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Snoop Dogg Lights Up During Interview02.10.13

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Snoop Dogg continues to advocate for marijuana legalization and mainstream use.  Music fans who turned out to BMI’s annual pre-Grammy Awards “How I Wrote That Song” discussion got a little more than they expected thanks to Snoop Dogg — a contact high.

The rapper smoked marijuana during Saturday’s panel discussion, lighting up a large, Kush-filled blunt on stage at The Roxy. He briefly passed it off to B.o.B before methodically reducing it to ash over a 15-minute period. The panel also included Busta Rhymes and songwriters Luke Laird and Evan Bogart, all of whom abstained — at least on stage.

Fittingly, the conversation eventually turned to Snoop’s groundbreaking work on “The Chronic.”

Laird recalled growing up at the end of a dirt road in a small town of 700 in rural Pennsylvania. Yet Snoop’s work with Dr. Dre still infiltrated his world and that of all the other country kids around him.

“Let me just say, the album everyone was listening to was `The Chronic,”‘ Laird said, noting how surreal it was to be sitting on stage with Snoop.

With acoustic guitar in hand, he played a bit of his Blake Shelton hit “Hillbilly Bone” in its original form: a rap song. The Nashville-based songwriter had everyone bobbing their heads to the beat.

“Now I feel like more than ever you see these influences crossing genres,” Laird said.

Meanwhile, discontent is apparently brewing over rapper Snoop Dogg‘s conversion to the Niyabinghi branch of Rastafarianism. This, you may recall, involved a name change to Snoop Lion – allegedly at the behest of a Rastafarian high priest – the growing of dreadlocks, a musical shift to reggae and the announcement that he was actually reincarnation of Bob Marley. Now, alas, the Jamaican Rasta community seems to suspect that all this was a publicity stunt rather a genuine spiritual conversion. Bunny Wailer, last surviving member of Bob Marley’s original band, has accused him of “outright fraudulent use of Rastafari Community’s personalities and symbolism” and claimed he has failed to meet “contractual, moral and verbal commitments”. The snappily named Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council, or Rasta Millennium Council has sent seven pages of demands to him. Among other things, it wants money and “moral support”, a public apology, an assurance that Snoop will stop calling himself Lion, and threatens to sue him if it doesn’t get them. “Smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and reggae music is not what defines the Rastafari Indigenous Culture,” it protests.

Lost in Showbiz doesn’t know what to believe. It wouldn’t claim to be an expert on the minutae of Rastafari. It did once cast an eye over The Holy Piby, one of the most important foundational texts of the religion, but gave up midway through chapter one of its Fourth Book when it appeared to start prophesying that a rooster would walk on the moon. Nevertheless, an examination of his recent activities does suggest that the Rasta Millennium Council might have a point: thus far, Snoop does seem to have largely concentrated on the whole smoking-weed aspect of Rastafari. This week it was reported that, as coach of the Orange County Junior All America Football League, he was planning to read his eight- and nine-year-old charges a book called Just a Plant: A Child’s Story of Marijuana. “It’s not that I would ever push weed on our kids, but if they wanted to, I would love to show them how,” he explained, nothing if not a blue-sky thinker in the world of sports training.

But on the other hand, film director Eli Roth, who went to Jamaica with Snoop Lion/Dogg has come to the rapper’s defence. “Look,” he opened, “I’m a fake rasta: I only own one Musical Youth album and I only listen to Pass the Dutchie.” Yes, that certainly seems like the kind of remark that’ll go a long way towards convincing the outraged members of the Millennium Council that everyone concerned isn’t just taking the piss out of their religion. Do carry on. “Snoop is for sure for real,” he added. “He really loves [Bob Marley] … he wants to have a message of positivity … he’s written a song about fruit juice.”

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