Rapper Snoop Dogg was appointed the name Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest.
The hip-hop superstar, 40, has adopted the new moniker for his first reggae project, Reincarnated, and he reveals the new stage name came about as part of a spiritual awakening he experienced during a trip to Jamaica in February (12).
He says, "I didn't want to be Snoop Dogg on a reggae track... I wanted to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion, but I didn't know that until I went to the temple and received the name... from the priest."
Snoop has been documenting his foray into reggae for a new film, also titled Reincarnated, and the documentary is set to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada in September (12).
The rapper claims he has always felt like "Bob Marley reincarnated", but even his longtime pal and collaborator Dr. Dre was left puzzled by Snoop's new musical direction until he heard the new single La La La.
Snoop tells MTV.com, "He would see me come to rehearsals with all of my Rastafari, my gear, my hair, my look. He was just peeping me out, and I let him know I was doing a reggae project and working on the album and whatnot, but he didn't really understand it until La La La came out."