When Snoop Lion was Snoop Dogg, he had a run-in (or two) with the law over gun possession. But that was 1993. Snoop is now a changed man, if -- aside from his updated name -- his 2013 MTV VMA Best Video with a Social Message-nominated video for “No Guns Allowed” is any indication.
The clip, which features rapper Drake and Snoop's daughter Cori B., was Snoop’s response to the ongoing debate over gun violence. Gun culture, particularly within the hip-hop community, was something he wanted to address head-on. “I wanted to create a song strong enough to catch the attention of people to let them know that we do care in the hip-hop community," he said of the clip. "We don't like what's going on with all these unnecessary shootings." The video served not only as a strong message to fans and the world listening, but also to his fellow rap comrades who for years have glamorized gun culture.
The mostly black-and-white, Jesse Terrero-directed music video begins with President Barack Obama starting an address in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary this past December. Haunting audio and visuals of recent events involving gun violence — including the “Dark Knight” theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the rallies in response to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin — are intertwined with glimpses of youth playing with firearms. Emergency personnel outside schools. Victims recounting tragic scenes. Kids spinning a gun on the ground as if it were a toy. News bits from Asia and Latin America. Memorials, bullets, candles and caskets. Images that to this day continue to haunt mayors, rappers, mothers, teachers and neighbors alike.
The video is a chilling reminder of what can happen in our communities when people don't take action. Snoop Lion turned his words into action when he announced a collaboration with MTV and The Caliber Collection to convert illegal guns taken off the streets into jewelry for a cause. The bracelets, available at Jewelry For a Cause, help fund gun buyback programs in the Newark, New Jersey, area. The debate over gun violence is an ongoing one, and Snoop, Cori and Drake have made their voices heard loud and clear. You can, too, by taking action below.
Photo: (Vice Records, RCA Records)
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