Snoop Dogg cannot be placed in a box. Being that he’s been in the industry for 25 years, you can only imagine the amount of ground he covers.
From his passion for football to his brilliant on-air personality, you’d have to be pretty damn long-winded trying to name all the different spaces Snoop occupies.
Now, with the unveiling of his newest album,The Bible of Love, you can add gospel to that list.
The Long Beach native introduced his new sound to the world on February 3rd at BET’s 19th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, sharing the stage with some of the genre’s most notable names like Tye Tribbett, Faith Evans, and Erica Campbell (of gospel duo Mary Mary).
Questioning Snoop’s inspiration is natural. Not only does it contrast heavily with his entire catalog, who knew that the Doggystyle rapper was spiritual? But according to Snoop, it’s something that’s been on his mind for a while.
“It’s always been on my heart, I just never got around to it ’cause I always be doing gangster business or doin’ this or doin’ that,” the 45-year-old rapper said in a 2017 radio interview with Beats 1.
And he’s right. Last June he shared a screenshot of a conversation with his mother on Instagram where he stated he was eager to “spread the word” and thanked her for encouragement.
“Praise the Lord,” she wrote back. “You are very welcome. The more you share with others the more you will reap more benefits. The more the Lord will enlarge your territory and bless you indeed. I am so grateful to the Lord for you and how God is moving you in the direction to bless His people through the word of God.”
The same day, Snoop previewed a few tracks from the album.
Even as unpredictable as Snoop Dogg making a gospel album may be, its actually not out of his character to try his hand at a new genre.
We’re talking a west-coast gangsta raper turned pop sensation who’s collaborated with Katy Perry. And that doesn’t cover the time he traveled to Jamaica to experience Rastafarianism and changed his name to Snoop Lion, making a reggae album in the process. Snoop has always shown a willingness to follow his natural instinct, wherever it may lead him.
What shouldn’t be surprising however, is the criticism he will inevitably face. Gospel is tricky because it’s so much more than music to its core base; anything perceived as a lack of sincerity might backfire. Snoop’s approach however, says otherwise.
Firstly, Snoop is releasing The Bible of Love under his new label All The Time Entertainment, which has an objective to shed light on other upcoming gospel artists. In addition, Snoop is playing more producer than rapper on the project.
He and co-executive producer, Lonny Bereal, handpicked some of Snoop’s personal favorites in the industry, which they arrange together on the album.
The 32-track double album is set to be released March 16 and will serve as Snoop’s 16th studio album. So far he’s released five singles — “Blessing Me Again”, “Words Are Few”, “Blessed & Highly Favored (Remix)”, “Saved”, and “You” — and has dropped a video, too.
Snoop credits his late grandmother, Dorothy Tate, for introducing him to gospel music. He says,
“I am blessed to have so many legendary friends join me on this journey. As the country is in one of its heaviest times and is so divided, I wanted to make an album that spreads love and unity around the world. That’s what I was taught, so that’s all I know. Real love.”
Between Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam” and Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book, there might not be a better time than now to bring this message to hip-hop.
While on the surface, Snoop Dogg releasing a gospel album may not make sense, once you think about it, there’s no reason he couldn’t or shouldn’t.
Snoop Dogg can make gospel, too.