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Snoop's 'Trump clown' YouTube video causes outrage

Commentary: A music video from Snoop Dogg, in which the rapper "shoots" a clown Donald Trump with a toy gun, is getting a lot of reaction.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


When Ronald McDonald met Donald Trump.

PrankvsPrank/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's not every day that a music video gets millions of YouTube views and a senator's critique of it is also trending on the site.

On Tuesday, however, that was precisely where we found ourselves with respect to Snoop Dogg's slightly controversial video for " Lavender (Nightfall Remix)."

It depicts a world in which everyone is a clown, but the police are bad clowns and the president is a clown with oddly straw-colored hair and the name Ronald Klump.

There's a scene in this video that will surely not be to everyone's taste.

Snoop, who for some peculiar reason of art or ego isn't a clown in the video, pulls out a gun and conducts a mock assassination of Klump.

It's a toy confetti gun, of course. But the feeling it leaves behind isn't exactly playful.

Indeed, Snoop told Billboard: "The whole world is clownin' around." He added that he believes the black community is suffering gross injustice, while the police and white elites are behaving with impunity.

Unsurprisingly, the video hasn't met with universal admiration.

The president's lawyer, Michael Cohen, told TMZ on Tuesday that the video was "disgraceful." He said Snoop owed the president an apology. "It's not funny, it's not artistic," he said of the video.

On Wednesday, Trump himself stepped up to the mic. It wasn't to praise the video for its beats. Instead, it was something of beatdown.

"Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!" tweeted Trump.

Art is a dangerous weapon, especially in the wrong hands. A little like the law, really.

For the president himself to reveal his distaste shows that it must have pained him deeply. Of course, it could also show that he was watching "Fox and Friends" on Wednesday morning, as it ran a segment about the video.

Snoop's representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment to the Trumpian tweet.

Criticism was also forthcoming from Sen. Marco Rubio, who claims to have a few rap credentials.

"Snoop shouldn't have done that," he told TMZ. "We've had presidents assassinated before in this country, so anything like that is something people should be really careful about."

He added: "The wrong person sees that, he gets the wrong idea and you can have a real problem." It's a little like the wrong person getting hold of a gun, perhaps.

Rubio's response was trending in the YouTube Top 50 on Tuesday afternoon, which perhaps goes to show the divided feelings the video understandably engenders.

On YouTube, Snoop's video enjoys significantly more upvotes than downvotes.

He's also had support from fellow rapper Ice-T. He was asked how he'd feel if the clown was President Barack Obama, instead of President Donald Trump, a very fair question. Ice-T told TMZ: "I think it'd be terrible, but Obama wasn't the same kind of guy as Trump. It was very hard to make an Obama joke because of his race, and Obama was such a smooth character. I think Trump brings a lot of these jokes onto himself."

Snoop insisted to Billboard that this was just art.

"When I be putting shit out, I don't ever expect or look for a reaction," he said. "I just put it out because I feel like it's something that's missing. Any time I drop something, I'm trying to fill in a void."

No, of course he didn't expect a reaction. What a surprise this all must be.

Originally published March 14 at 5:46 p.m. PT.
Updated March 15 at 10:14 a.m. PT: Added Trump's tweeted response.

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