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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during a government meeting this weekend that he would seek to “take charge and guide” the content of rap and hip-hop music, lamenting that banning the genre complete was “impossible.”
Putin’s remarks followed a series of government actions to shut down rap concerts and silence artists in the past two months who have embraced the genre to criticize Putin, after years of the Russian leader enjoying relative popularity in the nation’s hip-hop community. His remarks, which suggest that the government will allow the distribution of rap music that does not clash with the values of Putin’s oligarchy, also follow a growing trend of state action against rap music under communist regimes, particularly in China and Cuba.
Putin - Meeting - Presidential - Council - Culture
Putin attended a meeting of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art on Saturday where the issue of unregulated hip-hop content arose. He expressed grave concerns over the content of much of rap music and suggested the government would take a stronger stance against lyrics it disapproved of, but rejected the possibility of banning the entire genre.
“The manner ‘to grab and do not let go’ is the most inefficient, or the worst to be thought of,” Putin argued of an outright ban, according to the Russian news service TASS. “The effect will be quite opposite to expectations.”
Putin - Rap - Culture
Instead, Putin suggested that since rap culture is “impossible to stop,” “this should be led and somehow guided.”
Putin accepted the premise of one of his senior officials that “rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs, and protest,” arguing that “drug propaganda” was the issue most concerning to him because “this is a path to the degradation of the nation.” He also announced that he had discussed the issue of profanity with a linguist, who lamented “that it’s a part of our language. It’s just...
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