Snoop Dogg is no longer with us. The rapper has changed his name to Snoop Lion.
After experiencing a spiritual awakening during a February trip to Jamaica, Snoop Dogg has become a Lion. The experience changed much more than his name. His trip to the Caribbean country inspired him to adapt a traditional reggae style which will be heard on his appropriately named album Reincarnated.
Snoop Lion received his new name from a Rastafarian priest at the Nyabinghi temple in Scotts Pass while he was on his trip.
"I want to bury Snoop Dogg, and become Snoop Lion," he told reporters, according to news.com.au. "I didn't know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.' From that moment on, it's like I had started to understand why I was there."
At a news conference at New York Caribbean restaurant Miss Lily's, Snoop Lion said he always felt a connection to reggae star Bob Marley.
"I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated. I feel I have always been a Rastafari. I just didn't have my third eye open, but its wide open right now," Snoop said as quoted by The New York Times.
At the conference, Snoop also debuted his first single off the new album, which took him three weeks to write and record in Jamaica. Snoop seemed to represent his new Rastafarian persona as he was wearing a Rasta knit cap and sunglasses.
Snoop, who is known as a rapper, seems to be moving on from the rap music and lifestyle. As he turned 40 last year, he wanted to stop singing about violence and start singing about love, so he switched to the Reggae style.
Snoop Lion's new album will send a message of peace. For instance, one song called "No Guns Allowed" calls for a ban on handguns, which is something Snoop feels like he couldn't sing about before.
"I have always wanted to make a song that could really stand for something," he said, according to the Times. "I could never make a song called 'No Guns Allowed' because I was supposed to be a gangsta."
He hopes that with his new style, he will be able to perform for kids and grandkids, the Times reported. Snoop Lion is simply over rapping and is ready to try something new.
"There comes a point where you say I done it all, or there isn't much more to do," he said, as quoted by the Times. "This was like a rebirth for me."
"Rap is not a challenge to me," he said. "I had enough of that. It's not appealing to me no more. I don't have no challenges. I'm 'Uncle Snoop' in rap. When you get to be an uncle, you need to find a new profession so you can start over and be fresh again. I want to be a kid again."
Despite the change, Snoop didn't say that he's completely done with rap. "I could never become Snoop Lion, if I wasn't Snoop Dogg first," he said as quoted by People.