According to multiple polls, Russia is facing one of its biggest dilemmas. Rap music is stealing the minds of their youth. Remember when Chuck D said that “Rap was the CNN of the Streets,” that is exactly what Russia was afraid of. According to the New York Times, armed with an awareness that Hip-Hop always brings, a population that would have normally leaned towards supporting Mr. Putin and his regime has become more critical of their policies.
The Kremlin is definitely flipping out. In 2018, dozens of rap concerts were cancelled out of fear of the messages that the Russian rappers are spitting in their rhymes. In fact, when rapper Husky tried to do a pop-up concert for fans on the top of hie car (hoping to entertain those who bought tickets to a canceled show) he was arrested by the police.
This is a crisis for the Kremlin.
According to the New York Times, at the end of last year, President Putin ordered his administration to develop progamming that would allow the state to be able to regulate pop music- instituting grant monies to help fund the music being made and opening state ran studios for artists to record in. They will also have vowed to filter undesirable content on the internet. They are still working on that.
But like all the systems, Hip-Hop rages against the machine and makes it mark… even if it goes underground and spreads like wildfire.
“The impact of hip-hop has been massive,” said the battle rapper Oxxxymiron states. “Through music, visual art, movies, dance, clothing styles and more, key values of Hip-Hop have spread through contemporary Russian culture.”
And just in case you think that Russian rappers can’t hang, consider Oxxxymiron and his battle against notable American battle rapper, Dizaster. On the King of The Dot stage in California in 2017 to battle. Within 24-hours, their battle made history becoming the most viewed rap battle in U.S. rap-battle history. What does that look like? A whopping 7 million enthusiasts tuned in to their YouTube channel to see the epic contest. Not only did a lot of people tune in, most believe that the Russian rapper won the battle, rhyming in English which is his third language. To date, the battle has over 12 million views. Even though battle rap is huge in Russia, this medium of emceeing is the largest in the world. The country has the largest battle rap league in history with over 4.4 million subscribers to their YouTube channel and over 591,712,186 views