A Reminder That Snoop Dogg Is a Sellout

Illustration for article titled A Reminder That Snoop Dogg Is a Sellout
Photo: Andrew H. Walker (Getty Images)

Snoop Dogg has several iconic and hateful songs that many people know and love, and his upcoming Verzuz battle against DMX will induce nostalgia in those moved by that sort of thing.


He is also a sellout who was still chummy enough with Donald Trump in 2011 to appear on a Comedy Central roast of him. This is the same time that Trump began to appear on talk shows to validate and amplify the deeply racist birther campaign against Barack Obama—an effort that made him a relevant political figure and effectively launched his 2016 presidential campaign.

Maybe, you might say, Snoop just wasn’t aware yet of Trump’s racism and specific antipathy towards President Obama.

Yeah, about that.

Trump’s racism is used, by Snoop—and whoever wrote this joke—as a punchline. While the crowd “ooohs” at Snoop’s clever burn, the camera pans to Ivanka Trump, who’s also deeply amused by her dad’s racism being called out by Snoop Dogg—her dad’s friend.

Snoop, of course, is the same man who, earlier this year, called Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey sellouts and worse. This was not the pot calling the kettle black. It’s the pot, alone in a room, gripping a hand-held mirror.

That Snoop is a sellout—and also a multimillionaire who became rich and famous from decades worth of art disparaging black women—is not new news. It’s not even particularly hard to find. It’s as essential to his persona as weed is, and his current status as some sort of Uncle Snoop community elder will never not be weird and gross. But the Verzuz should be fun, and I hope everyone watching it has a good time.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



I never got around to reading Snoop’s autobiography; when did that come out, in the late 90s? I still can’t get over that era of his in the late 90s - early 2000s where he diverted into hosting Penthouse-produced porn DVDs (pre-Pornhub and Fappening fo’ free, I guess; I don’t know) and apparently dabbled into trying to be some real-life pimp. I remember him showing up to these red carpet events with two attractive women on, uh, dog leashes. Oh, can’t forget his “spiritual advisor” Da Bishop Magic “Don” Juan. (At least he was more honest than Reverend Ike... right?)

In recent years he’s shown the, ah, versatility (?) to get mainstream release for a reggae-style LP (replete with oh-come-on marketing that he’s some kind of born-again Rasta; you like to smoke, mother______, leave it at that...) and even a gospel compilation LP (!!?!?!) Chuuch!!!

N____z love somebody powerful, regardless. From the dope dealer from around the way, to.... well, Mr. 45.

Well, we all know that there’s certain brothers from around the way, who, over the years have not had a problem with “giving props” to the “gangster” of various iconic conservative political/presidential figures, based in part on the conspiracy theories attributed to them, which have provided a self-replenishing well to draw from and express “admiration”: Nixon, Reagan, George (HW) Bush, George W., etc., even though these figures were enacting policies that were wreaking havoc in black/urban America.. We all remember 50 Cent giving up dap for George W., even though his felon status prevented him from actually voting.. And I’m sure folks here know dudes who have at one point or another offered observations like, “You can’t tell me that Reagan wasn’t getting crazy paid off coke, and the way he got off [re: the Iran/Contra scandal] was smooth..”
“Nixon ain’t have dudes that was loyal like that.. somebody [Deep Throat] snitched..”
“George W., Dick Cheney, damn, those dudes were caking it [with Halliburton] and you know they got most of that gold.. had to kill [Saddam Hussein’s] sons, leave no witnesses! Y’all know...”

Of course, in my experience, these cats tend not to be the type to be bothered with voting, for an assortment of historical reasons...

In the pre-election 2016 era, 45 was a “tough-talking/straight-shooter/stone-pimp” dude for these cats.. Oh, well... Since the Exonerated Five death penalty editorials from 45 happened in the pre-Internet era and a hell of a lot of these cats simply don’t read newspapers, I can see why general non-readers like a Snoop would give 45 a puff-puff pass.

I’m very sure that plenty dudes didn’t blink when it comes to the “grab ‘em by the _____” conversations; they put it in the same zone as the Donald Sterling mistress tape, going all in on homegirl for being crooked, sneaky, etc. (fair enough), but the reaction to his racial vitriol was “it’s just his opinion, whatever”... and they’d still gladly buy expensive seats, etc., if Sterling was still the owner, on the loose premise that any white owner of a given establishment is “probably” an arch-racist (well, you can speculate all you want, but for the folks where you actually know... never mind...)

Because being adjacent to somebody rich is almost always considered stylish, I’m sure more than a few rappers (really just male rappers, let’s keep it real) were willing to ignore the birther bandwagon, hey, like Celebrity Apprentice alumnus Lil’ Jon, they’re willing to write it off as just “typical” political jibes that “everybody does”..“everybody talks ____ about their opponents, so whatever..”

I’m sure some rappers were supporting him on the “he’s a businessman” narrative, never mind all the bankruptcy declarations, shuttered businesses, settled (and outstanding) lawsuits, including the discrimination lawsuits that have been filed against Trump’s businesses over the years (assuming folks are even aware of that— many of the historical complaints didn’t get much mainstream attention).. So the appeal of a celebrity billionaire (*cough— is he*? You know his niece just came out with a book) kind of speaks for itself..

I’m sure some rappers who supported 45 were quietly “religious conservative” types (God bless, not to imply that they’re bad people) who consider themselves soldiers against the legacy of Margaret Sanger and who wanted Roe v Wade overturned and figure the same for reversing any and all LGBT-related policy.

I wonder when B____ aint ____ is going to come up in the Versuz?  “Around the Way Girl” ain’t got nothing on it!