“No Guns Allowed” is a recent installment of Snoop Lion’s most recent album, “Reincarnated” which was released on March 20.
The song follows Snoop’s recently examined reggae regimen to the T with decent production contributed by Major Lazer, Ariel Rechtshaid and Dre Skull. You also don’t need to be smacked in the face with lyrics to realize that this song is an anti-violence work.
Musically, the song deserves praise. Reggae has a very distinct form to it, and some people may think there is not much wiggle room to produce such a song.
However, Major Lazer and company did a good job keeping it interesting by layering great guitar and keyboard choices with melodies over simple reggae chords. The interesting musical choices were within the vocals.
Snoop’s verse assumes that reggae role of somewhat fast-paced talks of peace and “me no want no more gunplay,” but he definitely states his case. Drake’s seemingly quick verse is just OK.
He does a good job with storytelling about gun violence, but it is lost in a very mundane flow as if he was uncomfortable with the reggae style.
Ironically enough, Snoop Lion, a man once charged with murder and association with gang life, writes a song about anti-violence. You would think the irony would be enough to fuel a hipster’s bike commute to mixtape swaps for a year.
There seems to be real change within Snoop Lion’s pedigree.
You may think that every reggae song is riddled with thoughts of peace, but in this case, it is what is coming from which horse’s mouth that is most important.
Snoop also has recently been under fire for not being genuine about his reincarnation by some of the Jamaican community and specifically, Bunny Wailer. Many Americans will probably admit to feeling his change is strange.
Many people have giant Bob Marley posters hanging in their rooms and love reggae, but that does not mean they call themselves Rastafarians.
Now, we have somewhat physical evidence in the form of a song to prove that Snoop is making headway. He is going to have to do a lot more than just make some songs over reggae beats.