‘Reincarnated’ album best captures the new Snoop

By Kevin Bartelt

“Reincarnated” is the perfect world to describe Snoop Lion.

After a transforming trip to Jamaica, Snoop Lion adopted the rastafarian way of life. Beside the references to drugs, the Bob Marley-influenced album is unlike any of his previously recorded tracks.

“Lighters Up” is one of the best opening songs on the record. The effective use of guitars, horns and electronics emit a relaxed vibe. The instrumentation sounds are like a reggae version of the Gorillaz. After listening to his original “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” I never expected the former Snoop Dogg and an electric guitar riff to be in the same song. “Lighters Up” shows Snoop’s development and new artistic eye as a musician.

“No Guns Allowed” is a textbook reggae tune. The music video, which features clips of Barack Obama, illustrates a strong anti-violence message accompanied by a simple piano chord progression. The addition of Drake in this song derives some controversial questions. In Drake’s “Love and Gunz”, he said, “Round two is in the chamber. All you gotta do is spin it. Aim for the heart.” Also, in this song Snoop Lion sings, “Money makes a man and that’s a crime.” However, in the 1993 title “Gin and Juice” Snoop Dogg said, “With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” Can Snoop Lion move forward after preaching these contradicting lines about greed and wealth for so many years?

“Reincarnated” also features Miley Cyrusin the thought-provoking “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks.” The diverse duo sing, “So put ’em high. You’re gone but you’re never missed.” Unfortunately, the harmonizing of the two is awkward because Snoop Lion should stick to rap.

I did not know what to expect with “Reincarnated.” I have to say, Snoop Lion surprised me with his quality use of reggae. I still like his older stuff, but I’ll tip my hat to Snoop Lion’s life changing album. “Reincarnation” did not blow me away, but I will easily listen to it over any pop music I have heard this month.