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The Reincarnated Snoop Lion; Is He Really a Rastafarian?
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.
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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