Snoop Lion - Reincarnated

Snoop Lion - Reincarnated

The Snoop Dogg-to-Lion metamorphosis has been a source of much confusion for fans of American rapper – equally so is the appearance of the reggae-inspired release, Reincarnated. According to a feature-length documentary of the same name, Snoop Lion’s spiritual transformation was the result of his 2012 trip to Jamaica and reasoning sessions with Rastafarian elders. Since its release, critics and fans have questioned Snoop’s credibility as a reggae artist, with some viewing the album/announcement as merely a publicity stunt or some misguided mid-life crisis.

Reincarnated opens with ‘Rebel Way’ where Snoop appears to pay respect to his own past while looking forward, "We still drop it hardcore, nuff of them can’t take it when the lion roar *roar*". Many tracks on the album have reggae genre elements, but it all feels a little forced. For example, ‘Get Away’ is perhaps the least-reggae “inspired” track, sounding more like a top-40 dance hit with the odd steel drum fill. ‘Smoke the Weed (feat. Collie Buddz)’ could explain Snoop’s spiritual transformation more comprehensively, with hooks like, "Smoke the weed, everyday, don’t smoke the seeds, no way, smoke the weed, hey, smoke the weed". It’s insipid lyrics like this that make Reincarnated so hard to take seriously as a “reggae” album – giving the release an insincere reggae-by-numbers quality and a severe lack of originality. 'The Good Good (feat. Iza Lach)’ is perhaps the worst track on the album and is reminiscent of something really awful I remember hearing from James Blunt one time – so bad that I gave up trawling through YouTube videos to find the title, but you get the point.
With pure reggae so heavily entrenched in Rastafarian spirituality, it comes as no surprise to hear that the self-professed reincarnation of Bob Marley has been “ex-communicated” from the Rastafari. It really doesn’t seem enough to add an offbeat rhythm to what is otherwise an average pop record and then call it reggae.

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