The rap icon formerly known as Snoop Dogg — who says from now on his name is Snoop Lion — has reinvented himself, CBS News reports.
Why? Because he’s now a reggae artist, having had his eyes opened by a trip to Jamaica earlier this year.
“The artist said at a news conference Monday in New York that he was ‘born again’ during a visit to Jamaica in February and is ready to make music that his ‘kids and grandparents can listen to,’” the story reports. "The former gangster rapper is releasing a reggae album called ‘Reincarnated’ in the fall. He said that in Jamaica, he connected with Bob Marley’s spirit and is now ‘Bob Marley reincarnated.’"
Said Snoop: "I feel like I’ve always been Rastafarian." He added that while in Jamaica he was renamed Snoop Lion on a visit to a temple and also received the Ethiopian name Berhane, meaning "light of the world."
The report adds: “Snoop didn’t explain why he was switching from ‘Dogg’ to ‘Lion,’ but it’s likely a reference to the Lion of Judah, a religious symbol popular in Rastafarian and Ethiopian culture.”
Snoop played a few songs for a small crowd gathered Monday in New York for his announcement, including a new one called "No Guns Allowed."
Said Snoop: "It’s so tragic that people are doing stupid things with guns.”
“Snoop, best known for hits like ‘Gin and Juice’ and ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot,’ is an avid supporter of marijuana rights and has been banned from entering Norway for two years after trying to enter the country with a small amount last month,” the report adds.
The former rapper said he’s not retiring completely from hip-hop, but he no longer finds it challenging.
"Reggae was calling,” he said. “It’s a breath of fresh air.”
His transformation will reportedly be documented not only in the upcoming album, but also in a documentary film and a coffee table book.