It took Dr. Dre a minute to understand Snoop Dogg's transformation into the reggae artist we now know as Snoop Lion, and even Diplo, who produced the upcoming LPReincarnation, is still a little amazed at the West Coast rapper's new persona.
"If you haven't seen Snoop recently, he's gone totally Rasta," Diplo told MTV News a few weeks ago, after watching the Doggfather evolve over the past few months. "He has Bob Marley and Haile Selassie pins — he's mad Rasta."
After getting past the initial shock of Snoop's new look, it's time to move on to the music. Thus far, he's debuted the album's first single, "La La La," and Diplo said the full project, co-produced by Major Lazer, will not disappoint.
"It's gonna surprise people, but it's an amazing record," he said. "We have some almost rap stuff on the record, but there's also a lot of singing, because he sings really well and there's a lot of backing vocals.
"He was really studying Bob Marley," Diplo added, describing the recording process. "He likes to have the female backing vocals, and it's a real Marley-esque vibe. We [also] have some West Coast attitude with the production, and I'm really excited about it. It sounds amazing."
Earlier this week, during a small press conference in New York, Snoop dropped a few other names of reggae legends who inspired him while crafting the album. "We was looking for the creators, some of the forefathers," he told MTV News. "Most definitely Bob Marley, off the top, and the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs, Jimmy Cliff, Barres [Hammond], most definitely."
Before recording Reincarnated, Snoop got a nod of approval from Bob Marley's son Rohan and then headed off to Jamaica where he became immersed in the Niyabinghi branch of the Rastafari movement. Looks like Snoop Lion is here to stay.