Dr. Dre is trying to finish his album

Dr. Dre has been working on an album for a decade, but he needs Doc and Snoop. Who’s Doc?

Detox has become one of those mythically unfinished records—like the third My Bloody Valentine album, which took more than 20 years to see release, or Chinese Democracy before Axl Rose finally deigned to crap it out into the world. The conundrum of its perpetual imminence is just something you live with as a fan of rap music. When the rising L.A. MC Schoolboy Q rapped, “Word to Dr. Dre/Detox is like a mix away” on his 2012 album Habits & Contradictions, he may as well have been stating a constant truth, a fact about the landscape: Detox is just a mix away. Crenshaw High School is 30 minutes from the Hollywood Hills. That mountain is 10,064 feet high.

Dr. Dre is trying to finish his album

Profile of Snoop Lion

Big profile of Snoop Lion by Drew Magary in GQ.

I’m here today to talk with Snoop about his recent transformation into the reggae artist known as Snoop Lion, a persona reboot that includes a new album called Reincarnated as well as a feature-length documentary, also called Reincarnated, which premiered this fall at the Toronto International Film Festival and is part promotional tool, part Snoop hagiography, part Jamaican travelogue, and all weed porn. The majority of the film features Snoop communing with Jamaican elders whose ancient tangles of sun-poisoned dreadlocks actually look like weed. Snoop smokes with them in the studio. He smokes with them in the jungle. He smokes with reggae legend Bunny Wailer (pronounce it wee-lah for the full effect), who is never seen without his own pipe, made from nothing more than a straw and a hollowed-out carrot.

The album and the movie are part of what Snoop is calling a spiritual rebirth. Because while there are certain things about the man born Calvin Broadus that will never change—his love for smoking up, his mellow flow—he’s clearly not the kid he was twenty years ago, when he rose to prominence out of Long Beach, California, as Dr. Dre’s protégé and became a pivotal figure in the Death Row/Bad Boy hip-hop battles of the 1990s. Snoop is now 41 years old, and when I ask him if he ever imagined he’d live this long, his answer comes fast.

Profile of Snoop Lion