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U.S. Rapper Snoop Dogg 'Loves Belarus'


Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg loves Belarus.

At least that's what a collection of T-shirts and accessories released by the U.S. rapper indicates.

The items have gone on sale at his online store under the tag "Snoop Loves Belarus."

The rapper posted a snapshot of a backpack on his Instagram account on November 5 to advertise the new line, which also features T-shirts, iPhone cases, and laptop sleeves, all adorned with traditional Belarusian embroidery patterns.

The items were designed by HoodGraff, a group of street artists from the Belarusian city of Vitebsk.

HoodGraff member Artsyom, professionally known as Boorj, says Snoop Dogg first contacted the collective in late 2013.

"He has been following our work as street artists for a long time," says the designer.

The "Snoop Loves Belarus" product line

The "Snoop Loves Belarus" product line

Artsyom says this summer the rapper asked him and his team to come up with a Belarusian collection for his online store.

"He likes ornaments and patterns a lot and he was very surprised that Belarus has such unusual ornaments," says Artsyom. "He had never seen anything like it. He said, 'Let's do it,' and that's how it started."

The origins of Snoop Dogg's professed interest in Belarus remain a mystery.

The motto "Snoop Loves Belarus," however, is unlikely a display of admiration for the country's authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who doesn't appear to share the rapper's fondness for HoodGraff.

The artists chose to relocate to Russia earlier this year after being fined $1,700, a substantial sum in Belarus.

Their offense: attempting to paint a mural of the late, internationally acclaimed Belarusian writer Vasil Bykov, a vocal Lukashenka critic, during a street-art festival in Minsk.

-- Alyaksandra Dynko and Claire Bigg

PHOTO GALLERY: The 'Offensive' Work Of HoodGraff

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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