LOS ANGELES Rapper Snoop Dogg conquered hip-hop with his canine-themed moniker and is now taking on the world of reggae with a new name, Snoop Lion, the performer's representatives said on Tuesday.
The veteran rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, Jr., said in a statement that he was rechristened Snoop Lion by Rastafarian priests on a recent trip to Jamaica where he was filmed for a documentary, "Reincarnated." The documentary coincides with the rapper's upcoming reggae album of the same name. A release date has not yet been set.
"I didn't want to be Snoop Dogg on a reggae track ... I wanted to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion, but I didn't know that until I went to the temple and received the name Snoop Lion from the Nyabingi priest," the rapper said.
Snoop, 40, initially began his career in the early 1990s rap and hip-hop scene as Snoop Doggy Dogg, eventually dropping the middle name 'Doggy.' Snoop Dogg has become his brand, earning him nicknames like 'the Doggfather.'
The new Snoop Lion comes with the rapper's latest foray into reggae music, moving away from hip hop, embracing Rastafarian culture and people for his new identity.
Snoop Lion has already been introduced onto social media platforms to promote the rapper's latest single, "La La La," along with his upcoming album and documentary, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Jan Paschal)