Vlad’s got 99 problems — and rap is one.
Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, facing poverty, protests and allegations of attacking U.S. elections, declared war on hip-hop on Saturday, railing that “rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest,” which will lead to “ the degradation of the nation.”
Putin’s comments follow a spate of concert cancellations by venue owners and local authorities across Russia, and the arrest of popular rapper Husky, whose songs have gotten under his skin.
“If it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it,” Putin said.
Ukrainian rappers Dirty Molly had six of its shows in the Volga region scrapped in the last week and concerts canned in Belgorod in February and in Chelyabinsk March 31.
Frontman Kirill Timoshenko blamed the local district attorney for pulling the plug on the group’s gig in Chelyabinsk, noting in an Instagram post, “As if in those regions there has been no crime for two years, the only criminals left are us!”
Bronx-born rap pioneer Kurtis Blow told The Post that Putin should “rethink his policy” because it will “fuel the fire of the resistance in his country.” People, he added, “don’t want to be silenced.”
Blow likened rap to “public speaking on steroids. It’s the number one way to communicate globally. He’s opening up the door to resistance.”
Last month, rapper Husky, whose videos have garnered more than six million views on YouTube, was arrested when he staged an impromptu performance after his show got shut down in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar.
The 25-year-old rapper, known for lyrics about poverty, corruption and police brutality, was preparing to take to the stage on Nov. 21 when local prosecutors warned the venue that his act had elements of what they termed “extremism.”
Husky climbed onto a car, surrounded by hundreds of fans, and chanted “I will sing my music, the most honest music!” Cops then took him away.
On Nov. 30, rapper Gone.Fludd announced two concert cancellations, citing pressure from “every police agency you can imagine,” while hip-hop artist Allj scrapped his show in the Arctic city of Yakutsk after being threatened with violence.
Mad Vlad’s rant is an about-face from 2009, when he went on the Russian music channel Muz TV to hand out awards that honored the “phenomenon” of rap.
At that time, Timati, arguably the country’s biggest rap star, was pro-Putin. Three years ago, he dropped a track called “My Best Friend is President Putin.”
The Russian strongman, who in 2012 jailed members of the feminist protest punk band Pussy Riot, said at Saturday’s St. Petersburg meeting with cultural advisers that heavy-handed attempts to ban artists from performing could have an adverse effect and bolster their popularity.
“How to do this, how to take charge and guide in the necessary direction” is a future discussion, Putin said.
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