Snoop Dogg Changes His Name to Snoop Lion

07/31/2012 at 01:35 PM EDT

Snoop Dogg Changes Hame to Snoop Lion
Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg)
Craig Barritt/Getty
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Snoop Lion.

Yes, the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg has renamed himself after he says he underwent a spiritual and artistic rebirth in Jamaica.

While recording his album Reincarnated in the Caribbean country, he developed a traditional reggae style. The result is a three-part project: a reggae album, documentary and coffee-table photo book, all under the name of Snoop Lion.

"I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated," Snoop, 40, told reporters at a news conference, according to The New York Times. "I have always been a Rastafari." (Marley's son, Rohan, gave his blessing at the news conference, which was held at Miss Lily's, a Caribbean eatery in New York.)



So will Snoop (real name: Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.) turn his back on rap completely? Not likely. "I could never become Snoop Lion," he says, "if I wasn't Snoop Dogg first."

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