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On March 19th, 2012, MTV News published an article titled “Snoop Dogg’s Next Album Will Show His ‘Loving Caring’ Side”, which quoted the rapper Calvin Broadus discussing his new album who revealed “it’s a real special project to me because it’s like the reincarnation and the birth of me becoming who I really am.” On July 20th, 2012, Broadus released a reggae track titled “La La La” under the new moniker “Snoop Lion” on the music sharing website SoundCloud. The release coincided with the launch of the Tumblr blog SnoopLion.com, featuring pictures, video and news related to the artist.
The same day the reggae song was released, the music blogs Hip Hop Wired and Idolator published article about Broadus’ new stage name and highlighted the SoundCloud audio track. On July 21st, the music news blog Pitchfork published an article titled “Snoop Dogg Announces Reggae LP as Snoop Lion, Shares Major Lazer-Produced Track”, reporting that the music producer Diplo collaborated with Broadus on the new album. On July 23rd, the new album was reported by the music news publications Spin, Rolling Stone and Billboard, as well as The Guardian and The Huffington Post.
On July 30th, 2012, the arts and culture publication Vice released a trailer for the documentary Reincarnated (shown below, left), a film that follows Broadus during his trip in Jamaica recording the album Reincarnated with the music producer Diplo. On August 2nd, the Vice music website Noisey released a video titled “We Got High With Snoop Lion” (shown below, right), which featured an interview with Broadus explaining how his trip to Jamaica influenced his decision to change his stage name.
On July 31st, 2012, the tech news blog International Digital Times published an article reporting that Broadus’ new stage name had inspired the Twitter hashtag “#UpgradedRapperNames” and highlighted several tweets parodying the names of various hip hop artists.
On August 2nd, 2012, Redditor NuclearThane submitted a post titled “My father drew this in response to Snoop’s recent name change”, which included an illustration of Broadus as the cowardly lion in the film The Wizard of Oz (shown below, left). The same day, Redditor PhiladelphiaIrish submitted a picture of Broadus’ superimposed on to a screen capture from the film The Lion King (shown below, right) to the /r/funny subreddit, which received over 13,000 up votes and 135 comments within 24 hours.
Several notable YouTubers uploaded commentary about the new moniker, many of whom mocked and criticized the artist for the sudden name change.
Calvin Broadus, Jr. is a rapper, record producer and actor best known by his former stage name Snoop Dogg. He began rapping in 1992 when he collaborated with the hip hop producer Dr. Dre on his solo debut album The Chronic. The following year, Broadus released the album Doggystyle, which sold nearly one million copies in the first week. Broadus is known to have re-popularized “-izzle” speech, a style of speaking in which variations of the suffix “izzle” are added to words.
iDigital Times – Snoop Dogg’s Reincarnation Lion Spawns Humorous Hashtag
The Huffington Post – Snoop Dogg As Snoop Lion: Rapper To Release Reggae Album Under New Name