Movie Review: A Rapper in Search of a New Path


Snoop Dogg, now Snoop Lion, in ‘Reincarnated’—reviewed by ANDY WEBSTER for The New York Times.

In “Reincarnated” Calvin Broadus Jr. — better known as the rapper Snoop Dogg, or more recently as Snoop Lion — has a family and speaks longingly of a life and values beyond the Los Angeles gang milieu that spawned his success. But his longtime appetite for marijuana persists, so he heads to Jamaica for a monthlong spiritual pilgrimage of sorts, documented in this competent film from Andy Capper.

In Kingston, Snoop records a reggae-flavored album, “Reincarnated,” with the producer Diplo; meets Bob Marley’s son Damian and the young singer Cutty Corn; and has an audience with the reggae elder statesman Bunny Wailer, 65, who blesses Snoop’s new name. Snoop joins Rastafarians to sample the yield at a secret pot farm, and he visits Trench Town, the neighborhood that nurtured Bob Marley and his band mate Peter Tosh, where impoverished citizens greet him with the hoopla befitting a celebrity trailed by a movie camera.

Snoop, now 41, recalls his upbringing in Long Beach, Calif.; the death of his friend Nate Dogg in 2011; his gang activity; his collaborations with Dr. Dre; and, poignantly, the murder of his friend and Death Row Records label mate Tupac Shakur in 1996. Less intriguing are soporific pronouncements from Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam on Snoop’s early life of sin. Snoop has certainly tempered his worldview, but enlightenment isn’t as evident here as much as a woozy weariness, perhaps a long-term byproduct of being very, very stoned.

“Reincarnated” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian) for strong language and, of course, ubiquitous pot smoke.

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One thought on “Movie Review: A Rapper in Search of a New Path

  1. O.K. I’m willing to give an old dog a chance to learn new tricks, but let’s get real. I saw about two minutes of footage from the film and nearly fell out of my seat laughing. Snoop has some BoBo priest peaching brimstone and fiyah to him in heavy patios as he nods in agreement. I’m fairly certain Snoop couldn’t understand a ras word the priest spoke to him. Funny stuff.
    With his DREADLOCKS?! ha ha! His outlandish red, green and gold gear, his lion crowned walking staff etc., he looked like the usual silly tourist headed from Mobay back to America laden with cultural artifacts and a headfull of naive misconceptions.
    This is a murderer who has for many years pimped out women’s flesh for cash and has enthusiastically promoted this filthy lifestyle to millions of young black men and women. To my knowledge has has never publicly sworn off pimping or encouraged his followers to quit pimping their sisters’ flesh.
    Snoop has mad skills and I’m not trying to hate on him but this recent foray into Rastafarian culture is ridiculous. He says that he is Bob Marley’s re-incarnated spirit. Bob must be rolling in his grave!

    P.S. I heard bit of Snoop’s singing and it is truly horrible. Diplo, Lazer and the crew must have worked hard to make this album listenable.

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