The world got a little bit worse on Sunday as Snoop Dogg and Eminem performed their new single, From The D 2 The LBC, in the guise of their own Bored Ape NFTs.
The performance took place at MTV's Video Music Awards, and saw the rappers changed—by the transformative powers of Snoop's comically large joint—from flesh-and-blood humans into animated versions of their own Bored Apes: #9055 (Eminem) (opens in new tab) and #6723 (Snoop) (opens in new tab).
That's a half-million dollar transformation at least. Eminem picked up his ape for a dispiriting $460,000 back in January (opens in new tab). Snoop, ever a man of wisdom, acquired his as part of a bundle, so we can't say how much he paid for his ape specifically.
The problem with the performance, aside from the gnawing sensation at the back of your mind that art is dead, is that it looked awful. The animated portions of the video took place within the Otherside metaverse platform, created by Bored Ape Yacht Club maker Yuga Labs, which rendered Snoop and Eminem's apes with a kind of dead-eyed, passionless aspect that you normally wouldn't expect to see on the faces of two of the wealthiest and most famous rappers in the world. Then again, it's good enough for Zuckerberg (opens in new tab).
Snoop and Slim's adventures see them base-jumping off towering monoliths, addressing thronged masses of robots, and piloting a kind of space-bathysphere, rapping about the myriad cool properties of weed all the while. But they're completely deadpan throughout, like this is their 30th year in a dead-end job and they've long since progressed past caring about any part of it whatsoever.
My favourite part features the two men, ape-ified, standing atop an obelisk while Eminem raps about how good his songs are. Throughout the whole section Snoop is just kind of waving his arms non-committedly, wearing a thousand-yard stare like he's remembering a lost boyhood love. This is honestly the best part of the entire video.
With so much money and celebrity clout sloshing around these projects, you might think someone might eventually make something cool just by accident, but every time this stuff bleeds over into the real world it gets laughed right back out of it. Whether it's Zuckerberg, Snoop and Slim Shady, or any number of smaller projects with enormous promises, they're either baffling glimpses into the delusions of the ultra-rich or else destructive calamities (opens in new tab). We should at least be thankful that Snoop and Eminem's VMA performance was tragicomic rather than simply tragic.