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An image from Mykki Blanco's time in MoscowMykki Blanco

Mykki Blanco sends a love letter to Russia

The rapper focuses on the positives after her Moscow show was cancelled following a club raid

On Friday, Mykki Blanco's show at Moscow club Solyanka was cancelled and moved elsewhere after the venue was raided and shut down. Anti-LGBT extremist group God’s Will gloated over the closure, which was carried out by private security officers hired by the local authorities.

Earlier speculation linked the shutdown to the queer rapper's upcoming performance, but Mykki Blanco has taken to Twitter to clarify the events leading up to the raid. According to Mykki, the raid "may or may not have to do with my performance and Russia's anti gay propaganda laws" but was more likely due to the fact that the underground space had been "a much disputed venue for some time with more right wing groups expressing discontent for years". 

Mykki Blanco also posted a series of videos and photos that documented her time in Russia, along with an open letter. "Russia is more to me than Moscow and I feel for Moscow because of how misunderstood that city is... really maybe I love Russia so much because I can relate to it's 'outsider status'," she writes. 

She continues: "This past Friday in Moscow was the first time I have had ANY trouble of ANY kind in Russia and to be honest with much reflection now I feel it had little to do with RUSSIA and EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MOSCOW."

Solyanka was allegedly shut down because of the club's dispute over debts owed to to Moscow city council. While God’s Will had been protesting the club for some time and specifically targeted Blanco's gig, there is no proof that the right-wing groups had been working in conjunction with authorities.

The rapper had previously performed five times in "much more open" Russian cities including St Petersburg and Vladivostok. "Moscow is the capital and the country's political and economic home," she explains, "so it really should come as no surprise that ANYTHING of a political or transgressive nature would be heightened there."

Mykki Blanco also said that her identity as a cis man – the rapper only cross-dresses in her female persona for shows – and her ability to slip out of drag means that visiting and performing in Russia is far from "brave".

"I'm a tall skinny black guy covered in tattoos who many because of the sheer fact that I am covered in tattoos do not assume for whatever stereotyping that I am gay. I am able to slip under the radar to infiltrate like a spy, to go through airport security and passport checkpoints and the like without anyone blinking an eye," she writes. 

Blanco recorded part of her latest album Gay Dog Food in Russia and clearly has an affinity for the country and the people she's met there. Closing her letter, Blanco notes: "I see in Russia pieces of myself and through self love I in turn love Russia."

Read Mykki Blanco's full letter below: