Directed by Andy Capper
Here comes the king. “Reincarnation” is a blend of documentary, bio-pic and concert movie, free of impurities. When Snoop Dogg decides to ditch “slap a b*tch,” gang-bang rap songs for reggae, he sets off for Kingston, Jamaica to study under some of the masters in the genre, including Bob Marley’s son Damien and Bunny Wailer of Bob Marley & the Wailers. Along the way, he tells anecdotes and stories of his youth, recalling the death of Tupac Shakur and, more recently, Nate Dogg, and talking about his family of six. At the same time, Snoop explains some of the songs from his most recent album, also titled “Reincarnation.” Songs like “Ashtrays and Heartbreak” and “No Guns Allowed” come with heartbreaking and inspired sources. Not only does the documentary stand perfectly on its own, but it’s the perfect supplement to Snoop’s newest album. Snoop explains in-depth the key tracks from his newest album with anecdotes and experiences, some inspired by years of struggles, some found their inspiration in Jamaica (even on camera). In that way, it’s timely and timeless. It’s interesting, uplifting, and, ultimately, entertaining. It weaves seamlessly between present-day Jamaica and the 1990s L.A. rap scene. Snoop’s interviews are candid, open, and intimate. And in the background, samples of Snoop Lion’s best reggae offerings so far (“Here Comes the King” is my personal favorite, but after learning about “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks,” that one’s up there too). Snoop’s daughter says that since her father has taken up reggae, he’s been happier than ever, a feat that’s especially heart-warming considering Snoop’s past as a drug dealer, pimp, and gangster. He opens up about these things, his stints in jail, and his murder trial that ended in a “not guilty” sentence. Whether you’re a decades-long fan or just interested in knowing more about one of the most controversial and well-known musical artists of our time (or if you’re fascinated by the culture and Rastafarian lifestyle of Jamaica), “Reincarnation” should be your drug of choice…but really, there’s a ton of weed being smoked. A ton. Oh well.