Two years ago, Snoop Dogg was reincarnated, changing his name to Snoop Lion and traveling to Jamaica to record a reggae-heavy LP. The 43-year-old has since returned to both his home country and standard pseudonym, but his pursuit of low-end bliss continues: After collaborating with appropriately-named producer Dâm-Funk on appropriately-titled EP 7 Days of Funk, Snoop is back with Bush, a new album produced by Pharrell and inspired by artists like George Clinton, Rick James and Anita Ward.
“It was a feeling of the funk vibe of yester-year, the Seventies and the Eighties,” Snoop tells Rolling Stone. “The music that me and Pharrell grew up listening to.” Above, watch the rapper go into more detail about the inspiration behind the record, his friendship with Pharrell and his last conversation with James Brown – a three-hour back-and-forth that he calls his “ultimate funk moment.”
“We just talked and had a great time,” Snoop says. The pair had convened to record a new episode of the Big Snoop Dogg Radio Show, and they instantly hit it off. “It was one of those divine moments for me, you know what I’m saying? I was more honored and excited that he even knew who I was.”
He and Brown even discussed hitting the studio together, but the R&B legend’s death prevented those sessions from ever happening. Still, Brown was able to leave his new friend with some sage advice: “Snoopy, no matter whatever you do, don’t ever cut your hair – ’cause your hair is your strength.”