Snoop Lion’s recent transformation from hardcore rap to Reggae has surprised and even amused many music fans locally and overseas. However, some prominent Rastafarians are far from enthused about the entertainer’s new persona.
Legendary Reggae singer, Bunny Wailer has called out the artiste formerly known as Snoop Dogg, claiming he has been using his ‘Lion’ moniker to profit off Rastafarian culture. Wailer and the Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millenium Council issued a seven page letter to Snoop Lion on Wednesday outlining their grievances with the artiste.
Wailer told TMZ of his belief that Snoop Lion is only using the Rastafarian moniker to sell records and his Reincarnated movie while insisting the converted Reggae crooner has failed to meet the “contractual, moral and verbal commitments” of being a Rasta.
According to Wailer, Snoop has engaged in ‘outright fraudulent use of Rastafari Community’s personalities and symbolism” — and has failed to meet “contractual, moral and verbal commitments.’
The Council also questioned Snoop’s motives for making the switch, demanding he drop the ‘Lion’ off his name immediately. “Smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and Reggae music is not what defines the Rastafari indigenous Culture!” they said in their statement.
Snoop Lion, who has traveled to Jamaica on several occasions over the last year, has yet to respond to these accusations. In a recent television interview, Snoop explained he was given the ‘Lion’ name by a group of Rastafarians he visited during his trip to Jamaica last February, signaling his maturity as a man.
The California-born entertainer returned to the island earlier this month as he shot the official video for his single, Lighters Up, featuring prominent Dancehall artistes, Popcaan and Mavado. He is also promoting the new web series, Noisey Jamaica, a 10-part web series exploring the nuances of Dancehall music and culture which debuted on Tuesday.