Missing Footage From Snoop Lion Reggae Doc Reveals Muhammad Ali Friendship
A version of this story originally appeared in the Rambling Reporter column of the Aug. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
Rapper Snoop Dogg — who has recently christened himself Snoop Lion, after a switch into reggae — is the star of Reincarnated, a feature-length documentary to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival about his mid-life career crisis. The film, which was shot this past February and March in Jamaica, follows his rasta journey as he records his new genre album, also called Reincarnated.
What didn’t make the final cut, however, was Snoop’s brief jaunt to Las Vegas midway through the Jamaica period for Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday bash at the MGM Grand on Feb. 18. (He sang to Ali his solo debut single “Who Am I?” in front of a crowd that included Samuel L. Jackson, Buzz Aldrin and John Legend.)
It seems the formerly notorious boxer and rapper, now each in cuddly late life, are BFFs. “They’re like family,” says director Andy Capper. “It didn’t fit within the transformation narrative but there’s a whole dynamic there that’s worth its own movie.” The footage will eventually be released either online or on the DVD.
The film has been the subject of intense interest since it was first announced, especially given Snoop’s candid remarks about giving up the music genre that made him famous (“I don’t have no challenges; I’m Uncle Snoop in rap”) and his notion of himself as a sainted figure in Jamaica (“I’ve always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated”).