Snoop Lion | “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks” Featuring Miley Cyrus | Mourning Loss


artworks-000044590731-obuy2g-t500x500It’s been quite a surreal day for me.  Yesterday, I took my dog, Samson, to the vet as I noticed he was bleeding from his mouth. The vets noticed a growth on his tongue and diagnosed an Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Cancer. My heart broke. The vets told me that it looked bad and that I should consider getting additional tests and prep him for surgery to at least remove a portion of the growth.

I took Samson back to the vet this morning and signed the papers to have the vets do what they thought needed to be done. At around noon, I get online to check my social media platforms, and notice that a song I’ve been working, “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks” by Snoop Lion featuring Miley Cyrus on was making the rounds on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, etc. Yes.  I work for Snoop.

The song seemed to be getting a good reaction from the interwebs, so my day was picking up.

About an hour later, the vet called me. It turns out the the growth in Samson’s mouth was actually larger than the initial observations. It was down his throat and most likely had already spread throughout my pups chest area. Then the vet broke my heart again when she recommended euthanasia. The vet considered the odds of Samson living pain-free for the next few weeks as close to nil. I lost my shit.

I’ve had family members pass away.  It’s not like I haven’t experienced heartache before. But it just seemed a little different this time around.

I remember going to the pound November of 1999 with my then girlfriend looking to adopt a dog. There was a litter of about a dozen chow-mixed pups in a cage and though each one was tumbling over each other to get our attention,  I noticed one pup sitting in the corner, looking at me with his beautifully, sad eyes.  I immediately pointed him out to the proprietor of the pound and adopted him on the spot. I find out after having adopted him, that the rest of the litter was going to euthanized the coming weekend.

I have to thank girl I was dating then for raising Samson right.  She had grown up with dogs of her own, so she was excellent at potty training Samson and teaching him how to be obedient. Really though, Sammy’s always been a mellow pup. I think anybody who has ever had the pleasure of meeting him fell in love with his demeanor, and I’m sure she’s partly responsible for how awesome Samson is.

It’s been 13 years with Samson. As cliche as it sounds, he’s always been there for me. Even when he was living with my parents while I was in law school, he’d always be waiting at the gate to my parent’s back yard each weekend when I came to stay with the folks. He was always there to console me when I had bad news that I didn’t necessarily want to share with my friends. He’s warded off animals attacking me.  He’s helped me meet cute girls. He’s just always been there.  And now, I’m torn with the thought that I’ll have to make a decision about euthanizing him soon.

13 has always been my lucky number.  I was born on the 13th. Friday the 13ths always seem to be good to me. I feel like I should resent the number now since it’s become the number of years I’ve been able to have Samson at my side.

I’ll have a few days to figure this all out. I’m hoping that Samson beats whatever odds are against him, and I’m still trying to hope for the best. I’ve never had to make this kind of decision before and it’s really making me lose it, and though I just wish I could write about how great Snoop’s newest song is, which it definitely is, I felt the need to editorialize this post with what’s happened to me today. Life is trying to tell me something, and I hope I get to figure it out sooner rather than later.

For everybody that’s ever met Samson, please say a few doggy prayers for him.

[Verse 1: Snoop Lion]

Tonight there’s gonna be a whole lot of smoke in the air
Blow it hard for the ones who ain’t here
Seems like every day we putting one six feet underground
So bless
What goes up must come down

[Hook: Miley Cyrus]
Now my buzz is gone, I need to re-up on reality
Can’t let me see them me weak I need to pause on it
Is there any possibility that everyone feels like me
Ashtrays and hearbreaks
I lost some, let’s toast one
So put ’em high, and tell ’em this
You gonna aim, but you never missed
Ashtrays and heartbreaks
I lost some, let’s toast one
So raise a glass to the memories
Set ’em free and fill up all those ashtrays
I’m gonna fill up all those ashtrays

[Verse 2: Snoop Lion]
Tomorrow when you wake up and realise life ain’t fair
Throw it back and make the whole world disappear
You never miss what you had, until it’s gone
When it’s right, something will always go wrong

[Hook] x2

UPDATE: My dog, Samson, passed away April 18, 2013.  May his beautiful soul rest in peace.


You can purchase the single on iTunes by clicking through this link:

Snoop Lion (Snoop Dogg) | “No Guns Allowed” | The Lion Assembles an All Star Team To Create Message About Gun Violence



On March 20, 2013, Snoop released a powerful new single titled “No Guns Allowed”; a song that reflects about his past ownership of guns and guns in America today.

The Boss Dogg (or these days, the Boss Lion) has a storied relationship with firearms. Whether it was when the home of his family was raided while he wife and children were present, or whether it was friends or family falling by an intended or stray bullet, the recent mass shootings seems to have inspired him to shed his gangster image, thus his evolution to the Lion from the Dog.

Quoting his recent interview with Piers Morgan:

“It affected me to where I wanted to say something and I wanted to make some music to try to help the next person who was thinking about loading a gun, going into a school and then shooting and maybe helping him put that gun down and think about what he was doing or what she was doing before they did that.”

The Lion has assemble amazing musicians to contribute to this recording.  The track was produced by Diplo and Ariel Rechtshaid with additional production from Dre SkullBeirut’s founder, Zachary Condon, inspired the keyboard chord progression. The song was co-written by Angela Hunte, and Drake and Snoop’s daughter, Cori B, are featured vocalists. Oh, and Stewart Copeland play drums on the track too.  Talk about a power ensemble.

The laid back reggae flow contrasts with the song’s strong social commentary, adding to the sense of how Snoop is simply worn and weary from the years of gun violence.  By using his daughter as a featured artist, it also shows that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with for both the present and future.

The lyrics are poignant and moving. Snoop introduces the song with, “Money makes a man, and that’s a crime. If we all were rich, we’d spend more time with our daughters and sons, they’re losing their minds. We all feel hurt, here’s mine… No Guns Allowed.”

Drake’s lyrics are especially poignant as he raps about one of the most deadly shootings in the city of Scarborough, Canada.  Truly speaking from the heart.

A strong message embedded in a powerful song.  Let’s hope the world listens.


Money makes a man, and that’s a crime
If we all were rich, we’d spend more time
With our daughters and sons, they’re losing their minds
We all feel hurt, here’s mine… hear me now

No guns are allowed in here tonight
We’re gonna have a free for all, no fight
I wanna get lost in the crowd in here tonight
I need to hear my thoughts, turn the music up loud

[Verse 1: Snoop Dogg]
Let the music play, me no want no more gunplay
When the bodies hit the ground, there’s nothing left to say
We don’t want to see more innocent blood shed
We don’t want to more youth dead (come hear me now)


[Verse 2: Drake]
News from back home, it’s when it hurts to be gone
Two more young names to be carved out of stone
One summer day that went horribly wrong
Got my dog on the phone, cryin’ and sayin’ to leave ‘em alone
But I’m not leaving his side, I know that somebody died
Somebody’s child, some people duck down and some hide
Some people just cannot react in time
Bullets do not choose a victim, it’s the shooter that picks ‘em
They just can’t wait to get you in the system
The district attorney could use a conviction
Told you no guns in there, you didn’t listen
Life is so heavy with that on your soul
Dedicate this to Shyanne and Josh
And pour something out for the lives that they stole – 416…


Money makes a man, and that’s a crime
Money makes a man, and that’s a crime
I wanna get lost in the crowd in here tonight