Snoop Dogg, now 40 years old, announced that “the spirit pulled him to Jamaica” and led him to create a new family friendly persona, Snoop Lion, a name he was given by a Rastafarian priest early on in his visit. “I always wanted to perform for kids, and for my grandma,” Snoop drawled to the studio audience.
“This reggae music is a music of love.” It’s debatable whether “P.I.M.P.,” “Young, Wild and Free” or ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot” fall into the family-friendly category, but last night (Aug. 3) in Toronto, performing alongside chair-dancing booty girls, Snoop had no qualms with playing those songs — along and a number of his other classic joints — with subtle reggae and ska twists.
At least he’s now equipped with some PG material, such as the new “No Guns Allowed” and a number of easygoing reggae covers, among them Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It” and Bob Marley’s “Iron, Lion Zion.” The latter makes sense, since the rapper said, “Bob Marley is Snoop Lion. Snoop Lion is Bob Marley!”
Snoop was accompanied by a full band, which played hidden from view, stage right, while the stage itself was decorated with painted wood panel jungle animals and massive stuffed animals. It was the kind of thing you might see at a kiddie carnival, but who’s going to fault Snoop for tapping into his inner Rasta child? Long live the Snoop Lion. Rastafari!