News & Politics

John Kerry Fist-Bumped Snoop Dogg at the White House

And they talked about the origins of hip-hop.

If your Christmas wish list included “video of a highly successful hip-hop artist conversing with America’s top diplomat,” then congratulations. Late Thursday, Snoop Dogg posted on his Instagram account a clip of him chatting with Secretary of State John Kerry that ended with a fist-bump between the unlikely pair.

The video was taken December 9 at a White House ceremony honoring this year’s recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors. And the clip reveals that in addition to all his diplomatic verve, Kerry is somewhat versed in the origins of hip-hop.

He invented your whole thing,” Kerry says.

“He invented hip-hop,” replies Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, Jr.

Kerry and Snoop then bump fists, and then the video manages to get even better—an off-camera Vice President Joe Biden shouts out, “Ooh, he gave you the pound!”

The high-level conversation was likely about Kennedy Center honoree Herbie Hancock, who is one of the most sampled artists in the history of hip-hop. Snoop introduced the evening’s tribute to Hancock by walking on stage to “Cantaloop,” a 1992 song by the jazz-rap group Us3 that sample’s Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.