CW: Police Brutality and Snoop Badassery (Lavender spoilers)
Last summer a police officer in Minnesota shot and killed Philando Castile as he reached for his wallet during a routine traffic stop. His young daughter and fiance were in the car, and his fiance live-streamed the entire ordeal on facebook. This happened the day after Alton Sterling was murdered by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, another preventable tragedy caught on tape. Both videos went viral and people across the country took the streets demanding societal shifts to acknowledge that #BlackLivesMatter.
However, as thousands of people rallied for justice across the country, a lone sniper used a Dallas protest for the murder of Philando Castile as a stage to shoot 11 officers, killing five.
This incident became the focal point of broader (see: white) society to not only derail the conversation of police brutality in marginalized communities, but to justify a social target on the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
So when Snoop Dogg and The Game used their visibility a few days later to “peacefully march” to the LAPD headquarters, I was hopeful. Their intentions were “to create a dialogue between the Los Angeles Police Department and the African-American community”. Then Snoop told reporters “We’re not here being violent. We’re not loud. We’re respectable.” and I felt that hope dissipate into thin air.
We know Black people are killed by the police every 28 hours in America. We know how stop-and-frisk affected the Black community in New York until the practice was struck down by federal courts for being unconstitutional. We know the way lacking education funds and housing and employment discrimination cap the growth of our communities, and create an internal spiral of problems. We know the way the microaggressions thrown at us everyday affect our mental health, from sleeping behaviors to overall longevity.
And all this shit is ancestral . . . All these studies, all this “research”, all these politics can go back years upon years, generations upon generations.
So if you think the answer is to be respectable? Good on you and do you boo. But to try and be humanized for that… after alllll this? Nah… You better make room for those whose anger is a little less peaceful.
So I made a mental note, and left Snoop at that.
Now we have a new president, a new administration, a new era. Stop-and-Frisk has been advocated by our current president. Everyday the new administration proceeds to cut the limited resources and services available to us. We are watching as our government normalizes microaggressions on a macro scale, making bigots more confidently violent and legitimizing hate into policy.
And all this shit is ancestral . . .
Not even a year since that summer day in LA, Snoop is back on my newsfeed. This time for confronting authority again, not in the streets with messages of kumbaya but in a music video strapped and dangerous. Snoop is humming a much different tune to bring in the new summer, and the melody has echoed all the way to the
White Clown House.
His song and visuals have disgruntled our new president. Apparently, Snoop was even called out by the Dear Leader himself, putting him on the list of unfavorables Trump would love to “fire”as if his reality is still The Apprentice and not running one of the most powerful countries on earth.
So I clicked the video.
And hooo0o0o0o0ooooly shit guys…
I’m talkin… YES!!!
While I was hesitant to listen at first, I’m glad I did. The song is refreshingly angry, smooth, and catchy af. Quintessential Snoop. And then there are the visuals… It’s pertinent, silly, provocative, and directly confronts the current administration:
Don’t come your clown ass round here…
I’m leavin all you clown ass niggas outlined in chalk.
The video portrays a world of clowns that are stupid and evil, where clown police murder innocent fathers at routine traffic stops while witnesses capture the scene on camera and upload it to ClownTube for all the other clowns to see.
Meanwhile, Snoop and his crew watch from a distance before kidnapping the leader Ronald Klump from The Clown House while he gives a speech promising to “Deport All Doggs”.
Behind a warehouse, Snoop takes a toy gun and in a true clown fashion, pulls the trigger to reveal a red sign with the words BANG! in Black. Oh, the imagery. The scene fades out with the crew dancing around a tied up Klump while Snoop and a friend pass a blunt back and forth, buckin at Klump between them as he reaches out for a turn.
But it’s so much more than that. It’s the way the video opens up to a family getting ready for a normal day of life, tv playing in the background, a little boy pouring a bowl of cereal. It’s the ending with a commercial only fit for the world Jesse Wellens (who directed the video) created for Snoop’s potent rhymes. The details of the words and visuals are crisp and they captivate.
As we carry the weight of our beautiful Black skin in a society that works systemically to destroy us, Snoop gives us 3 minutes of sadistic release filled with colors, clowns, and confrontation.