Rohan Marley has responded to the backlash against Snoop Lion for joining the Rastafari movement.
Bunny Wailer, Rasta practitioner and original member of Bob Marley & the Wailers, initially criticized the rapper for exploiting the movement for personal gain. Now, Marley's son has come to Snoop's defense, telling TMZ that his father would have "embraced" him instead of publicly airing him out.
"Our father's name should not even be mentioned in this issue because like a true Rasta, he would have embraced Snoop's reincarnation and welcomed the positivity," he said. "Why condemn a man for his love of Rastafari and Bob Marley? We have been cool with Snoop before his transformation and he will continue to have our blessings and support."
Wailer publicly denounced Snoop after seeing his film Reincarnated, which documents his conversion to become a Rasta. "[His conversion is] outright fraudulent use of [the] Rastafari Community's personalities and symbolism," he said. "[Snoop has failed to meet the] contractual, moral and verbal commitments [of the Rastafarian religion]."
Last July, Snoop announced his official name change from Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion. He told HipHopDX, "It's not Snoop Dogg on a Reggae track. I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion. But I didn't know that until I went to the temple. The high priest, when I walked in, he asked what is my name. I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' He said, 'No more...You are the light. You are the Lion.' From that moment on, I had started to understand why I was there. We hadn't even recorded one song, but I was taking all of this information and spirit."