Snoop Dogg, like so many celebrities these days, is a has-been. His only real claim to fame – his addiction to pot – was edgy and rebellious about thirty years ago. Today, with marijuana legal in a whole lot of places, smoking a joint is about as edgy and rebellious as drinking a Yoo-hoo.
Maybe that’s why Snoop Dogg thought it would be clever to pretend to assassinate President Trump in his latest music video. That too is about as edgy and rebellious as has-been Madonna was when she sang out of tune at a January protest event in DC, either before or after she told the world she wanted to bomb the White House.
After all, it’s been done before. When George W. Bush was President, Hollywood made movies about his assassination so a couple of has-beens in 2017 trying to sell records by commercializing the same isn’t all that edgy. In fact, it’s pretty K-Mart for a crowd that’s supposed to be more dive bar and tattoo parlor.
What is surprising is how Snoop Dogg hasn’t been called to account for appropriating a culture that is not his own, and using it to make a lot of money.
To begin with, the video isn’t for a Snoop Dogg song. It’s for a song by a Toronto-based band full of white people called BadBadNotGood. Chances are you’ve never heard of BadBadNotGood. And you won’t. Not when a certain middle-aged black guy is still dressing up in the same flannel he wants you to think he wore back in the day to smoke copious amounts of a substance legal (to some degree) in about 21 states and our nation’s capital.
(By the way, isn’t it strange that marijuana seems to be the only substance its advocates claim has both medicinal and recreational purposes? I mean, aspirin advocates never suggest recreationally cracking open the Bayer after a hard day at the office. No one I know has ever brought Neosporin to a party just in case the vodka ran out.)
How is it Snoop Dogg gets to culturally appropriate from a Canadian quartet with more talent in their individual pinky toes than he’s exhibited in his 45 years on board Gaia, and that’s okay?
Moving beyond BadBadNotGood, America’s favorite pot head’s cultural appropriation continues. If rap is poetry – and I’d argue that good rap would in fact count as poetry – performed orally, its founding father is white guy named Vachel Lindsay. Never heard of him either? Lindsay pioneered in the 1930s the idea of speaking verse to rhythm in front of audiences and he enjoyed some success as a result. The 1930s were a long time ago though, and again, there’s that middle aged doobie puffing black dude that’s struggling to stay relevant.
That’s not the only bit of culture Snoop Dogg has stolen. Electricity, for example, is required to make music videos and to play rap music on the radio and television. Unless archaeologists have made a stunning discovery I’m unaware of, electricity wasn’t discovered in Africa nor was it stumbled upon by some wayward bunch traveling along the underground railroad knowing that eleven generations later their best and brightest would be a do-rag wearing brother named Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr (Snoop’s real name). Electricity is a product of the western and largely white world Snoop Dogg stole from to make a buck.
Same goes for video and theatrical production. Whether it’s a video by BadBadNotGood featuring Snoop Dogg, the latest in the Star Wars series, or an episode of “Big Bang Theory”, by and large the foundations for script, plot, storyline, and teaser are found in the theater of ancient Greece and Rome. Not in the ancient theater of Africa where, instead of advancing their culture, Snoop Dogg’s ancestors were appropriating each other into the slave trade millennia before the Portuguese and Arabs got involved. Such appropriation was what contributed to the destruction of the legendary library at Timbuktu.
According to shows on television, the ancient library in Timbuktu once stored a vast array of art, literature, science, and who knows what else. Undoubtedly, had ancient Africans placed less emphasis on selling their own into bondage and more about preserving who they were, the library wouldn’t have been lost and the knowledge contained within could have informed development of the modern world. Did I mention television? To watch a rap music video usually a television is required. That’s another thing Snoop Dogg appropriated from a culture that’s not his own. Same goes for cell phones, lap tops, and whatever gizmos one uses to watch rap music videos when a television isn’t handy.
Just to be clear, my point isn’t that the African world has given the world nothing notable or useful. My point is that has-beens like Snoop Dogg and Madonna have never ever given anything notable or useful to this world, and that when archaeologists someday sift through our sands, neither has-been will be given a second thought. Although those future scientists will find it strange that in the late 2010’s American culture seemed saturated with songs, videos, books, magazine articles, TV shows, and movies featuring assassination of the sitting President.
Snoop Dogg and Madonna are just the beginning. folks. Hollywood’s going to roll deep with entertainment portraying President Trump as Hitler and hinting at his assassination as part of their commitment to whatever has-been Democrats come out from behind the fridge to run in 2018 and 2020.