Snoop Lion, the Rastafarian reincarnation of Bob Marley we knew so briefly, is dead. Save your prayers. Snoop Dogg is reborn, just in time for Easter, clutching a Bible and an Alan Partridge-sized collection plate. It’s clear now that Snoop’s true master is neither Slick Rick nor Dr. Dre, but Richard Branson. This latest brand extension is a two-hour-plus hip-hop gospel confection that’s briefly charmingly pleasant, then heartbreakingly boring. It has less edge than a child’s balloon.
Some wonderful singers feature, including the Clark Sisters and Fred Hammond, alongside a raft of unexceptional rappers. Yet, given Uncle Snoop’s supposed journey from pornography, pimping, and murder into the glory of God’s kingdom, it’s dispiriting that so much material here is boilerplate encomia, feebly incurious about sin and repentance. Written by
Unforgivably, there’s hardly any of Snoop’s delicious, smirking drawl. If this is the second coming, our rough beast skulks in the shadows, in fear of his own bully pulpit. Perhaps he’ll visit every purchaser and append his missing verses on the doorstep, clutching a Watchtower. More plausible is the uneasy feeling that he is, and has long been, laughing at us; that nothing matters except notoriety you can monetize.