Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How long before Snoop's reggae Lion runs out of puff?

BOWIE had Ziggy for half a decade, Beyonce had Sasha Fierce for just one album, so how long will Snoop keep up the Lion act?
He is shrewd businessman who knows how to grab headlines and "Snoop Lion" is a great headline.
Everyone is now talking about his transformation and, more importantly, his new album, Reincarnated.
Snoop is leaping into the unknown; Reincarnated is an all-reggae album, which will have his fan base scratching their heads.
The press conference was Snoop's flamboyant way of telling them, "Don't be scared, reggae won't bite", but it also allowed him to reach out to new fans.
Telling the world that he was casting aside rap and its gun culture and now doing the sort of music that his family and children can listen to plays well with K-Mart and other Middle America stores.
And his embrace of Rastafarianism and Bob Marley keeps the reggae crowd on side and shores up his artistic credentials.
But the headline-grabber is his spiritual rebirth.
"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.'
"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 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.
"I basically let them know what I want. It's not that I want to become Snoop Dogg in a reggae track ... I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion."
Marley's son Rohan was at the conference and gave Snoop his blessing, because when you tell the world you're the Reggae Jesus you need the backing of reggae's most powerful name, even if you have a twinkle in your third eye.
Snoop's new album will be bolstered by a documentary of the same name, which will focus on Snoop's music and his rebirth. A coffee table book is also planned.
The press call follows news that Snoop was banned from entering Norway for two years after he tried to enter the country with marijuana.
The artist is a strong supporter of decriminalising marijuana but it unlikely the issue was a factor in his rebirth.
How long he stays a Lion will depend on sales. Snoop has sold more than 12 million records in the US, and over 30 million albums worldwide but his last album, Malice n Wonderland, performed poorly so a change of style and a raising of his profile may have been needed.
But artists who change direction risk much and the album charts are littered with unloved U-turns (Kylie's foray into Indie, Radiohead's avant garde Kid A, Lauryn Hill's spiritual misadventure, MTV Unplugged No 2.0 are just a few).
Expect the Dogg to make its comeback when Snoop's reggae album runs out of puff.
Snoop's name change has had an effect on Twitter, with fans confused as to what it all means. Here's a taste of funniest reactions: