Snoop Dogg becomes Snoop Lion: A brief history of rapper name changes

A male lion in its habitat at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo, but with Snoop Dogg's face.

Dogg is really more of a cat person, anyway.

Dropping the canine reference, our man Snoop is changing his name to Snoop Lion, following a trip to Jamaica where Snoop says he’s reconnected with his Rastafarian side. Diplo, under the name Major Lazer, produced his new album, Reincarnated, a strictly reggae project.

Snoop has long used his name to show his maturity — the rapper was once known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, but donned his big boy pants after leaving Death Row Records and dropped the ‘Doggy’ at the end of the ’90s.

“I didn’t know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, ‘Snoop Dogg.’ And he looked me in my eyes and said, ‘No more. You are the light; you are the lion.’ From that moment on, it’s like I had started to understand why I was there.”

So… Snoop finally got around to upgrading his Mac OS?

Snoop isn’t alone in his appellation existentialism. In honor of Snoop Dogg’s reinvention, Metro took a look at some of our favorite rebranding movements.

Prince, the Founding Father of our modern name-change game, went from Prince to the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, to that symbol you can’t actually pronounce, and then back to Prince again. Under the symbol moniker — a mash up of both gender  symbols — sales were low. Prince blamed Warner Bros. for poor marketing, but we can’t help but think the conversation prohibiting moniker might have had something to do with it.

2 Chainz used to be Tity Boi, but changed his name to appeal to his female audience in hopes of easing his ability to secure the big booty girl for his birthday. We’re not entirely sure why chain images appeal to women (ladies?), but we’re thinking peer pressure might have had something to do with it: “we like Snoop and Dre “— other famous name changers.

Dré became André 3000. Three letters don’t capture the full capacity of art, it seems.

We at Metro are unabashed punsters, but even we can’t get behind Brandy’s rap name: Bran’Nu. Seriously, Brandy? The R&Ber’s rhymes were about as great as the new name and the effort was abandoned pretty quickly. Brandy went back to her soulful bread and butter and will release her sixth this fall.

Rapper Common Sense changed his name to Common after his first album. The simplification was, well, do we have to say it?

And, finally, who could forget the grand-daddy of hip-hop name changes: Sean “Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy” Combs.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."