800px-Snoop_Dogg_performing_at_Hovefestivalen_2012
Jørund Føreland Pedersen

Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr., caused quiet a stir in Hollywood after declaring himself to be a born-again Christian. He recently just released his first gospel album “Bible of Love.”

The album features a wide range of other gospel artists, including Fred Hammond, The Clark Sisters, Pastor John P. Kee and Marvin Sapp.

He first dropped the news of a gospel album during an interview with Beats 1 Radio, where he said “I’m working on a gospel album. I need to do it now.”

He added: “It’s always been on my heart. I just never got around to it because I always be doing gangsta business and doing this and doing that. But I just feel like it’s been on my heart too long.”

Many have been incredibly critical of the religious switch and his decision to put out a gospel album. In 2009 he announced that he had joined the Nation of Islam, then in 2012 he became a Rastafarian. Now, he claims to be a born-again Christian.

However this isn’t the first time that Snoop has talked about Christianity. In 2016 he posted a video on his Instagram account that featured him singing along to the gospel song “I’d Rather Have Jesus.”

His fans were thrilled to see him profess his faith in God. “With the platform you have, imagine how many people you will reach with the gospel message of Salvation! Come on now! Give our heavenly Father glory through your rap skills Snoop!” a fan wrote.

Snoop Dogg responded to his critics and those who doubted his conversion at the 33rd Annual Stellar Awards held in Las Vegas. After he performed at the gospel music event, he said “The devil is a liar. I thought the church was supposed to welcome sinners.”

“If the church was full of saints it wouldn’t be right. So, if you find someone trying to find their way back home, the natural thing to do is to be warm welcoming, open your arms and say ‘Brother, we accept you for who you are and what you’re going through. Come as you are. We know you’ve been doing wrong and you want to get right and we want to help you get right.'”

“We’re not gonna’ throw stones on you when you’re trying to get right and walking back into the church house. That’s what’s running people out the church right now as we speak.”

“The only negativity I get is when a question is asked, But I have never been confronted with anybody in the gospel world,” the rapper says.

At the end of the interview Snoop adds, “What about you? Have you checked your status? Are you going to heaven? Why are you judging me? How much have you done for the Lord?”

When you take a deeper dive into the album, you can find an impressive amount of Christian theology in his lyrics that show is journey through the faith. From beginning to end the album is a beautiful testimony from Snoop encountering God’s love in his own life.

Relevant writer Mai Perkins took a deeper dive into his album and wrote: “He’s not selling prosperity Gospel. He’s not shaming people for where they’ve been, considering how far out there and out of control he’s been. (And he’s been OUT there!)…He’s simply sharing his relatable experiences as a tremendously flawed character who happens to deeply love God. At the same time, he’s providing an environment for others to feel comfortable enough to do the same.”

Religion has changed Snoop’s life completely, from his view on the gangster lifestyle to guns. Snoop even said that religion changed the way he thinks of women. Before, he would have no trouble disrespecting women in his songs.

“Because I was making music for me, speaking from my perspective,” he explained. “My music represented that, until I got to the point where I wanted to show love and appreciation for the woman.”

Snoop also made the song “No Guns Allowed” which features his daughter Cori B.

“We keep hearing about schools getting shot up, venues being shot up, public places being shot up, and we have to address that. Who better to do it than me because I come from the gangsta lifestyle, carrying a gun every day of the week lifestyle?” he said.

I used to answer hate with hate. Like if you hate me, I hate you more. But now I answer hate with love,” he told The Guardian.

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