President Vladimir Putin has stated that he is becoming alarmed by the growing popularity of rap amongst Russian youth. He now wants cultural leaders to find a way of controlling this phenomenon. He wants to do that rather than banning it.
Putin says, “if it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it”. Putin admits he worries that rap might cause “the degradation of the nation” in the future.
Recently, Putin has told cultural advisers at the Kremlin that attempts to ban artists from performing will have an adverse effect. He worries it will increase their popularity.
Vladimir Putin And The Plan
Putin has stated, “How to do this, how to take charge and guide in the necessary direction, that’s the most important issue”. The president then went on to explain his thoughts on rap music. He stated it is “based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest. The biggest concern among all this is drugs. It’s an obvious thing. This is the path to the degradation of the nation. Drug propaganda is worse than cursing.”
He addressed the official response to rap music following the arrest of popular rapper Husky. Consequently, there are a growing number of artists that had concerts cancelled recently, including gigs by pop star Monetochka and punk band Friendzona.
The Russian underground rap scene has exploded in recent years. Many artists have been gaining worldwide fans. ‘Medina’ by Kazakh rapper Jah Khalib was one of the most streamed tracks this year.
Putin’s comments come at a time when the situation of Russian contemporary music evokes Soviet-era censorship of the arts.
Russian Punk band Pussy Riot’s band member Peter Verzilov was hospitalised in a critical condition this September. Peter fell ill in Russia after attending a court hearing for the group’s Veronika Nikulshina. He passed out and felt like he was losing his eyesight when he regained consciousness. Peter’s friends and family suspected he had been poisoned. Pussy Riot have been vocal critics of Vladimir Putin. The band have said they have been targeted as a result.
Follow Pussy Riot on Twitter here.