Russia Raps Rappers
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been utterly frustrated with the Rap music. He believes that this particular style of popular music is closely associated with drugs! So, the president has ordered his officers to control the rap music. Talking to the media over the weekend, the Russian strongman said: “If it is impossible to stop, then it is necessary to navigate and guide accordingly.”
The British media have reported that famous rapper Dmitry Kuznetsov (25), aka Husky, was sentenced to 12 days in prison for rapping from the rooftop of a car after his concert was cancelled at the last minute a couple of weeks ago. He was jailed on charges of minor hooliganism in the southern city of Krasnodar. According to critics, the Russian authorities harassed Husky for criticising the government through his songs. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Russian government has cancelled at least seven concerts since October.
During a recent meeting of the Advisory Council of the Russian government’s Department of Arts and Culture, President Putin asked the senior officials to prepare a plan for controlling the concerts of young performers. When music producer and senior member of the Advisory Council Igor Matvienko said that a parental advisory guidance system should be created for concerts, the president replied: “You said that rap (rests on) three pillars: sex, drugs and protests. Of all of these, drugs are the most worrying. They are the route to a nation’s degradation.” He further said: “This is part of culture, this is part of our common culture, so it needs to be treated with great caution.”
Putin told the meeting that some words, used by the rappers, are vulgar. The president claimed that a linguist told him “it’s a part of our language. It’s just a question of how you use it”. According to Putin, he had discussed the issue with a researcher who specialised in obscene lyrics. “I was told that it is part of our language. But the question is just how to use it. We have all sorts of body parts, but it’s not like we put them on display all the time,” he insisted.
As expected, Putin’s decision hurt rappers and the youths who have compared the move to the so-called restrictions on art and literature during the Soviet era. This, in a way, might remind the world of Jazzman (or We Are from Jazz) – a 1983 Soviet musical comedy film directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. The movie tells the story of a young Jazz enthusiast. He was expelled from school because he loves jazz, a kind of music that represents the US capitalism. Later, he formed a jazz band with two colourful street musicians and a saxophonist left over from the Czar’s marching band.
Veteran rapper David Nuriev, alias Ptaha, warned against the proposed censorship of rap lyrics, suggesting that the genre had become a scapegoat to hide social problems affecting young people in the Russian society. “I think it is necessary to be engaged in raising kids, change the education system, the upbringing system in principle, it must be changed. Just a bunch of conservatives sitting there and blaming artists, rappers and other people for something they failed to solve themselves. I am just shocked,” he wrote on Instagram.
We Are from Jazz
It seems that President Putin will face the music in the coming days for making such a controversial move!
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