Remember that terrible time when Joaquin Phoenix was running around with a huge beard, acting like a crazy person, and making everyone uncomfortable? And the world was like: "Is this a hoax or did he just take too many drugs?" Well, ever since Snoop Dogg announced that he was changing his name to Snoop Lion, we've been wondering the same thing. And after he premiered the video for his new single "La, La, La" on Wednesday, we're more confused than ever. Observe:
Now, truth be told, if this song was by anyone else -- an artist we'd never heard before, one of the Marley kids, that sort of thing -- we'd be completely indifferent. The primary issue with "La, La, La" isn't, truthfully, the song -- it's the fact that it's Snoop Dogg singing it. Because watching this video, it feels a little bit like Snoop is hosting SNL and parodying his own mid-career style crisis. You can see the comedy writers huddled around the table now: "Gangsta rapper turns into kid-loving, lion-wearing reggae guru? That'll be hilarious!"
Snoop's already proved -- in both 2004's Starsky & Hutch and short-lived MTV sketch show Doggy Fizzle Televizzle -- that he's got some comedy chops, so it's no surprise that "La, La, La" is totally hilarious from start to finish. From the opening, whispered "Rastafari!" through the changing of his entire vernacular (including his insistence on pronouncing the word "them" as "dem"), to his "dready, dready" and "ting!" references, this thing is laugh-out-loud funny throughout.
And then there's the video. Cartoon animals? Crayola scenery? Kids in costumes? Girls in swimwear? Singing fruit? Robots? Weed-smoking pineapples? Body paint? Cartoon girls doing the Charleston? This is total fucking mayhem! How could it not be all an elaborate joke?
Maybe Snoop figures no one makes money
from record sales anyway, so it doesn't matter if he puts out a
joke album. The real money in music now is made on the road. And we'd be
lying if we said we didn't want to see this nonsense on a stage, even though we've got zero desire to actually listen to it.
Ultimately, signs point to this being a joke. We just keep going back to how the Joaquin Phoenix thing turned out -- his whole batshit mental persona was indeed an elaborate hoax constructed around the mockumentary I'm Still Here. And, as you probably noticed, the end of the video for "La, La, La" says "Reincarnated: The Album & Documentary Coming Soon." The fact that there's a documentary about this whole thing makes us think there's definitely some funny business afoot. We hope so anyway. Because if it isn't, Snoop Lion's in the midst of the biggest mid-life crisis ever committed to record.