By Rob Markman
Before we knew him as Snoop Dogg, the superstar, young Calvin Broadus was Dr. Dre’s young gun rapping on the unforgettable “Deep Cover.” Snoop has since crafted a hell of a career for himself and as he takes his next step as reggae artist Snoop Lion, one can’t help but think, what does Dre think?
On Monday, Snoop gathered friends, family and media folks to announce his new project, produced by Diplo and Major Lazer, and he also spoke at length about his evolution from a murderous MC to the more enlightened Snoop Lion. Gone are songs like “Murder Was the Case”; now Snoop is bringing peace with “No Guns Allowed.” It’s a different Snoop than the world is used to seeing, and even longtime friend and mentor Dr. Dredidn’t know what to think at first.
“He would see me come to rehearsals with all of my Rastafari, my gear, my hair, my look. He was just peeping me out, and I let him know I was doing a reggae project and working on the album and whatnot, but he didn’t really understand it until ’La La La’ came out,” Snoop told MTV News.
“La La La,” the first single from Reincarnated, which Snoop released July 20, marked a new chapter in his musical career, though he has always infused reggae lingo in tracks like the 1992 Dr. Dre track “The Day the N—az Took Over” and his 1993 album cut “Pump Pump.”
During Monday’s press conference, Snoop admitted he got tired of rap and wanted to try something different. It was that yearning that led him to Jamaica, where he recorded the new LP after he got a blessing from Bob Marley’s family, of course. “Now he understands that I’m fully with it and I’m all in it to win it,” Snoop said of Dre. “So he gets it, and I got his support. He just didn’t understand it because I didn’t explain it to him. I wasn’t tryna keep it a secret; it just wasn’t time to unveil until now.”