It's a little unusual that Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. thinks he's Bob Marley reincarnated, especially given he was 9 years old when the reggae legend passed. Snoop Dogg's name change to Snoop Lion is not all that unusual among the celebrity set, however.
Snoop Lion, as the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg will now be known, claims he found himself on a trip to Jamaica in January and is pursuing a higher calling. "I have always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated," he announced. "I feel I have always been a Rastafari. I just didn't have my third eye open, but it's wide open right now."
Apparently tired of singing about drugs, alcohol, and women, Snoop Lion is — of course — releasing a reggae album under his new persona, titled — of course — “Reincarnated.” He's calling it an album he hopes his "kids and grandparents can listen to."
Perhaps fellow rapper Ma$e can offer Snoop Lion some advice about rebranding. Ma$e, one of the more popular rappers of his era, retired in 1999 to pursue a life of religious ministry. However, he decided to come back to music, this time as a “bad boy gone clean”, as he claimed in his track, “Welcome Back.” Maybe “Mo' Money, Mo' Problems” is true, but Ma$e just couldn't stay away. Unfortunately, Ma$e never quite reached the level of popularity that he had when he was hanging out with Biggie Smalls.
Snoop Lion isn't taking a hiatus from music like Ma$e, but it looks like he's leaving his gangster ways behind. It remains to be seen (watch his new Twitter feed) if his fans will leave him behind as well or if they will embrace his new persona.
One other interesting wrinkle, as Interbrand's Nicole Briggs points out, is the trademark implications of rebranding your personal brand.
But what about the infamous Dogg? There are 5 different trademark registrations across the United States registrar, Canada and CTM for the name Snoop Dogg owned by Calvin Broadus. They cover a variety of goods and services from clothing, music recordings, television programs and entertainment services. Will Snoop abandon all trademark registrations? Will he renew? Who knows? As of August 1, 2012 no one has filed for a registration for Snoop Lion. Will he? I think he better. There are many benefits in owning a trademark registration. Without a registration Snoop Lion will run into tons of issues such as: no public notice of ownership of the mark, no legal presumption of ownership or exclusive rights of the mark, no ability to bring action concerning the mark in federal court, no right to use the federal registration symbol ®, and no listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s databases.
What would Bob Marley do?