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FACEPhotography Ira Lupu

Vladimir Putin wants the Russian government to ‘take charge’ of rap music

He says the genre is directly linked to sex, drugs, and protest

“Rap (rests on) three pillars: sex, drugs and protests. They are the route to a nation’s degradation,” Russian president Vladimir Putin said in a recent live-broadcast. In his response to his concerns, he’s asked the government to “take charge” of the genre. 

Hip hop in Russia has grown extremely popular over the last few years with artists. Rising stars like the FACE upset the government with their provocative lyrics. In on of his videos entitled “Я РОНЯЮ ЗАПАД” (“I’m Dropping the West”), he ridicules the sacral Russian feeling of patriotism. Husky, a rapper known for criticising the current Russian leadership with “offensive” lyrics, was so frustrated that one of his gigs was axed, he performed on the roof of a car and was sentenced to 12 days in jail for “hooliganism”. Eventually, he was saved by public outcry. 

However, other performers and communities are calling the crackdown "Soviet-Era censorship" as a spate of concerts have recently been cancelled by authorities. 

“Artists are blamed for society’s problems because that is easier than addressing the (actual) problems,” Oxxxymiron, a Russian freestyler and musician, wrote on Instagram after the arrest. 

Read our interview with Russia’s most controversial rap star and how he’s upsetting the conservative establishment.