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NPR Arts & Life

Trump Says Snoop Dogg Video Would've Ended In Jail Time, Calls Career 'Failing'

President Trump tweeted Wednesday, "Can you imagine what the outcry would be if <a href="https://twitter.com/SnoopDogg" data-mentioned-user-id="3004231" data-scribe="element:mention">@SnoopDogg</a>, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!"
President Trump tweeted Wednesday, "Can you imagine what the outcry would be if <a href="https://twitter.com/SnoopDogg" data-mentioned-user-id="3004231" data-scribe="element:mention">@SnoopDogg</a>, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!"

In a new video for the slinky, jazz-rooted BADBADNOTGOOD song "Lavender," a character named "Ronald Klump," a satirical Donald Trump stand-in, is the victim of a Looney Tunes-ian "BANG," fired by Snoop Dogg. (The video is also heavy on Snoop's favorite subject, the continuous ingestion of pot.)

The video, remixed by Kaytranada and newly bedrocked by verses from Snoop Dogg, was released Monday, and since then, the GOP health care bill and President Trump's tax returns have dominated the national conversation. Nevertheless, Trump took time this morning to respond to the video:

Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen also responded to the music video, telling TMZ that "it's totally disgraceful. Snoop owes the president an apology."

Jail time, under Obama or Trump, seems unlikely, given the First Amendment protections afforded satire and parody. As the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press explains:

" ... subjects of even the most biting satire or criticism cannot successfully sue unless the irreverent comments contain a provably false fact."

It may be an uphill climb to establish the fact of Ronald Klump. (An apology from Snoop Dogg also does not seem forthcoming.)

Over a 24-plus-year career, Snoop Dogg hasn't exactly cultivated an image as a politically engaged justice warrior, but in our present moment, the cultural calculus has changed. Also, as my colleague Rodney Carmichael wrote of recent work from Joey Bada$$: "Even when totally devoid of overt sociopolitical commentary, rap consistently speaks volumes about the state of The Union."

Warning: The video below contains language that some may find offensive.

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