Snoop Relives Journey Frommurder Was Casetono Guns Allowed
Snoop Dogg was once the epitome of a gangster.
In 1992, When a young Calvin Broadus first emerged alongside Dr. Dre crooning '187 on an undercover cop,' wearing his Long Beach snapback, there was something menacing yet magnetic about the then rising rap star. These days, the newly minted Snoop Lion is singing a different tune on his upcoming reggae album Reincarnated.
Instead of 'Murder Was the Case' Snoop is singing of peace on songs like 'No Guns Allowed' and the juxtaposition and evolution isn't lost on the global music star.
' 'Murder Was the Case' was a song about a gangsta that was given a decision on whether he was gonna live his life the right way or the wrong way,' Snoop told MTV News of his 1993 single from his multiplatinum debut album Doggystyle.
The Dr. Dre-produced track told the story of a young gangster who strikes a deal with the devil while he lies on his hospital bed. In the song, Snoop escapes death and obtains ridiculous amounts of wealth before he is double crossed and sent to prison.
In a perverse case of life imitating art, Snoop faced murder charges in connection with the 1993 death of a man, charges that he was eventually acquitted of. 'It was so crazy because in my real life I had an actual real case like that, that happened that had nothing to do with the song,' Snoop told us last week. '[It] was a reflection of what you write and what you put out is gonna come back to you.'
This new Snoop sees things much differently than his 1993 self. You can attribute the change to 20 years of growth and maturity. 'Now you see me writing about 'No Guns Allowed' because ... it's about being a man and being strong and being powerful enough to try and educate and deter people from doing negative things in life,' he said.
On July 30, Snoop Lion gathered members of the press to take a listen to his upcoming Reincarnated album. He, the LP's producer Diplo and members of Snoop's writing team played select tracks from the island-soaked long player which they recorded in Jamaica. Among the standouts was 'No Guns Allowed,' a direct call for peace.
To record Reincarnated, Snoop first got a blessing from Bob Marley's son Rohan and made a pilgrimage to Jamaica, where he formed a bond with the Niyabinghi branch of the Rastafari movement. The Los Angeles game spitter explained that he had grown bored of rap and simply answered his calling. 'The spirit called me. Any time the spirit calls you, you gotta know it's serious and real,' he said to a room of gathered press. 'I wanna bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion.'
While Snoop once delivered killer jams to his fans, today he is on a new mission. 'The world needs positivity and music that feels good,' Snoop said. 'Because music is a relief. That's what it does: It relives your pain, it relives anything that you're going through. When you go to a club or go in your car and put on your music it's for relief.'
What is your favorite Snoop song? Sound off in the comments!