Talented U.S. reggae singer J Boog recently dropped a new five track EP titled Rose Petals, a set where Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Chaka Demus and Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion contributes with verses on one track each.
It has been three years since J Boog released more than a single and this new EP is certainly very welcome. It offers contemporary and bouncy romantic – sometimes leaning towards the lewd – reggae with highlights such as the Chaka Demus combination Good Cry and the slick title track.
Brighter Days is sunny stadium reggae with an infectious sing-a-long chorus and motivational lyrics, while Good Feeling is a version of Dee Sharp’s lovers rock anthem Let’s Dub It Up. Snoop Dogg appears on the racy and funky No Pressure, a bonus cut which, according to The Island Sound, was recorded already in 2012.
Reggae and hip-hop have been in a lovable and fruitful relationship since hip-hop was born in New York City in the 70’s. And some of the most successful rappers have actually been Jamaican, according to a superb and recently published round up by LargeUp.com.
That’s why it may not come as a surprise that Snoop Dogg – one of the most popular hip-hop artists of all-time – has turned to reggae with his new alias Snoop Lion and the brand new Major Lazer produced track La La La.
However, it’s hard to take this step seriously and assess if it’s a marketing gimmick or not. Snoop Dogg is known for being a devoted ganja smoker though, but Diplo and Switch – the people behind Major Lazer – is known for clever marketing.
The PR campaign that comes with La La La is well-directed and also includes a documentary titled Reincarnated that follows Snoop Dogg’s journey to Jamaica to record an album with Diplo and his encounters with Jamaican people and Rastafarian culture.
Despite some authenticity issues with Snoop Lion, La La La is a great song with Snoop’s smooth and almost whispering vocals over a version of the mighty Artibella by Ken Boothe. It also features back-up vocals from the always reliable and soulful Jovi Rockwell.
It will be an entertaining and fascinating journey with Snoop Lion and I look forward to the upcoming album and the documentary.