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Snoop Dogg, now known as Snoop Lion, is defending himself against critics who have spoken out against his name change.
The rapper, 41, announced he was changing his name when he also wanted to change up the direction of his music to reggae.
“I'm going to always be Snoop Dogg. I can't throw that person away and get rid of him,” he told The AP. “To me, the Lion is the growth of Snoop Dogg — me growing into the next phase of my musical career, the next phase of my life.”
Reggae icon Bunny Wailer was actually the one to give Snoop the new name, but has since spoken out about his doubts that the rapper will fully embrace the reggae genre.
His new album is focused mostly on reggae and it’s called Reincarnated, and he says of Wailer’s skepticism, “I've done nothing but what I said I was going to do: Go to Jamaica, make a great record, intertwine with some people, build on some relationships and come back and bring something back to the community.
He added, “As far as what people feel about how I'm representing or misrepresenting, that's for no man to judge. I'm here to do what I'm doing. This is my journey. And for those who don't like it, I still got love for them.”
MLive reports that Snoop Lion has released a documentary called Reincarnated, which documents his change from Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion.