Well, it took Snoop Dogg nearly 20 years to finally answer the questions he asked on his first single, "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)," because on Monday this week the rapper revealed after having a spiritual reawakening in in Jamaica earlier this year he isn't a dog at all. He's Snoop Lion. And Snoop Lion has recorded a reggae album, Reincarnated.
Folks, I have heard Reincarnated and am incredibly honored to give you my take on Snoop Lion's inspired first release.
1. "Get Up Stand Up (Feat. Bob Marley)"
Snoop Lion saunters out from his cage with this chill tune that bubbles with a seething rage and lyrics about combating restless leg syndrome. Someone named Bob Marley sings most of the lyrics, but you can tell they're good because Snoop is in the background saying "yeah" after every line.
Key lyric: "Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights / Yeah / Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight / Yeah, that's what Snoop would do."
2. "I Shot The Sheriff (Feat. Bob Marley)"
This is a sublime reimagining of "Murder Was The Case (Remix)," casting Snoop as an inmate of some kind who killed the town's local sheriff, but not the town's sheriff deputy. Who knew reggae music could mash-up whodunits and spaghetti Westerns? Again, this Marley character sings, er, the lion's share of the lyrics and Snoop chimes in with his own parallel tale of battling the government's corruption and bureaucracy.
Key lyric: "Sheriff John Brown always hated me / In case you forgot I'm Snoop Lion now / For what, I don't know / It cost me $68.50 to get my driver's license changed and I was at the DMV for damn near four hours / Every time I plant a seed he said kill it before I grow / Yeah I know what reggae is."
3. "Jamming (Feat. Bob Marley)"
Now, this is a great party song that Pandora also says has acoustic rhythm piano, mixed minor and major key tonality, and a dynamic male vocalist. Again, though, that vocalist is largely this Marley jerk, who's hogging the mic. Snoop seems to be on the phone in the background.
Key lyric: "I hope you like jammin', I hope you like jammin' / Yeah, this is Snoop Lion. Oh, hi Yelp! Man, I just wanted to call and review the Four Seasons in Negril / 'Cause I wanna jam with you / It was great, the towels were fluffy, but someone stole my iPod."
4. "No Woman, No Cry (Feat. Bob Marley)"
Jeez. This one's a slow burner and a bit of a downer. Snoop lets Marley take the driver's seat again probably because he's so sad, but lets him sing gut-wrenching lyrics about a man losing the love of his life, and then, even worse, losing his ability to cry.
Key lyric: "Little darling, don't shed no tears, no woman no cry / Say, say, said I remember when we used to sit / My name is Snoop Lion and this song was my idea!"
5. "Buffalo Soldier (Feat. Bob Marley)"
Have you ever heard of an album that ends on a cliffhanger? Neither have I. That's what makes this five-song album so brilliant. It pushes boundaries, transcends boundaries, destroys boundaries, and transcends those boundaries again with a wrenching duet with Robert Marley.
Key lyric: "There was a buffalo soldier in the heart of America / Hey, you know what? Dre? Why don't you just take this dumb Bob Marley karaoke CD back to FYE and drop me off at the studio so I can start recording the soundtrack to my next porno, Dogg Sex With Lions, okay? / Peace."