Snoop Dogg is many things to many people. (Including, sometimes, Snoop Lion.) To some, he’s a symbol of the enduring power of gangsta rap, one of the best-selling West Coast artists of all time. To others, he’s a reality show clown, happily embracing the absurdity of his relationship with Martha Stewart, and presenting a soft-voiced, slightly sanitized take on a formerly hard-edged corner of the musical world. To a select few, he’s the incredibly irritating final boss of 2004 rap-wrestling video game Def Jam: Fight For NY, who blocks, like, everything, and has these ridiculous stupid unbreakable combos.
But we digress; the point is that, regardless of whichever version of Snoop Dogg’s various personas you most personally relate to, you still basically know who he is and, generally, what he does. Which is what makes the situation surrounding a recent Snoop Dogg show at the University Of Kansas so baffling; booking Snoop Dogg, and then being offended when he brings along stripper poles, cash guns, and uncensored lyrics is kind of like booking a clown, and then getting outraged when he starts usurping God’s holy domain by twisting balloons into animal-esque shapes.
The university issued its apology earlier this week, with athletic director Jeff Long releasing a statement in which he apologized to anyone offended by the existence of Snoop Dogg, and assured fans of the school’s athletic program that he had told Snoop—a man who has been incarcerated, targeted, and banned by multiple national governments, and has mostly ignored them all—that he’d better not bring any of that filthy language or “stripping dancers” to Jayhawks country. For his part, Snoop Dogg has responded to all this with the same attitude of amused indifference that he’s adopted for roughly the last 25 years, tossing in one of those enduring maxims of 21st century philosophy: “When you pay for Snoop Dogg, you gon’ get Snoop Dogg.”
He also noted that, regardless of later complaints, “The audience enjoyed that shit,” and suggested that the university was only really apologizing as a way to cover its own bases, and that he bore them no ill will: “I think it was more the publicity of what I did. They had to cover it up. I respect them, and I wasn’t gonna put no smut on their name and say they did anything wrong because they invited me to come do what I do.”