Snoop chose to change from Snoop Dogg to his new moniker Snoop Lion after a trip to Jamaica. He describes his journey to Jamaica as a “spiritual transformation.” Snoop’s change has left him optimistic for the new artists in the rap industry. He believes that their music will one day reflect positive images and causes over time.
“Artists evolve at different times depending on what they’ve been through. Give them time and I believe their songs will reflect change and growth,” Snoop notes.
Recently, Snoop lost a 7-year-old player from his Snoop Youth Football League to gun violence, so now he feels the best way to increase the impact of the “No Guns Allowed” message is to continue dialogue on the subject.
“We just gotta keep the conversation going,” says Snoop. “Little kids shouldn’t be dying. They’re looking at us to lead the example, so if we’re fighting and shooting at each other they’re gonna grow up handling their problems with violence. It starts with us.”
Currently, the League in partnership with Snoop Lion has made a collaborative effort on tackling the “No Guns Allowed” movement on local and national levels. At the local level, the League is working with the National League of Cities’ United, a national partnership to eliminate violence-related death of African-American males, to ensure that young black males are involved with municipal laws on guns. At the national level, the League is working to raise awareness that there is 91% support for universal background checks among voters in a household with a gun, as reported by Quinnipiac University. “We need our generation to really step up on policy,” Baker adds.
Snoop and the League hope to foster more conversations with politicians on the issue of gun violence, similar to the BET panel discussion held in June, and broadcast stories from youth and other victims of gun violence. The duo hope that policy makers and rap artists can work together to create a plan to end gun violence in the community as the next action for the movement.
“Rappers and entertainers really touch the youth, so we got power of influence and the League is working to get people to vote,” Snoop explains. “So we should all be at the table talking about how we can make our society safer so we don’t have to bury any more young people because of gun violence. If I can provide insight to Obama and others in political power, I’m down to bring my influence with the hip-hop community.”
If you want to join the pledge to end gun violence, text PEACE to 69866 or tweet and share your story including the hashtag #NoGunsAllowed.
–Timothy P. Tukes is a Morehouse College English major and a freelance contributor to Black Enterprise.