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The Editing Job I’ve Been Waiting for

August 18, 2012

It was announced recently that Snoop Dogg has changed his name to Snoop Lion, presumably as a tribute to Apple’s new operating system. I find this perplexing. First of all, the “Snoop” has always been the embarrassingly lame part of the name. That’s the part that needed dealing with. “Dogg” is okay. It looks silly as hell, yes, but the pronunciation is the same as with a single “g.” Why not replace “Snoop” with “Lion”? Lion Dogg. It’s like a raging, barking, roaring hybrid of a lion and a dog. I could get down with Lion Dogg; I ain’t lyin’, dog. And there’s a world of innuendo possibilities in that name, too, which is important. “Lion Doggystyle,” that could be a hit. “Lion in Bed,” another. For Snoop Lion, all of these wonderful opportunities are off the table. This is disappointing to me, not only as a poet but as a person who just loves inappropriateness.

Either way, though, Snoop’s got a problem. When regular people change their name, it’s not a big deal. They just have to get a new credit card and maybe tell their family, and life goes on as usual. Not so for rappers, whose entire careers can be built on relentless exploitation of name-based puns. What is to be done about the now at-best outdated and at-worst downright meaningless album titles Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, and Doggumentary? And what will become of backup vocalists Tha Dogg Pound?

The biggest problem, though, is that rappers, Snoop included, drop their own names 200+ times on every track. And they don’t just say it; they rhyme it with other words, they spell it out in complex ways, they weave it into the lyrics in ways that Penelope herself would tip her hat to. The name is integral to the lyrics. Take the opening two lines of “Gin and Juice”:

With so much drama in the L.B.C.,
It’s kinda hard bein’ Snoop D-O-double-G.

With so much drama in the L.B.C., it’s kinda hard bein’ Snoop L-I-…Cinnamon cocks! The rhythm is fucked, the rhyme is gone, it’s a shit show. How can Snoop perform this hit in 2012 and beyond without reverting to the obsolete name he now knows to be beneath him?

And that conundrum is nothing compared to the rapid-fire spelling from the smaunchy (=smooth and raunchy) “Nuthin But a G Thang”:

It’s the capital S, oh yes, the fresh-N-double O-P
D-O-double G-Y D-O-double G, ya see.

Holy fucking shit! “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” indeed. Dude can’t use much of that at his performances now. What will he do?

Here, I think, is where my combination of editing skills and mad skillz could come in useful for the first time ever. If anyone is up to the task of rewriting Snoop Dogg into Snoop Lion and reweaving his new identity into the flow of the tracks, it has to be me, doesn’t it? I’ve got three years’ worth of unnecessary, totes inappropes gangsta blog posts to suggest that it does. Mr. Lion, what with his concerts and appointments with hoes and so forth, surely doesn’t have time to go back through all of his old lyrics and change everything related to his old name. But I do, because I get off work at 3:00 and I’m not dating anyone.

Snoop, if you’re reading this, I would like us to Skype over gin and juice at your convenience about how best I can render my services to you. You will find my rates to be scandalously reasonable and my lyrics to be as scandalous as the reasonableness of my rates. I look forward to hearing from you!

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