In a scene from his upcoming, TIFF-premiering documentary "Reincarnated," Calvin Broadus sits in yardie repose on a balcony in front of a verdant Jamaican forest. Wearing a red-green-gold mesh tanktop, gripping a spliff, he says it straight: "I just got tired of rapping."
And thus, Snoop Dogg the rapper - practically an American sweetheart - became Snoop Lion, reggae artist. And he's not just premiering the transformative doc in Toronto; on August 3, Snoop Lion will make his live debut here, at the Hoxton.
Yes, during Caribana. Will the Screwface Capital turn out for that one? Nah, they'll probably just be raving at the Popcaan show. Still, we wanted to get the deal so we sent Snoop an e-mail. But we didn't think he'd actually write us back.
Hi Snoop. Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with reggae music? Who are some of your favourite artists? And what's your favourite song?
I've always been a huge fan of reggae music goin bacc to tha 70s when I was a kid. It's played an enormous influence in my music. If u remember on Tha Dogg Food album I went reggae and my fans luved it. I had to do a whole album cuz tha time is now and music needs it. Sum of my favorite artists are Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Steel Pulse, just to name a few. "Roller Skates" by Steel Pulse is my jam. Askin to pick my favorite Bob Marley song is like askin me what my favorite Snoop Dogg song is - there's too many classics.
From what I've heard, this project feels more rootsy. Why go that route? And why did you choose to work with Major Lazer, who've done mostly dancehall-ish stuff, to help produce?
I took it that route cuz I wanted to go (with) what influenced me tha most. I guarantee there's sumthin on there for everyone but tha core is definitely more rootsy. I chose Major Lazer cuz they are dope and we have a crazy vibe together. We spent tha entire month of February down in Jamaica and for tha most part we were in tha studio 24/7. Those guys can produce their asses off and it wasn't hard pickin a tracc to lay down to. Shout out to my neffew Diplo n his whole crew.
What kind of things are you talking about on Snoop Lion and how is it different (or not) to the songs you made as Snoop Dogg?
Snoop Lion is a whole new way and vision. I'm 40 now and growin up. Powerful and peaceful. I spent a whole month in Jamaica and had a serious spiritual journey. I found out a lot about myself and throughout tha album my fans will definitely see tha growth and journey of that road travelled. It's not like I jus went to Jamaica to make music. I had to live, learn, breathe it and throughout all of that grow enormously as a person and musician.
Toronto has two things: tough crowds and mad Jamaicans. Why debut Snoop Lion here? Do you think you can win over a West Indian audience?
I've always had an enormous amount of lOve for tha city of Toronto and its people. Caribana is a well respected festival thruout tha world and it's tha perfect place to debut a project like this. You can't deny dope ass music and I'm pretty sure tha fans of Toronto are eager to hear what I got. After u hear it u wont consider me a non-reggae artist jacc!