Thursday, April 18, 2013

Snoop Lion: REINCARNATED Documentary

There was no way that I wasn't going to watch Snoop Lion's documentary film REINCARNATED the first day it came out on April 16th. The film was produced by VICE and follows the life of Snoop Dogg and his exploratory journey of Jamaica and Rastafari as well as the production of his full length reggae album also titled REINCARNATED in collaboration with producer powerhouses Diplo/Major Lazer

While just about everyone has given their opinion on the music, film, and transformation of the DOGG to the LION, I like to quote one of the greatest comedians all time, Dave Chappelle, on the matter (though hes not specifically referring to this artistic creation with the quote) who has said "haters gonna hate and lovers gonna love." Its obvious that Snoop Dogg/Lion, whatever you want to call him, is looking to rediscover himself musically, artistically, and spiritually. And who can blame him? This guy has seen bullets take the lives of his friends, has been raised in some of the toughest ghettos America has to offer, and has experienced all of the fame and stardom that any musician could ever imagine. Its no surprise that he has turned his back on all of that in search for a relatively peaceful, down to earth, and positive medium to now express himself musically and artistically. Unfortunately, because of his level of fame, its impossible to not have the trail of consumerism and commodification following the moves that he makes, and I think this has distracted many people in the process. But I would imagine its hard not to cause an uproar with the personal choices you make having a social media following of over 35 million people.   

All in all, I enjoyed the documentary and the soundtrack. Snoop is a human being and that really comes out in the movie. As far as I was concerned, his intentions seemed genuine despite the fact that he really does come from a very different world then Jamaica and especially some of the devout rastas he encounters in the film, which will always create struggles that need to be negotiated. However, it is this juxtaposition that really shows you the power and allure not only of Rastafari and Jamaica, but also reggae music and its interconnectedness throughout the world. Its great to see a contemporary doc on reggae and I hope to see more in the future. As the king of reggae himself has sang "Every man has the right to decide his own destiny," and this seems to be Snoop's. Make sure to watch the movie for yourself. You can rent it on iTunes and look for the album to drop April 23rd!