CMU Beef Of The Week #142: Bunny Wailer v Snoop Dogg
By Andy Malt | Published on Friday 25 January 2013
When Snoop Dogg held a press conference back in July to announce that he was leaving hip hop behind and reinventing himself as a reggae artist called Snoop Lion, I don’t think anyone actually took him at his word. Still, he forged ahead telling people that he was a Rastafarian now, and occasionally people remembered to call him Snoop Lion, rather than Snoop Dogg. And now there’s a forthcoming album, ‘Reincarnated’, and a documentary about its making (featuring Snoop and Diplo visiting Jamaica) to sell, so the Snoop Lion project continues. Though not, if Bunny Wailer gets him way.
Alongside Bob Marley, of course, Bunny Wailer was a founder member of The Wailers, who brought the idea of Rastafarianism to a global audience. So, when he says that Snoop has engaged in “outright fraudulent use of the Rastafari community’s personalities and symbolism”, he’d probably know. He adds that Snoop has failed to meet “contractual, moral and verbal commitments”.
Those agreements, it seems, are with the Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council, an organisation which represents various churches within the Rastfarian religion and seeks to ensure that it is properly represented worldwide.
The group has reportedly written a lengthy letter to Snoop threatening legal action if he doesn’t stop using the name ‘Lion’. They are also demanding “financial and moral support” and an apology for spreading the idea that “smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and reggae music is … what defines the Rastafari indigenous culture”.
Here’s the trailer for ‘Reincarnation’, if you want to see what all the fuss is about: