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January 29, 2013
Star Entertainment


Snoop promises to give back to Jamaica... Despite criticism, some locals defend the US rapper

Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg), (R)Ibo Cooper

Members of the Rastafarian community have criticised Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg), alleging that the rapper turned reggae artiste is not sincere in his conversion to the Rastafarian movement.

According to the anti-Snoop Lion Rastafarians, the hip-hop icon has failed to meet the contractual, moral and verbal commitments of the Rastafarian community.

The questions about Snoop Lion's authenticity became a concern to some Rastafarians after the rapper released a premiere of his upcoming documentary called Reincarnated, which depicts his conversion to Rastafarianism. However, members of the Rastafarian community in Jamaica allege that Snoop Lion is only seeking to make a profit off the Rastafarian culture.

According to Rastafarian and former member of the Third World band, Michael 'Ibo' Cooper, who has been a member of the Rastafarian community since 1972, Snoop Lion should not be judged by other humans, because the Almighty is the ultimate judge. He also questioned the need for a Rastafarian contract.

"I don't know of people having financial contract to the Almighty. The only person who Snoop has to answer to is the Almighty and I say that without apology. We are a post-Christ philosophy so we can't judge people. As a matter of fact, some of his very critics are not living the required life either. So I don't think we should be judging others. We must allow man and woman to embrace consciousness," Ibo said.

He also shared a lesson he learnt from Bob Marley with The STAR. "I asked Bob Marley once what he thought about some Rastas who were wearing the colours but were not true to the movement, and Bob Marley said to me, 'At least the consciousness a touch dem', so that is one of the reason I respect Bob, so in this case at least the consciousness is touching Snoop Lion," Ibo Cooper said.

"If Snoop tries to manipulate the Almighty he will find himself in problems with the Almighty. But not in the court of man or having to pay a fine, no sah. That is between Snoop and the Almighty, I cyah judge no man. I embrace Snoop as a brother, but if him nuh sincere that is his and the Almighty business," Ibo Cooper concluded.

Rohan Marley

Rohan Marley also came to Snoop Lion's defence in an interview with international website TMZ. According to Rohan, Bob Marley would not have supported the criticisms aimed at the rap icon.

"Our father's name should not even be mentioned in this issue because, like a true Rasta, he would have embraced Snoop's reincarnation and welcomed the positivity; why condemn a man for his love of Rastafari and Bob Marley? We have been cool with Snoop before his transformation and he will continue to have our blessings and support," Rohan Marley said.

In an interview with MTV host Sway Calloway, during the Reincarnated documentary press conference in 2012, Snoop Lion revealed that he would give back to Jamaica by initiating developmental projects in 2013.

"One thing about the people of Jamaica, they are not lazy, and if you give them the opportunity they will make it happen," Snoop said.

Snoop Lion hinted that two development projects will be executed by his team in Tivoli Gardens and Trench Town in 2013.

Snoop Lion recently returned to Jamaica where he shot the official video for his single, Lighters Up, featuring dancehall artistes Popcaan and Mavado. He is also promoting the new web series, Noisy Jamaica, a 10-part web series exploring the nuances of dancehall music and culture which debuted last Tuesday.

Also featured in the Reincarnated documentary is reggae icon Bunny Wailer.

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