Saturday Video: Snoop Lion Eats Snoop Dogg, But I Get Indigestion
Eventually we all turn to reggae, the driving bass and steady rhythm satisfying millions for the better part of the last half-century. In its purest form reggae calms and soothes, teaches and preaches; entertains as much as it enlightens – a musical blessing born in Jamaica, now adopted by the world.
Yes, eventually everyone turns to reggae… or in the case of musicians, takes a turn at reggae… not always with the best results…
For every reggae-inspired hit by the likes of 311, Thievery Corporation, No Doubt, or The Police, there are unfortunate tracks, some put down by the biggest musical acts of all time. The Beatles’ You Know My Name, Led Zeppelin’s D’yer Ma’ker, Clapton’s I Shot the Sheriff – all clunkers, in my opinion. Have you heard Sinead O’Connor’s 2005 all-reggae album Throw Down Your Arms? The world didn’t need that. And don’t get me started on Jimmy Buffett…
Their music may not hit the mark for me, but I have no doubt that all these artists had their hearts in the right places when they took a turn at reggae. This goes double for Mr. Buffett, whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago. You may not like his music, as I don’t, but the guy is genuine to the message in his lyrics – no shoes, out for fun on the water and living the dream island lifestyle.
This brings me to the latest big music star to take a turn at reggae: Mr. Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., a k a Snoop Dogg.
Check that: a k a Snoop Lion.
Indeed, the iconic West Coast rapper has changed his name and his sound, ditching his trademark laid back, smooth as silk rhyming for… ummm… actually, I’m not sure what he’s trying to do with his first reggae single, La La La.
Like the other artists I mentioned above, Snoop’s heart is in the right place with this project. He sought counsel with the Marley family. He traveled to Jamaica to study Rastafarian culture and record his forthcoming reggae album, Reincarnated. He even went so far as to have himself rechristened Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest.
Still, this first single just comes off as hokey to me; more in line with another late-night college dorm bong-fest than the spiritual re-awakening that Snoop says led him to change his game.
Anyway, that’s just my opinion. Watch the video above to give La La La a listen and let us know what you think: thumbs up, or thumbs down…?