Saturday, August 17, 2013

Snoop Lion.

I was supposed to watch fireworks on Friday night, I got sidetracked, as I so often do. By the time I got home, it was too late, so I decided to hack into American Netflix and see what I could find. I was scrolling through and scrolling through, when the choice became very, very clear.

'Reincarnated' was released at least six months ago, but I really hadn't gotten around to downloading it yet. The documentary follows Snoop on his journey to releasing a reggae album, along with his cousin, a bunch of Rasta dudes, and Diplo, but is essentially 90 straight minutes of watching Snoop Dogg get so stoned he can barely speak.

It all starts with a flight into Jamaica, where Snoop feels he belongs right now. He holes up with Diplo, and about 30 pounds of high-grade cannabis, in a studio in the mountains. He records songs about life, ashtrays, smoking weed, and fruit juice (not joking) over strong dub beats. We learn deeply personal things about Snoop, like why he doesn't like guns anymore, or how his mother was a real hard-ass that refused to visit him in jail (which anyone who had ever seen the video for 'Gin and Juice' could already tell you). Also, did you know these dudes never share joints? Never!

He connects with reggae legends, like Bunny Wailer and Damian Marley, and gets so toasted with them that we, as the audience, are entirely unable to follow their conversations, and this is where the hilarity begins. As Bunny Wailer looks at Snoop through crimson crescent-moon-shaped eyes, Snoop babbles and babbles and can't keep his gaze on the camera (or anywhere, for that matter). They are each smoking out of their very own mini-bongs. Snoop's cousin is passed out in the corner. He has been smoking joints this entire time, and seems to have fallen down some sort of THC-hole. The camera men are probably so contact-high at this point that it's hard to hold the camera. Snoop decides to convert to the Rastafarian religion, which would probably seem like a good idea to just about anyone that was this intoxicated.

The next day, he goes to a mountain where he can see where his weed is grown, and he goes on some sort of Rasta nature hike. His cousin gets so stoned on the hike that he can't stand up, a mountain girl brings Snoop some flowers, and Snoop uses his extreme lankiness to grab grapefruits off of a tree for everyone to enjoy. 

Snoop then visits a rough area of Kingston. When you are traveling, you can always tell if you are in a bad area of a city by how many crazy people approach you, and we watch as Snoop almost gets his ass kicked by someone who is clearly not very mentally stable. After this, Snoop has his Beatles moment, where he crawls up onto a rooftop and blows kisses into the crowd in between puffs of a joint.

After another eight blunts, he visits a boys school with a very exclusive music program. The boys play him a classic reggae tune while the director of the school freestyles a song over top. Snoop joins in, and dances joyfully in front of the room with the white nun that greeted him at the school's gate. This is easily my favorite scene in the movie, and maybe any movie ever.

Then, his daughter and wife visit, to record a song, and they all go to a Rasta commune in the middle of the night. Snoop gets blessed by the Rastas, in a large tent, by smoking from the biggest pipe I've ever seen, and getting petted on his head. This is an important moment for Snoop, and he says he feels 'loved'. At this point in the movie, I had laughed so hard at Snoop's antics that I was crying, but shit was about to get serious... Something actually happens for the first time in the entire movie. Something that would probably be referred to by Vice as 'documentary gold'. We learn that Nate Dogg has passed away, and everyone is really upset. What to do, what to do? Oh, right. More weed.

The final scene pans out onto an excited crowd. This is Snoop's first performance as 'Snoop Lion'. I knew a girl that attended this show, and she said they passed out free weed to everyone in the crowd. Snoop feels good, the audience feels good, and after an hour and a half of watching Snoop stumble through his Jamaican pilgrimage, the viewer feels pretty good, too. I don't recommend many movies, but this one is highly hilarious, highly likeable, and highly worth the watch.

~sarah p.

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