snoop lion close*Snoop Lion is not backing down to what the critics say about his new found home in Rastafarianism.

Some are saying his decision to grow locs and change his name is all a gimmick within the whole Hip Hop movement. In an interview with the Associated Press, the rapper explained that he’s here to stay with his peace lyrics and ganga style.

AP: What does Snoop Lion mean to you? In the movie we see Bunny Wailer give you the name because he said he didn’t want to call you a dog. That was his take on it.

Snoop: I don’t know what that take was because I’m going to always be Snoop Dogg. I can’t throw that person away and get rid of him. To me, the Lion is the growth of Snoop Dogg – me growing into the next phase of my musical career, the next phase of my life. But at the same time, I can never get rid of who I am. I’m an East Side Long Beach Rollin 20s Crip, first and foremost. … I’m Snoop Doggy Dogg, then I’m Snoop Dogg, then I’m Snoop Lion. But it’s all the same.

AP: In interviews since the film was made, Bunny has been skeptical of you. What’s your take on his criticism?

Snoop: I’ve done nothing but what I said I was going to do: Go to Jamaica, make a great record, intertwine with some people, build on some relationships and come back and bring something back to the community. … As far as what people feel about how I’m representing or misrepresenting, that’s for no man to judge. I’m here to do what I’m doing. This is my journey. And for those who don’t like it, I still got love for them.

Check out the full interview at Huffington Post.