I’m fairly confident you’ll have heard the news that Snoop Dogg is no more: he is now Snoop Lion. Swapping one cool animal moniker for another cooler one (animal, that is), could it be that his music is taking a step in the same direction?
On first listen, his track ‘La La La’ is pretty good. It’s got an old school, rootsy vibe that you don’t hear all that often in the age of Gyptian and Vybz Kartel. That largely comes thanks to the superb sample he’s chosen, Ken Boothe’s ‘Artibella’ and from the production of Major Lazer. Vocally I found it a little odd to hear Snoop’s low baritone singing in a mock-Kingston accent, but it would be unfair to judge him harshly on that (it’s an adjustment thing, not necessarily a criticism of his voice on the track). The one thing I wasn’t such a fan of was the effects on the vocals. If you’re going to go rootsy, then keep it simple; the autotune feels a little unnecessary.
Of course, this is only the first song he’s released, so we’ll have to wait until the album drops some time in the next few months. Up top you can see the trailer of the Vice documentary that’s been following this change in direction. I think it’s great he’s fallen for the islands and if he’s going to promote all the good stuff that comes out of Jamaica (not just the weed) then his ‘reincarnation’ as Snoop Lion can only be a good thing. Again, I’ll reserve judgement on it until I get to see the full thing, but for the moment colour me a little sceptical.
For now, we can put this down as a compelling first few pages in the latest chapter of Snoop [insert second name here]’s life, with the rest of the story to stay a mystery for a little while longer. Let us know what you think below.