I had been waiting for this documentary since I first heard about it. After the release of Snoop’s ‘La La La” tune on the Artibella refix that Major Lazer released about 8 months ago. I, like almost everyone else I have spoken with, have been very skeptical about the whole Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion transformation. But in saying that I have liked all the tunes released since the first whispers.

Thanks to VICE I was invited to the premier screening of ‘Reincarnated’ at the Embassy theatre in Auckland a few weeks back. I’ll start with this, I expected more. But in saying that, I enjoyed it immensely.

The doco starts with Snoop getting his hair braided into a kind of jerry curl dread lock combo. This got me thinking instantly that if he was so into this reincarnation thing, then why not go all out and get proper dreadlocks from the get go? It then continues with Snoop explaining why he has decided to make the pilgrimage to Jamaica to record a reggae album. He comes across sincere and legit until he drops one of many embarrassing lines in the film and possibly the most cringe worthy – he compares himself to Bob Marley.

Woah slow down Snoopy Snoop, one does not compare oneself to Robert Nesta, you leave that for others to make that comparison, and then it is rarely done (Garnett Silk and Dennis Brown are the only ones I have ever heard compared to Bob). But then I simply thought, poor Snoop is a little ill informed. Until I finally came to the conclusion that he actually just has no idea at all, when he says to Jnr Gong “I guess this is welcome to Jamrock”, in his father’s Tuff Gong studio. Come on now, how many times do you think Damien has heard that one!

As the film continues, it starts to delve into the recording process and features footage of Snoop interacting with Kingston locals and his meeting with Bunny Wailer. This is some really interesting stuff, and I must add that he is never ever without a spliff.

There are some moments when you can actually see Snoop become a little uncomfortable when in downtown Trenchtown yards, as any one would be. It’s here when the film takes a massive left turn and heads back to L.A and simply becomes a doco on Deathrow Records. It then spends 3/4 of the film talking about Dre, Tupac and Nate Dogg. This is once again interesting stuff, but there are already so many films made about gangsta rap and the West Coast beef.

I felt it needed to stay in Jamaica and go into things like the fact Snoop actually brought Mavado and Popcaan together to talk about the Gaza/Gully beef, a great achievement unto its self. There are however some great moments throughout the film, his trip to Alpha Boys School was a highlight for me.

I do recommend this film highly. It is a very entertaining watch and there are some great moments in there if you are a fan of reggae or just a fan of Snoop (some of my friends that aren’t reggae fans at all rated it). Snoop’s cousin Daz, is almost reason enough alone to check it out. I’m still not sure if this is all a gimmick or not, I guess time will tell. The album is out too, but that is an entirely different story.

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