Idumea, the Israelites and its royal tribe the people of Judah.The (Y)Idumeans and their Pharisaic Babylonian cult are the people of Esau. They use the Bible, which is the library of the people of Jacob, but they subvert it. They use the Bible as the code for the doctrines of Talmud which they cloak in Biblical words, examples etc.Originally, they are a Chaldean people to the south of Judah's tribal lands. They were recognized by the ancient historians like Strabo and Herodatus. They are Babylonian and have probably been running their Babylonian money scam on nations since Nebuchadnezzar. They began to style themselves the Jews' as short for Judeans. They moved a population into ancient Judah's tribal lands when (Y)Idumea became part of Judah's Hasmonean Kingdom under John Hyrcanus in the first century before Christ.When Judah's lands became Judea in Roman Palestine, the (Y)Idumeans were a demographic in a multicultural polity. They styled themselves as Jews meaning Judeans from that time. And by the time of Christ, they had infiltrated and subverted all the Israelite institutions as the disputes of Jesus with them in the Gospels clearly demonstrates. The New Testament clearly bears witness that in the time of Christ the Pharisaic cult sat in the Chair of Moses. BTW just as their Pharisaic cult sits in the Chair of Peter today in Rome, in this time since 1958.Previously, they had captured the Chair before during intermittent anti-papacies, such as the time of the Great Western Schism organised by the House of Anjou, but the Church always got it back through restoration. Today, unfortunately is one of those times and they are busy little bees collaborating with the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.This was also the situation at the time of Jesus. The real Sanhedrin of the Israelite people were murdered by them and the Sanhedrin of Jesus day was Judaic. Jesus silenced both the Sanhedrin' of his time and the Pharisees in his debates with them over their identity, pretenses and beliefs and especially their use of their Tradition of the Elders to subvert and nullify the Mosaic Law. He clearly refers to their Talmud (codex of laws that nullifies the Laws of Moses) when He gets into it with the Pharisees over their Traditions of the Elders'. That is Talmud in its oral form.From the time of John Hyrcanus, give these people about 50 years and in no time at all they had their Babylonian money scam up and running in Roman Palestine and had assassinated the Judahite kings, done a deal with Rome and had their own Idumean puppet on the throne. They knew the times from the Prophet Daniel and they had taken up position to deal with Israel's Messiah when he came.This did not turn out so well for them.They ran the same number on Christian Europe. They made great strides with the Reformation because the Protestants removed important historical books like The Book of the Maccabees from the Biblical cannon, books that clearly identified the ((Y)Idumean Jews from the historical perspective.I think we can confidently expect a re-run of their defeat with this schtick at the hands of the true God.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Irielte, Snoop album was good, peaceful and very clean. Not everything is bad. Snoop just drop out a JAH program too fast. He should have visited The Rasta's in Jamaica more often and learn the science.

    • IrieIte profile image

      IrieIte 4 years ago

      Give Snoop a break! He's doing something Positive for the people, and sending the message of Love and Spirituality to his audience - knowing many will reject him. I trust him.

      He said in an interview with Larry King that he doesn't LITERALLY think he's Bob Marley, he means it in the sense that he's bringing the Reggae scene back. Once I heard that, I respected him again. He's trying to correct his wrongs, and he doesn't get much love and support for it. I understand why he flipped on Bunny. He was probably fed up.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect AussieRespect. Wish I could make it to that concert in Australia. Sounds like a big deal. Hope you full-joy it.

    • AussieRespect profile image

      Will Sellin 4 years ago from Land Down Under

      Respect Rasta1. I did not know how much it affected the people of Jamaica. It is disappointing this has happened. Respect to Bunny Wailer and the music industry of Jamaica. On a positive, The Wailers are travelling to Australia for a tour next April. It will be a privilege to listen and feel the true Reggae sounds of these great men and women.

      You are correct in saying Calvin has changed his name again. A wolf in sheep clothing?

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect AussieRespect. Looking forward for the link too my Lord. Well Snoop did get nominated for a reggae Grammy and the music industry in Jamaica is furious. Well, at least the album was positive. He did help to promote the culture too. I hear snoop has another name and style now. Best luck to him.

    • AussieRespect profile image

      Will Sellin 4 years ago from Land Down Under

      Much respect Rasta1 I look forward to some positive reasonings on your many interesting topics. I only write these words with respect to all. Of late it seems the nicknames are changing more often than his undies, so I now refer to this great man simply as Calvin.

      At the end of the day, whichever the motive, this has shone light on the Rastafarian regime and reggae music itself. I do enjoy the album.

      In saying this, the words from Calvin to the great Bunny Wailer were unjust, but forgiven. Bunny provides more respect, love, innocence and strength in one song than Calvin provided in his complete album. The song is "Pass It On".

      I wish that Calvin does continue with Reggae, but include the foundation of it in future. As for Calvin being the reincarnation of the great Robert Nesta... We can all dream.

      I send my love to the great Bunny Wailer. If I could only shake your hand.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect DDE. Just had to give the Jamaican perspective of what was going here.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting about Snoop and about another culture I found this hub to be informative and thoughtful writing here.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Justom. You know the pain Rasta had to go through to put reggae into pop culture. Snoop just wants to come in and reap the benefits over night.

    • justom profile image

      justom 4 years ago from 41042

      I've liked Snoop (which is what I've always called him) the first time I heard him but never really considered him gangsta. He's been on a couple of TV shows doing his version of reggae and while he sounded alright it wasn't that impressive (especially his daughter, who sings with him). On David Letterman's late night show I thought he came off as a fraud (Letterman even kidded him saying he needed to upgrade his hardware because of that thing on his mic). Hadn't heard about him dissing Bunny but to me that tells truth. He's just tryin' to jump start his career. Peace!! Tom

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Mhatter99. I really appreciate your kind acknowledgement.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I must bow to your background and knowledge.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Janshares. I tried my best not to bash snoop. I tried to be objective.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      This was really good, rasta1. You did an excellent job of informing the reader of the behind-the-scenes story of Snoop gone Rasta. You present a balanced take on the controversy. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Wesman. I think he is just scratching the surface of reggae music. He would need to spend some serious time in Jamaica and learn the art. For example, Willie Nelson and Mick Jagger spent some serious time in Jamaica, not just a three week vacation.

      He should have never bashed Bunny Wailer. He should have known that he could not behave like that. It is even possible that the Rasta's were just testing him.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Sunshine. I agree, he will always be Snoop Dogg. His new rasta music is positive with children singing along and stuff like. I wonder how long this persona will last.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      This very fair article is the first I've heard about this ongoing thing! It should, at least, get some people interested in Rastafarian culture and classic music.

      Doubting Sir Snoop's only natural. I'd say it is always good when someone realizes they can't be forever what they were ten or more years ago.

      Ugly and ..ironic he'd bring hip-hop/rap's ..."bashing another" into it all.

      You know...Snoop has never seemed like a bad fella. It'll be interesting to see whether or not he decides to get serious.

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      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very interesting! I never got the memo about Snoop Dogg (Lion) hanging out in Jamaica and changing his name. I'm not at all surprised since celebs will do just about anything for a bit of media attention. Some times they get the attention without even asking. What ever his plan or intention he'll always be Snoop Dogg. Whether or no he's a rastafarian is totally up to the rastafarians. Excellent article Rasta! Thanks for the Snoop Update!