by G. Brown
Rapper Snoop can forget picking up any GOP or real conservative fans with his latest video “Lavender”. The music video focuses on police corruption and brutality, but uses it own extreme depiction of violence to get a point across about the current President.
In the video, Snoop uses a Trump doppleganger who threatens to deport all dogs ( “Snoop D.O. Double G”) and the rapper comes to the rescue with the controversial scene where he aims a fake gun at the fake Trump. In the video, Snoop points a fake gun at fake Trump’s head rapping “This is the final call”. Snoop pulls the trigger only to have the a flag pop out of the fake gun with the word “Bang” written cartoon style on it. Another lyrical line declares, “Trying to keep from dying in these muthaf–kin’ streets/ F–k the police/ From a black man’s point of view.”
The video even parodies Trump speech with the title of “BADBADNOTGOOD”. It’s full of raw, hardcore lyrics and images true to the West Coast rap legend’s style. Here’s the video, but first a disclaimer, it’s full of language not suitable for some viewers.
Snoop’s director Jesse Wellens says the video was inspired by the July 2016 shooting of Philando Castile. You may remember, Castile was fatally shot by a Minnesota police after he was pulled over while driving with his girlfriend and her four-year old daughter in the car. When Castile allegedly reached for his ID as requested by the officer, Castile was shot seven times in front of his girlfriend and the child. The incident was live-streamed on Facebook. Wellens says, “When I originally wrote the idea of the video, the video of Philando Castile getting shot came out online and it was causing riots. We just kind of wanted to bring the clowns out, because it’s clownery – it’s ridiculous what’s happening.”
Snoop adds, “The whole world is clownin’ around, and Jesse’s concept is so right on point with the art direction and the reality, because if you really look at some of these mother****ers, they are clowns.” Snoop also says his intentions were not to make a controversial video, but he wanted to make a video that was “real–real to the voice of the people who don’t have a voice.”
Controversy may not have been Snoop’s intent, but it is proving to be the outcome judging from some of the comments on YouTube…
Not everyone is screaming “treason”, “law breaker”,…just as many people agree with the music and the message. And just like the video, supporters are keeping it real and raw…
There are others (conspiracy theorists) who criticize the video is proof that Snoop has sold out and is participating in promoting a psy op by planting subliminal seeds that’s preparing America for the future. Don’t know about all that, but one thing is obvious—this video does what hip hop has always done…call out the problems in a very flawed society as seen from the “Black man’s” perspective.
As for the comment posted that the video is in violation of 18 U.S. Code § 871 which prohibits threats against the President and successors to the Presidency, since this is a video solely for entertainment purposes and in no way is a direct danger to the lives of anyone and did not deliver a threat via mail, document or letter carrier…good luck with proving otherwise. You don’t have to agree with what Snoop raps, but the first amendment does give him the freedom and the right to say it. Singers and musicians often push the envelope of what is proper, popular or in poor taste to convey a political message. Madonna did with her “Like a Prayer” video rife with sexual undertones and a Black Jesus left Christians in an uproar; Nine Inch Nails stirred the ire of animal rights activists and others with their “Closer” video and Nirvana’s inclusion of images of the KKK and fetuses put viewers of “Heart Shaped Box” on edge.
What do you think…did Snoop go too far? Is his message loud and clear? What do you think the message really is?