Over the weekend in St. Petersburg, while discussing the state’s support for the arts, the Puppetmaster suggested banning the genre all together but we all know that would be a hopeless attempt in the wrong direction.
Instead, he proposed controlling it because he feels as if rap will lead to the degradation of a nation. What he’s most afraid of is the youth’s response to the prolific drug use talked about in rap and not so much the explicit lyrics that have us knocking in our headphones uncontrollably.
According to the NYT, Putin said, “if it is impossible to stop, then we need to lead, and in an appropriate way, direct…” He also noted that rap is based on “three pillars: sex, drugs, and protest… That is a path to degrading the nation.”
Still, we all know, that Putin can’t stop the hot-fire from reaching the masses.
Or can he? Last month, Russian rapper Husky was jailed and served a 12-day sentence for performing on top of a car after his concert was banned for “extremist content.”
The emcee who was hauled off by authorities in front of a crowd of booing fans also took to social media to explain that other venues in several cities were being put under pressure to cancel his concerts.
Yet, there still might be options for Russian rappers. During the discussion in St. Petersburg music producer, Igor I. Matvienko brought to the table some valid points on how rap can thrive within Russian culture.
He explained to Putin, “There is a lot of poetry in rap and it is very explicit… It is different from the falseness of pop, and because of this, perhaps, the youth accept it.” According to the NYT, Matvienko suggested that there should be state sponsorship set up for a music studio.
The same is done for pop musicians in Russia and he mentioned a similar arrangement should be set up for rappers as it would “bring them into the fold and restrict their vocabulary.”
Still, Putin who is a musician himself didn’t endorse the idea but he finds it imperative “to lead and guide” rap music “in the right direction with the necessary means.”