BY DAN GARCIA
Can someone tell me why an artist like Kanye West is hated by the majority of America for not having false modesty (or cocky as some people would rather word it) but Snoop Dogg gets a pass for being the biggest sexist and homophobic person in rap? Not only is Snoop Dogg not generally hated by the public but you never hear of Snoop Dogg losing sponsorships or facing other consequences for the things he does and says.
Most recently Snoop Dogg posted an insensitive and homophobic photo on Instagram which praises Akon for providing electricity for millions in Africa (which is more than amazing) but at the same time the Instagram photo criticizes media coverage of Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner). “(Akon) is about to supply 600 million Africans with solar power. I’m really upset that this isn’t major news but that science project Bruce Jenner is” reads the photo shared by Snoop.
How anyone can think it’s okay to talk like this is crazy to me. First off, why does it have to be Caitlyn Jenner versus Akon? Can both not be applauded for the reasons they are in the news today? Unless Jenner spoke out saying “Screw Akon, I’m a better person” then this should not be an issue. And believe it or not, Akon’s story IS getting coverage. I read about his efforts from multiple sources, well before Snoop’s post. Sure, I am a music journalist, so I am more likely to see such stories, but to suggest that Akon’s work isn’t a major news story is definitely untrue. Is it the biggest story? No. But was Bruce Jenner more famous than Akon? Yes, a hundred fold. So naturally, anything someone that famous does will likely get more coverage than what an essentially irrelevant-in-2015 singer will get (no disrespect to Akon). That is not to say Akon shouldn’t receive a ton of credit and support for his upcoming work in Africa. He should.
But a “science project”, really? Gender identity issues are serious matters that lead many to contemplate, attempt and even execute suicide. As Kanye (the most hated man in America) told his wife in reference to Bruce/Caitlyn’s transition, “I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything.” To be under so much of the spotlight and to share something with the world that isn’t accepted by millions of people, is a big deal, whether you like it or not. To reduce Caitlyn Jenner to “a science project” is disgusting. It doesn’t matter if you’re older and from the generally unaccepting hip-hop community, it is not okay to talk like that.
This isn’t the first time Snoop has been homophonic on Instagram either. While responding to a fan’s comments on Instagram, Snoop went through the fan’s photos, and reposted a picture of the man in bed with another man. The caption read “U n ya boyfriend since u like Jumpn on my page disrespectn bitch boy go suck ya man n get off my line f. A. G.” Not only is it troublesome because Snoop thinks that ‘fag’ is an acronym, but such language is extremely offensive. This may have been okay over a decade ago, but not today. Perhaps this guy was disrespecting Snoop Dogg, but Snoop responded by disrespecting a whole class of people, using a derogatory slur and suggesting that there is something wrong with being gay.
Snoop isn’t only homophobic, but he has been publicly sexist as well. Less than a year ago, Snoop got bad press (but not nearly enough) over his comments about Iggy Azalea. To recap, Snoop singled out Iggy for virtually no reason, calling her both a b*tch and a c*nt. While hip-hop often condones uses of the word b*tch, and often has sexist themes, this conduct is beyond acceptable. There is a big difference between rapping about how “hos are on you d*ck” and bullying a female artist and calling her a c*nt. Then to my personal disgust, his pathetic attempt of an apology made headlines. There is absolutely nothing wrong with realizing you are wrong and giving a sincere apology, but this was far from sincere.
Despite everything, Snoop is still generally liked by the public. His sponsors don’t drop him, his publicist doesn’t make him retire his Instagram, and even a great guy like Pharrell this past year signed Snoop to his i am OTHER record label, for the release of Snoop Dogg’s most recent album BUSH (and honestly an album we liked). It doesn’t matter if you can sing like Chris Brown and have classic records like Snoop, certain things are unacceptable. When will the public and hip-hop step up? When will a label drop Snoop for his homophobic and sexist comments? When will artists pass on a chance to work with a legend because his hateful attitudes are disgusting? If Snoop was in the NFL or NBA, he would probably get suspended or dropped, but because he is a staple in classic rap music, and because he is only accountable to his fans, he may never see consequences to his attitudes and comments. And I honestly offer no advice other than asking people to hold their favorite artists to a standard that reaches beyond the music alone. If everyone did that, maybe there would be a little more justice to hateful comments, but that is more than wishful thinking on my part.