According to Billboard, Snoop Dogg’s new video, for a song with the ungainly title of “Lavender (Nightfall Remix) ft. Kaytranada and Snoop Dogg,” was born when he and YouTube star Jesse Wellens got high in Snoop’s van at a video game event. There are not that many circumstances in which “let’s get Michael Rapaport to loosely re-enact the Philando Castile shooting while dressed as a clown … in a world full of clowns!” sounds like a great idea, but hotboxing with Snoop is apparently one of them. Wellens, who shares a manager with Snoop Dogg, even successfully pitched himself as the director.
But although it’s hard to imagine a video concept that sounds worse in the abstract than that one, the execution is … not bad! A few of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them clown gags are funny (the best is the poster for “Reasonable Clown Posse”), Snoop is in his usual fine form, and the beat, from Canadians BADBADNOTGOOD, is great. And if some of the clown gags feel like first-draft ideas (President “Ronald Klump” deporting “doggs?”), their cumulative awfulness has a lurid effect that actually feels about right for this moment in time. “As America, it just doesn’t seem like we’re very respected right now,” Wellens told Billboard, in the understatement of the century. Snoop actually made a detailed, multipoint argument that we’re living in Clowntown:
The whole world is clownin’ around … if you really look at some of these motherfuckers, they are clowns. The ban that this motherfucker tried to put up; him winning the presidency; police being able to kill motherfuckers and get away with it, people being in jail for weed for 20, 30 years and motherfuckers that’s not black on the streets making money off of it—but if you got color or ethnicity connected to your name, you’ve been wrongfully accused or locked up for it, and then you watching people not of color position themselves to get millions and billions off of it. It’s a lot of clown shit going on … but it’s a few issues that we really wanted to lock into [for the video] like the police, the president, and just life in general.
It’s a strong case for a video that, again, has Michael Rapaport in clown makeup getting shot by a clown cop. But no matter how weird the Snoop/Wellens video gets, it has absolutely nothing on the original video for BADBADNOTGOOD’s underlying track, which combines Dungeons & Dragons, Saw, and The Deer Hunter and ends with an ad for what seems to be a real, Toronto-based Dungeon Master for Hire service. Talk about clowning around!