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"Reincarnated": Snoop Gets Spiritual 

Wednesday, Mar 13 2013

Having been a gangbanger and a rapper and America's most lovable pimp, the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg and Snoop Doggy Dogg and Calvin Broadus Jr. recently sought a higher calling. Given pre-existing ganja love and a history of overcoming personal obstacles, it seemed perfectly reasonable that his quest should take him to Jamaica, where name-changes continued apace. Before being officially re-baptized as "Berhane," which means "light," during a Rastafari fire ceremony, our spliff-wielding spirit pilgrim met Bunny Wailer, who called him "Snoop Lion." Otherwise, he smoked, soaked up Rasta culture, smoked, embraced positivity, smoked, and made a reggae record. Now here's Reincarnated, a high-minded making-of. Vice magazine editor Andy Capper's documentary lacks organizational precision, but makes up for it with sincere curiosity, apparently very much modeled on its subject's example. Snoop knew people back home would think his trip a gimmick; what makes it a genuine odyssey is that his humility doesn't just come across like megalomania in disguise. In retrospect, his winding path from Long Beach to Trench Town seems practically pre-ordained. This isn't quite Malcolm-goes-to-Mecca stuff (although Louis Farrakhan is briefly on hand to suggest it is), but to see how the star of "Murder Was The Case" evolved to "No Guns Allowed" is disarming in more ways than one.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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