Initially released in April 2013 as a free song preview, Ashtrays and Heartbreaks by Snoop Lion, also featuring Miley Cyrus, has exploded onto the music scene. The first collaboration between these two artists, Cyrus has especially bloomed as an artist under the mentoring she has been receiving from Snoop.
This song, produced by RCA Records, which is a division of Sony Music Entertainment, this is the first official single from the album “Reincarnated.” Snoop Lion is the third name incarnation of Calvin Broadus, Jr., and he has been successfully recording #1 hits since his debut in 1993. Initially starting as Snoop Doggy Dogg and then transforming to Snoop Dogg, Broadus has been reinventing his identity as he himself is discovers more about himself. Snoop Lion in particular came about as Broadus has been embracing Rastafarianism.
The video for this song was directed by P.R. Brown, who has previously directed music videos in virtually every sector of the music industry over the past decade, from Carrie Underwood to My Chemical Romance. The video itself, which appears to have been filmed in and around Compton, features a cool tone, much like the tone of the song. The performers are often seen singing in reflections of glass that sometimes shatters as a commentary about how fleeting life can be. Though there are kaledoscope aspects of the video that make it almost have a retro feel, the overall composition of the video does an excellent job of expressing a modern viewpoint about life in general.
What is unique about this song is that it is not only a tribute to people who have gone before Snoop Lion, but it is also a commentary about being grateful for what everyone has every day. As Miley sings about raising a glass to the memories, it is easy to take yourself back to the memories of life where you had good friends and great times. A smile comes to your face as Snoop raps about how life is promised to you as you may fondly remember people who were close to you that you lost way too early. Ultimately, what you’ll hear in this song is a message of tomorrow not being promised, so remember the past and live for the moment.
Life has its ups and downs. We all walk through valleys that can be dark, deep, and depressing, then be lifted to the highest of high peaks in life where we feel on top of the world. The music video helps to reflect this aspect of each of our lives through the imagery that is displayed as Snoop Lion is rapping his verses. You’ll see a homeless man laying down a tarp on the sidewalk, but then see an elderly man feeding the pigeons in the park, completely happy. We all have our tributes that we have to those who have gone before us as we remember how each one affected our lives in some positive way. If you’re ready to blow some smoke in the air with Snoop to fondly remember as he does through the lyrics of this song, then take a few moments to play Ashtrays and Heartbreaks as you do it.