One argument that keeps popping up like a Whack-A-Mole is that politically fraught times lead to higher quality art. To which I would like to direct their attention to 2001-2007, a war-rife era which gave us third-act Green Day, Star Wars Episode II and III plus those Jessica Alba Fantastic Four movies. So while the Trump-era atmosphere may encourage some interesting reflections on western culture and late-stage capitalism, I wouldn’t raise that bar too high. Apropos of all that sentiment, Snoop Dogg’s got a provocative new album cover he’d like you to see.
It’s full of subtle political symbolism. Keep your eye out for it.
Draped in an American flag, laying under an apathetically drinking Snoop Dogg, the toe-tagged corpse of Donald Trump takes center stage on Snoop’s latest album Make America Crip Again.
The album originally debuted in October with a different, less incendiary cover, featuring a blue riff on Trump’s signature red MAGA hats.
“It’s not a statement or a political act: it’s just good music,” Snoop Dogg told Rolling Stone in a statement about the album. “Certain people feel like we should make America ‘great again,’ but that time they’re referring to always takes me back to separation and segregation so I’d rather Make America Crip Again.”
The statement seems true to Snoop’s word. The titular track takes cracks at the president, the resurgence of white nationalism and treatment of football player and activist Colin Kaepernick, but outside of that, the songs don’t scream politics. Tracks like “Good Foot” allude to recent news like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s death, but there isn’t much in way of the way of Rage Against the Machine heavy-handedness. It’s mostly the creamy hip hop club bangers that Snoop’s become consistent with over the last two decades. That said, Make America Crip Again’s relative apoliticalness isn’t reflective of Snoop Dogg’s feelings of the past year.
Snoop Dogg made his dismay public soon after Trump’s election to the white house in 2016. In an Instagram post from November 9th, 2016, Snoop begged fellow musician Drake to find him a new home in Canada. “I need the hookup on some property,” posted Snoop Dogg, “fuck this shit I’m going to the 6ix”
Before Donald Trump’s successful entry into politics, the rapper and the reality TV star crossed paths many times. Sharing a similar space as multi-purpose media entities who transcended their origins in criminal behavior, both made appearances in each other’s entertainment endeavors, from comedy roasts to episodes of The Apprentice.
In March 2017, Snoop would make his disdain towards the current sitting president clear once again, again with Toronto-based musicians. In the video for the song ‘Lavender,’ a collab with BadBadNotGood, Snoop Dogg torments a Donald Trump stand-in in clown makeup and a tie that’s only a little bit more colossal than the one Trump normally wears. Snoop pulls a gun on Trump, tied in chains, before firing a gag “BANG” flag. And then, worse yet, passes a blunt over the president’s head to the next guy. The video also satirizes police violence with glitter blasting guns.
Similarly to the weird furor over Kathy Griffin’s GWAR-ish beheading stunt, Trump took to Twitter to strike back at Snoop Dogg. “Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama?,” tweeted the president in our increasingly stupid corporeal existence. “Jail time!”
Of all the things that Snoop Dogg could have gone to jail over, I sincerely doubt pretending to kidnap a president in clown clothes in a music video would be the one to land him in the slammer.