Review: Snoop Lion – Reincarnated

Review: Snoop Lion – Reincarnated

Snoop Lion – Reincarnated
Track Listing:
1.) Rebel Way
2.) Here Comes the King (featuring Angela Hunte)
3.) Lighters Up (featuring Mavado and Popcaan)
4.) So Long (featuring Angela Hunte)
5.) Get Away (featuring Angela Hunte)
6.) No Guns Allowed (featuring Drake and Cori B)
7.) Fruit Juice (featuring Mr. Vegas)
8.) Smoke the Weed (featuring Collie Buddz)
9.) Tired of Running (featuring Akon)
10.) The Good Good (featuring Iza)
11.) Torn Apart (featuring Rita Ora)
12.) Ashtrays and Heartbreaks (featuring Miley Cyrus)

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Record Label: RCA Records
Website: Snoop Lion Website

Group Background:
Simply put, Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) is an American music icon and living legend. Since 1992 the Long Beach, California native has sold over 30 million records, and counting. Snoop is best known as a west coast gangsta rapper, songwriter and actor. Known today as Snoop Lion, the rapper turned reggae artist announced himself a “born again” Rastafarian after a visit to Jamaica in 2012. During his visit, Snoop met with Rastafarian holy men, who gave Snoop the name “Lion.” He later officially kicked the “Dogg” to the curb and embraced the “Lion.” To top it off, Snoop Lion professed himself to be the reincarnation of Bob Marley. As crazy as it all sounds, it is not clear whether or not this was a genuine attempt at change, a desperate career move or a ploy on the gullible public.

Album Review:
“Reincarnated” is an attempt by Snoop Lion to transform himself from the gun-touting, violence-condoning, ho-slapping, gin-and-juice drinking gangsta rapper, to the anti-violence, peaceful, positive, socially conscientious reggae artist. Although the transition is hard to believe, I have to give it to Snoop; he did follow the “rules” of making a reggae/dancehall album—a one drop drum, bass heavy rhythms, a song with horns, a singable chorus and at least a couple songs about weed. Check, check, check, check and check; although, Snoop never had much trouble incorporating the last rule.

“Reincarnated” is overflowing with collaborators. In fact, a quick listen reveals that the collaborators dominate 11 of the 12 tracks on the album. The likes of Akon, Drake, Mr. Vegas and everyone’s favorite pot smoking, pop-princess Miley Cyrus all make an appearance. On the surface this is, without a doubt, an all-star line-up. However, even the casual fan doesn’t have to listen too deep to realize Snoop forgot an important part of his meaningful transition to a Rastafarian reggae star—namely, the appearance of a Rastafarian reggae act on the album. If Snoop wanted to lend credibility to his reincarnation, he should have recruited at least one Jamaican Rastafarian reggae artist to collaborate on the album.

One of the album’s strongest songs is “Lighters Up.” The “unity-themed” song starts out with a grooving bass line and transitions into a catchy chorus. The vocal mix of Mavado and Popcaan provide a nice stylistic balance. Possibly the most telling evidence of Snoop’s transition, he went from “Deep Cover (187 on an Undercover Cop)” to the affectionately sung, “No Guns Allowed” featuring his daughter Cori B & Drake.

At best, “Reincarnated” is a mainstream, pop album infused with dancehall, roots-reggae and electronic elements, along with positive Rasta messaging—like ending gun and, gang violence. At worst, the album is a disingenuous cultural highjack by a music superstar, who is inclined to do whatever he wants—because he can. I fall somewhere in the middle. Either way, at least now, we know that Snoop’s name is Lion.

Written & Reviewed By: Kit Chalberg

[Editor’s Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]