THE AL GILKES COLUMN: Grammy controversy over Snoop
By Al Gilkes | Sat, November 23, 2013 - 11:59 PM
The 56th annual Grammy Awards will be held in February at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles but already one of the categories for the biggest night of recognition for the best performers in the music industry (on and off stage) for the past year is being dogged by controversy.
It all has to do with the recent nomination of a new name in reggae music for Best Reggae Album. The name is Snoop Lion.
If you had not heard the name before you should not find it too difficult to guess that Snoop Lion is none other than American gangsta rapper turned reggae artiste Snoop Dogg, who is even claiming to being a reincarnation of the late great reggae icon Bob Marley.
Snoop apparently changed from a Dogg to a Lion when Rastafarian priests reportedly dubbed him Snoop Lion when he visited Jamaica some time ago in search of “a new path”.
He explained at a subsequent news conference: “I didn’t know that, until I went to the temple where the high priest asked me what my name was and I said, ‘Snoop Dogg’ and he looked me in my eyes and said, ‘No more. You are the light; you are the lion’. From that moment on, it’s like I had started to understand why I was there.”
The 40-year-old Lion has also claimed that he always felt a special connection with Jamaica’s most celebrated music legend.
“I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated. I feel I have always been a Rastafari. I just didn’t have my third eye open, but it’s wide open right now.”
The controversy building around Snoop Lion concerns the fact that his Reincarnated is among the front-running albums to win the award for Best Reggae Album at the Grammys next year.
The latest artiste to take verbal shots at Snoop Lion’s nomination is dreadlocked Ghanaian reggae star Blakk Rasta who said: “Yes, everybody would say Snoop Dogg has tried and produced good reggae songs, but I don’t feel that qualifies him to be in that league of artistes nominated for the Grammys.
“It surprises me that a rapper who suddenly metamorphosed in a reggae genre within a year has been voted into that category. I am not disputing the fact that he might have made enormous sales with it, but I think somebody would have to explain to me what criteria was used to put him there.
“So if all of a sudden Blakk Rasta or Rocky Dawuni, Cocoa Tea or Black Prophet decides to do pure rap music, will they be nominated to the Best Rap or Hip Hop album at the Grammys?”
But here comes the newest Snoop twister. Snoop has now again rechristened himself, this time to Snoopzilla, and rebranded himself for a new funk band called 7 Days Of Funk, which releases it debut album next month. He says this new name pays tribute to legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins, who referred to himself as Bootzilla.
Well, well and as one Jamaican newspaper headlined a report on the Lion: Who Let The Dogg In?
• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm.
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