Hard-core rapper, songwriter and sometimes actor Snoop Dogg is a man of many names.
When he emerged in 1992, after having been discovered by Dr. Dre, he was calling himself Snoop Doggy Dogg. Later he opted for Snoop Dogg. And currently he is known as Snoop Lion. In fact, he says he wants to “bury Snoop Dogg.”
The new name is a reflection of his conversion to Rastafarianism, a religion that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s although many, if not most, people think of it has having a more recent origin due to hearing about by way of reggae legend Bob Marley in the 1970s.
Those who adhere to the ideology of Rastafarianism — called Rastafari or Rastas — have a form of worship for Haile Selassie I, who was emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, though the reasons why are unclear to those on the outside. Finding the answers requires research. Among many other things, they reject materialism, smoke ganja (weed) and believe that references to “Zion” in the Bible and any other religious books is a reference to Ethiopia.
There are numerous branches of Rastafarianism, just as there are many branches of Christianity.
Snoop Lion, who was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. in 1971, chose “Lion” because the lion was the symbol of Solomon’s Tribe of Judah.
To make his conversion official, Snoop Lion was rechristened by a Rastafarian priest, one who made sure the new convert was aware of the fact that dogs are not highly thought of in this realm.
People are waiting to see if Snoop Lion will denounce the many songs he has recorded — selling over 25 million albums — filled with profanity and other non-spiritual words.