Happy 40th Birthday Snoop Lion: Looking Back At An Unusual Year

By Maurice Bobb

The rapper born Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. may have changed his name from Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion, but his birthday (October 20) remains the same. And while there’s no way of predicting what Snoop, who has done everything from movie and television acting to hosting WWE wrestling to coaching pop warner football teams, will do next, here’s a look back at the unusual yet remarkable year he’s had.

For starters, the Long Beach native dazzled thousands during his set for the final night at Coachella when he performed with the late great Tupac via hologram. It was the most talked about performance of the year as Snoop performed with a very realistic hologram of Tupac live on stage for their timeless collabo, “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”

Next, he celebrated his favorite holiday, 4/20, by stepping out of his musical comfort zone to record the stoner-approved country song, “Roll Me Up,” with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson. To call anything Snoop does surprising at this point would be futile, but his crooning on the track was nothing if not shocking.

Uncle Snoop followed that up with a guest turn on America’s longest-running and most popular game show, “The Price Is Right,” for their Celebrity Charity Week. On the show, the Doggfather assisted host Drew Carey as he solicited contestants’ uneducated guesses on items ranging from toasters to all-inclusive vacation packages. Audiences were even treated to impromptu freestyles during the show.

In a symbolic passing of the torch move, Snoop filmed a movie, "Mac and Devin Go to High School," with Wiz Khalifa, his “nephew” and understudy in marijuana appreciation 101. The comedy film stars the two rapper as they relive their high school days as two total opposites, a scholar and a pothead that cross paths resulting in a hilarious journey. Additionally, he released an impressive soundtrack for the flick.

The biggest move of Snoop’s past year, though, was the name change to Snoop Lion. Fans were perplexed by the move, considering Snoop’s extensive and legendary hip-hop catalog, but Snoop insisted the move to a more traditional reggae style was necessary after meeting a high priest in Jamaica and subsequently undergoing a spiritual and artistic rebirth, prompting the recording his upcoming documentary and album, Reincarnated, in the Caribbean country. "I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated," Snoop said of his name change. "I have always been a Rastafari."

Snoop emphasized that the album will be universal and more importantly, authentic. The first single, "La La La," served as the perfect musical salvo for a Lion taking over a new safari.

But Snoop is an artist and, sometimes, artists make mistakes. To wit: remixing his Pharrell Williams-produced monster hit, "Drop It Like It's Hot," into "Pocket Like It's Hot," a three and a half minute video ad for Hot Pockets, complete with guest appearances and video girls...eating their Hot Pockets.

Despite that misstep, everyone still loves Snoop and wishes him much success, no matter what he has planned, for the future.

Happy Birthday Snoop Lion!