Putin on the Russian flag. Credit: Pixabay.com

Interestingly enough, Putin said this about a music genre born in 1973, according to the New York Post, “rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest,’ which will lead to ‘ the degradation of the nation.” Yes, it is true that rap and hip hop music does contain a lot of “sex and drugs” in the lyrics, but does it really lead to those things? Some statistics may show that they do, but it’s like the video game case of do they cause violence. It matters more how the child is brought up and their environment around them, rather than it just all being content that they consume. That’s just common sense. Putin is correct on one part of it though, the pillar of rap being protest. 

One prime example of hip-hop music being a protest form of art is N.W.A. That Compton music group with Eazy-E and Ice Cube from the 1990’s that everyone knows, kind of like Nirvana (everyone knows them, but may or may not listen to them).  N.W.A is considered by some to be the foundation of modern gangsta rap and a notable rap protest group. They protested how bad their neighborhoods were and the corruption there. This quote from the Los Angeles Times is a good example of that, “The group [NWA] celebrated the hedonism and violence of gangs and drugs that turned neighborhoods into war zones, capturing it in brazen language soaked in explicitness. “Street reporters” is what they called themselves, and their dispatches were raw and unhinged — no matter how ugly the stories were.” Street reporters, a perfect name for hip artists in corrupt countries. 

Street reporters, a perfect name for hip-hop/rap artists in corrupt countries. They report what the media fails to report in their own neighborhoods.  And Russia isn’t an exactly uncorrupt country, one who overreaches their power. Vote rigging is only an small example of the corruption and the annextion of Crimea was an overreach. That’s what Putin fears, he fears this music that can have such a influencing power, as it did with N.W.A, to topple his power. He’s an autocrat, ableit a weak one, who’s losing power. That’s why he wants to rid Russia of hip-hop/rap on the grounds on immorality and that’s why he has been arresting rappers to scare away future concerts.

Sources: The New York Post, History.com, The Los Angeles Times, Vice News, The Atlantic.

Further Reading: The New York Times, Fox News Insider.

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