Snoop Dogg has dropped hip-hop like it’s hot.
The renowned rapper, who has sold upwards of 30 million albums worldwide, is switching genres. “Born again” during a visit to Jamaica in February, Snoop is ready to make music that his “kids and grandparents can listen to”, reggae music.
“I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, ‘Snoop Dogg,'” the artist told a press conference on Monday. “And he looked me in my eyes and said, ‘No more. You are the light; you are the lion.'”
Hence the new name: Snoop Lion.
“I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated,” Snoop said. “I feel I have always been a Rastafari. I just didn’t have my third eye open, but it’s wide open right now.
“When I make records I like to come from the heart. On this particular project, I had no plans on going to Jamaica, making a reggae record. The spirit called me. And, you know, anytime the spirit calls you, you gotta know that it’s serious.”
While he’s not retiring from hip-hop just yet, Snoop has said he’s tired of the genre because he no longer finds it challenging.
“Reggae was calling … it’s a breath of fresh air,” he said. “Rap isn’t challenging, it’s not appealing.”
Snoop’s new album, fittingly titled Reincarnation, will be released later this year and accompanied by a documentary of the same name chronicling his rebirth. It will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.