Trump attacks rapper Snoop Dogg for 'shooting' his likeness in video

A screengrab of a video that depicts Snoop Dogg pointing a toy pistol at a clown called Ronald Klump, then pulling the trigger.
A screengrab of a video that depicts Snoop Dogg pointing a toy pistol at a clown called Ronald Klump, then pulling the trigger.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

NEW YORK • A satirical music video featuring rapper Snoop Dogg and a clown called Ronald Klump is the latest piece of pop culture drawing the attention and ire of United States President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, in yet another of his trademark early morning Twitter bursts, Mr Trump took the extraordinary step of invoking "jail time!" in response to the clip, which depicts Snoop Dogg pointing a toy pistol at the Klump character. When the rapper pulls the trigger, a sign that says "bang" drops from the barrel, in the style of classic prank guns. Klump is later shown in chains.

Mr Trump, amid tweets about the release on Tuesday night of his 2005 tax returns and a planned rally in Nashville, wrote: "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!"

Snoop Dogg, 45, joins the ranks of Saturday Night Live and actress Meryl Streep - all highly critical of Mr Trump and are targets of his displeasure (while Snoop Dogg was "failing", in the estimation of the President, Streep was referred to as "one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood").

Critics have noted that Mr Trump often picks entertainment-world battles as political controversies are bubbling - in this case, a rare look at his finances spurred by the disclosure of his 2005 federal tax return forms on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show on Tuesday.

The music video, for a remix of the song Lavender by theband BadBadNotGood, drew outrage from conservative media and politicians after its release on Sunday.

"We've had presidents assassinated before in this country, so anything like that is really something that you should be very careful about," Senator Marco Rubio told celebrity news website TMZ.

Snoop Dogg, who took off as an early gangster rapper, but has become an advocate against gun violence, addresses police killings of black men in his verse on the song.

In an interview with Billboard before the current controversy, he added: "I feel like it's a lot of people making cool records, having fun, partying, but nobody's dealing with the real issue with this (expletive) clown as president."

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2017, with the headline 'Trump attacks rapper Snoop Dogg for 'shooting' his likeness in video'. Print Edition | Subscribe