If you haven't heard, now you know: Snoop Dogg is no longer Snoop Dogg, but "Snoop Lion," a moniker given to him by Bunny Wailer, one of the original and last living "Wailers" who helped to put reggae on the musical map. Snoop's latest revolution from gangster rapper to reggae soul artist is beautifully chronicled by Vice films and director Andy Capper's forthcoming (and acclaimed) documentary on the musician, Reincarnated, which opens in NYC this Friday.
There are, of course, the obvious bits: Snoop smoking weed in Jamaica where he recorded his new album with Diplo and Bunny, Snoop smoking weed with the locals, Snoop smoking weed in the jungle, Snoop smoking weed in the studio (you get the point), but there is also a telling narrative that shows just how this industry vet has been able to stay at the top of a treacherous game all these years. The most touching moment of the movie comes with unique and original footage of the late Nate Dogg's funeral, and a reflective journey on a make-shift raft back in Jamaica where Snoop Dogg (or should we say Mr. Lion) thinks back on it all. Ahead, read our exclusive interview with documentary director, Andy Capper, and make sure to check out the flick when it hits Sunshine Cinemas this weekend.
How did the idea for the documentary and your relationship with Snoop come about?
"Snoop was a fan of Vice documentaries like Heavy Metal in Baghdad, The Vice Guide To Liberia, and Mandingo!, so his management company got in touch with us and asked if we wanted to film the making of his new album in Jamaica with Diplo. Suroosh Alvi, Vice's co-founder commissioned me to direct the film."
How much direction did Snoop need in terms of narrative and interviews — was the process collaborative as well?
"The process was very much a collaborative one. I would direct the interviews to make sure that we were covering the important themes of the movie but everything that Snoop says is 100% from his heart."
The film gave a really good look at Snoop's multiple evolution — his motivations, his drive to change. Have you seen his passion for reggae change since the movie wrapped?
"Whenever we meet up there's always some reggae playing. Plus soul, funk, and rap. He likes it all."
Smoking weed is obviously inextricably linked to the film and Snoop's process, but was there ever a time the two conflicted or got in the way?
"Snoop's weed definitely got in the way for me a couple of times. It is the strongest weed I have ever smoked. At one point I found myself in a bathroom, totally unable to work out where or who I was. Was I in Sweden? Germany? I had recently come back from a gnarly trip in Nigeria and I remember thinking to myself: 'I hope I'm not back there again.'"
Photo: Courtesy of Vice
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