With over two decades in the game, it is safe to say that we have seen many facets of Calvin Broadus. Due to his recent orientation to the Rastafarian culture and roots reggae, Snoop Lion seeks to convey the positive energy of his music to all cultures of the world. In our conversation with this timeless artist, we touched upon subjects like his upcoming album Reincarnation, the Rastafarian way of life, Dr. Dre’s Detox, his favorite pair of sneakers, and much more.
You were recently involved with adidas and David Beckham in The Cautionary Tale of Ebenezer Snoop. Where are the similarities between Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion and Ebenezer Snoop?
There’s no comparison. I have no Ebenezer Snoop in me. Snoop Dogg is me. Snoop Lion is me. I’m all about peace, positivity and respect. Ebenezer Snoop is bitter. But I liked the campaign and played along because I knew my folks at adidas know how to get it together and tell a good story.
If Doggystyle is the benchmark album for West Coast/G-Funk rap, what is Reincarnated to reggae?
It don’t make sense to expect Reincarnated to have the same impact on reggae music that Doggystyle had on rap. If anything, I want the reggae world to accept Reincarnated as one artist’s real sincere expression of love. If the people accept me as a musician using reggae music to spread my message of love and peace and progress and prosperity, then Reincarnated will be a success.
What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the Rastafarian culture, especially the Niyabinghi branch?
I learned that the rasta culture is about constant growth and elevation of the spirit. The elders of the Niyabinghi temple gave me the name of “Berhane” which means “light” in Ethiopian language. They gave me this name because I am a natural born leader and it meant a lot that they recognized something righteous and positive in me. So I’d say they gave me my name – Berhane – and that name reminded me of a greater purpose: to let my light shine and guide those who would follow me.
As Snoop Lion, are there any roots reggae artists that you would like to collaborate with?
I was blessed to work with Diplo and Major Lazer on Reincarnated. We collaborated with some talented artists, but I’ll let you find that out in time. In the future, I would not mind getting in with some talented artists, but I’m eager to see what they think of Reincarnated. I feel like once people hear Reincarnated, more reggae artists are going to want to work with the lion!
What characteristics does a lion possess which are missing in a dog? And how do you project it to the microphone?
Lions are powerful. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but lions are always intimidating and inspirational. So when I become the lion in the booth, I make sure to roar loud and proud so the whole jungle pays attention, you dig?
How’s your current relationship with Dr. Dre?
Me and Dre are always going to be tight. No matter what because of what he means to me and my career and what I mean to him. The bond we have is historic. We can’t take nothing away from that.
You are about to perform in India for the first time in January. You’ve traveled all around the globe. What crowd is the liveliest and what is your favorite destination and why?
Coachella was the craziest just because of how huge everything was. The anticipation of me and Dre on stage again. The reaction to the Pac hologram was crazy. Everything was just magnified, x 1,000,000. Glastonbury was wild too. Shout out to all my fans in the UK. I’ll be back real soon.
What is Snoop Lion’s favorite sneaker?
adidas Freemonts. They got a pair of black ones with green, yellow and red. These ones are sweet!