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There’s a lot to be said for Snoop Dogg’s Reincarnated. On the surface it seemed that his adventure into reggae music was just a gimmick, a way to cross over into a new genre and get extra checks. But beneath the speculation lies a sincere connection to a journey into a new realm of music.

The Long Beach, Calif. native screened his documentary Reincarnated in Los Angeles Thursday (Feb. 7) night, giving fans an in depth look into what led him to drop the “Dogg” (at least, momentarily) and adopt the “Lion.”

In the documentary the father of three explains that his step into reggae came during a road block. “I didn’t want to rap,” he explains. In an effort to reclaim his happiness and inspiration,  Snoop & Co traveled to Jamaica where they stayed for one month creating his album. Teaming with Diplo and the Major Lazer crew, the man lauded for helping to usher gangsta rap to the mainstream, made sure to take the proper steps to respect the culture of both the island and the Rastafarian faith, as if he were a new artist. Scenes of him in the studio are organic, excited, and sometimes pensive as a musician recording their first album. Surely this isn’t the man who has  been in the game since a teenager, sold over 12 million albums, and is probably one of the most known rappers in the world. For what it’s worth, “Snoop Lion” is much different from the public persona you’re used to seeing. “Being here is giving me an understanding of who I am,” he says in a scene.

That road to finding himself, followed the loss of his longtime friend and collaborator, Nate Dogg. For the first time fans get to see footage of Nate’s funeral, and even Snoop breaking down while his wife, Shante clutches his hand.

From infidelity, pimpin’ (an area of activity that he really participated in), to friction with Suge Knight, no stone is left unturned.

 Reincarnated is a captivating trek through a musical and spiritual rejuvenation, and makes the fans respect the efforts of the album. The film hits theaters March 15.

See photos below.

Photos: Willie T/Azul ‘213’ Amaral

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