Snoop Lion: Reincarnated

Reincarnated confirms 'Snoop Lion’ is no replacement for 'Snoop Dogg', but it has its moments.

Snoop Lion


Label: RCA
US Release Date: 2013-04-23
UK Release Date: 2013-04-22

Snoop Lion arrives as the alter ego of veteran west coast rapper Snoop Dogg. Switching gears from a comfort zone of gangsta rap, Snoop’s 2013 effort Reincarnated, released via RCA, is a reggae album. Throughout the course of the 12-track set (16 tracks in deluxe form), Snoop Lion sings or pop-raps, never assimilating into his traditional MC flow. Another break with the past comes with Snoop’s eschewal of the infamous parental advisory label. The ‘reincarnated’ artist keeps things relatively clean. While the new Snoop refrains from many of the excesses of his gangsta past, he does, in Jamaican/reggae tradition, continue to assert his love for weed. Look no further than Reincarnated’s smoke-filled cover art.

"Rebel Way" opens Reincarnated with great promise. The production work balances traditional reggae cues while keeping in step with contemporary production work. Snoop Lion delivers his verses soundly enough, though it is the hook that highlights: "You can’t run away, run away / you gotta face this… time is moving fast." "Here Comes the King" follows capably, featuring vocal assistance from Angela Hunte, who thrills on the hook. Even given the positive message of rising above haters, Snoop’s best line comes way of "Ganja makes me lord of the land." Closing a solid opening trio, "Lighten Up" features Mavado and Popcaan, both Jamaican musicians. Possessing the total package, "Lighters Up" benefits from superb production and being enjoyable.

"So Long" remains pleasant, if less alluring, adhering to more of a traditional reggae sound. "Get Away" proves even less triumphant, in spite of slick production work. Manic and overambitious, the song is all over the place. Single "No Guns Allowed" atones, featuring Snoop’s daughter Cori B as well as Canadian rapper Drake. Drake delivers one of the best moments: "Bullets do not choose a victim / it is the shooter that picks ‘em / they just can’t wait to get you in the system / the district attorney could use a conviction." "Fruit Juice" contrasts by going smaller, while the obligatory ode to marijuana arrives via "Smoke the Weed", featuring Collie Budz. The hook is simple and direct: "Smoke the weed, everyday / don’t smoke the seeds, no way / smoke the weed." Profound it ain’t, but Snoop also manages to tie in mother nature.

"Tired of Running" is assured, given its cover status (from Akon’s 2006 album Konvicted). From thereon, things take a questionable turn. "The Good Good", featuring Iza, is merely good enough and nothing more while "Torn Apart", featuring British pop star Rita Ora, sounds more quirky and unexceptional than valedictory. Worse is the album’s most shocking collaborative effort, "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks" featuring Miley Cyrus. Cyrus’s vocals are incredibly quick, over-processed, and barely decipherable on the hook. While the song has good intentions with its weighty message, it just misses the mark. The deluxe version is four cuts deeper. "La La La", the best of the bonus quartet, would’ve been at home on the standard edition.

Uneven though sometimes enjoyable, Reincarnated is surprisingly better than expected. That said, the effort still stumbles into the pitfalls of a musician altering his direction and leaving his comfort zone. Snoop Lion pulls off this album off stronger than Lil Wayne did rock (Rebirth), but still, Snoop is best suited spitting over luxurious west-coast beats.





12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.


Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

By the Book

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.


Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold Celebrate New Album With Performance Video (premiere)

Mark Olson (The Jayhawks) and Ingunn Ringvold share a 20-minute performance video that highlights their new album, Magdalen Accepts the Invitation. "This was an opportunity to perform the new songs and pretend in a way that we were still going on tour because we had been so looking forward to that."


David Grubbs and Taku Unami Collaborate on the Downright Riveting 'Comet Meta'

Comet Meta is a brilliant record full of compositions and moments worthy of their own accord, but what's really enticing is that it's not only by David Grubbs but of him. It's perhaps the most emotive, dream-like, and accomplished piece of Grubbsian experimental post-rock.


On Their 2003 Self-Titled Album, Buzzcocks Donned a Harder Sound and Wore it With Style and Taste

Buzzcocks, the band's fourth album since their return to touring in 1989, changed their sound but retained what made them great in the first place

Reading Pandemics

Chaucer's Plague Tales

In 18 months, the "Great Pestilence" of 1348-49 killed half of England's population, and by 1351 half the population of the world. Chaucer's plague tales reveal the conservative edges of an astonishingly innovative medieval poet.


Country's Jaime Wyatt Gets in Touch With Herself on 'Neon Cross'

Neon Cross is country artist Jaime Wyatt's way of getting in touch with all the emotions she's been going through. But more specifically, it's about accepting both the past and the present and moving on with pride.


Counterbalance 17: Public Enemy - 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back'

Hip-hop makes its debut on the Big List with Public Enemy’s meaty, beaty manifesto, and all the jealous punks can’t stop the dunk. Counterbalance’s Klinger and Mendelsohn give it a listen.


Sondre Lerche and the Art of Radical Sincerity

"It feels strange to say it", says Norwegian pop artist Sondre Lerche about his ninth studio album, "but this is the perfect time for Patience. I wanted this to be something meaningful in the middle of all that's going on."


How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.