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'I love African music' says Snoop Lion

by Moyo Roy | Grace Kerongo
27 May 2013 at 06:26hrs | Views
Former U.S. rapper now known as Snoop Lion, who recently visited Durban, South Africa, for the MTV All Star concert told Grace Kerongo of The Star - Kenya - that he loves African music.

Snoop said "to be able to come back to the origin of where music was created is special for me."

Full Interview:

What does the new reggae album Reincarnation mean to you?

It was more about a journey. I was on a journey musically and spiritually. I went to Jamaica and spent time there and I loved the culture, the spirit and the music. Reggae music became important to me because it spoke about the love, peace and struggles of the people. I had never had the chance to speak on it with rap because Snoop Dogg had been hardcore and gangster and what I wanted to do was put out a record that was representative of where I am living right now as opposed to the way I was living when I was rapping.

You have collaborated with Dbanj and you were on stage with Africa's finest, how do you feel about African music?

I love African music. Here is where all the music started with the drums in the villages; creating that sound to communicate with each other. So to be able to come back to the origin of where music was created is special for me. I would like to get into the studio with all the artistes (of the MTV All Star concert) in a day and half and produce a record.

You pushed the envelope with your album Reincarnation, do you see yourself doing music in an African language?

I love music, one thing about music is the universal language no matter what moniker or language you are using.

A lot of your old music is littered with strong curse words....

Well, you know, when I use those words in the studio I'm expressing what I feel at the moment. If you listen to the words, it is not about what I'm saying but how I'm saying it. If you listen to the record I have out now, Reincarnated, there is no curse word throughout the whole record. Because I specifically wanted to see if I could make a record without cursing. And I did.

Now that you have become Snoop Lion, has it affected your street credibility?

No, because I was never based on street credibility. Street credibility is based on actors, who are trying to be something. My credibility comes from being real. It is not about credibility or being from the streets because when you become who you are, your main goal is going back to the streets to connect with the people. So I will never lose my street credibility for becoming a grown wise educated mature man.

You taking up Snoop Lion, does that mean Snoop Doggy Dog is gone?

No, he hasn't gone. Snoop Dogg has matured into Snoop Lion who is making music about peace, love and the struggle because I cannot do that as Snoop Dogg because I have already created something that he is. When I'm Snoop Lion I will make positive music. Snoop Dogg hasn't gone - he is always here. Doing the album Reincarnation doesn't mean you become a Rastafarian over night. It is a way of life; it is not a religion, it is how I live.

You did a song with your daughter for the Reincarnation album called No Guns Allowed. And do you support her entering the brutal industry that is the music business?

It was awesome having my daughter in the record. The song is called No Guns Allowed. It speaks about the violence in America and we just want to see it end. I wanted to put my daughter on the record because she believes in what I believe and I support her if she wants to get into the music industry I will watch and guide her. And I will let her know the truth about the industry. One thing I do with my kids is I don't lie to them. I tell them the truth so when they enter into the music industry they won't find it as a shock because I have told them the truth first.

And as far as working with my daughter, she is changing my music and way of thinking. You know, if you have a young lady you are raising you want to be out there becoming a better man and a better father.

Are there artistes you wouldn't work with as Snoop Lion?

No matter who I am I have no prejudice. How I get down is how you get down. My record as Snoop Lion, you see I have Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus and Busta Rhymes, I don't judge people by what they do.

What is your take on the Bunny Wailer's comments about your taking up reggae music and rastafarianism?

There is no one man that can make you Rastafarian, there is no one man that you answer to. For me, rastafari is a way of life. It is a reflection of love and peace that you feel and project. For those who are mad at me, Bunny Wailers most notable, is because I feel like I put a spotlight on something they have been doing their whole life and given it so much attention. And I just walked into the reggae world and I did it. I'm not here to make money. I'm here to get a spot that will get the spotlight on the true meaning of the music which is love, peace. And here he is pushing all this negativity, so, who is more rastafarian, me or him?

What is your secret to longevity in the music career?

My secret is I have always been up close and personal. I never wanted to be a star. Because to me a star was something you could never touch. I have always wanted to be someone people could see and interact with. And I have always managed to keep that even when I did not have security when I first started out. And to me that gives you longevity because you are close enough to the fans so that you know when you are wrong and when you are right. They will keep you on the right path.

What is your take on marijuana as Snoop Dogg and as Snoop Lion?

Marijuana to me is a herb that is from the earth. It was put here for us to enjoy. That is my girlfriend, I love her to death. I'm not going to explain why I do. I just do. And I feel like the more people that indulge, there is peace.

Source - www.the