Russian hip hop

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Russian hip hop refers to hip hop music recorded in Russia or in Russian in former Soviet states like Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.[1][2][3] Some Russian rappers also perform in English and German languages. Some hits of Russian rappers are included in the soundtracks of PC-games and Movies.[4]


The first attempts of rapping in the Soviet Union took place in 1984 in Samara, when the group "Час Пик" (Peak-Hours), led by Aleksandr Astrahov recorded the 25 minute-long gramophone record "Rap". It was recorded under the influence of Grandmaster Flash and Captain Sensible. These experiments were not generally recognized at that time. Until the beginning of the 90's there were no rap artists in Russia and the Soviet Union.[5]

The pioneers of Russian rap were Malchishnik (Мальчи́шник, Russian for "bachelor party", a rap group from Moscow), Bogdan Titomir, Mister Maloy, but the recognition of the rap genre came with the rise of Bad Balance and their album Naletchiki Bad B. released in 1994. Russian hip hop, just like Canadian hip hop, is inspired by Rastafari music, which hit an upswing during the fall of the Soviet Union.[6]

At the end of the 90's and beginning of the 2000s audience considered Rostov-on-Don as the main center of the Russian hip hop subculture (the most notable representative was Kasta).

In the early-2000s, the most popular performers were Kasta, Detsl, Bad Balance.

Many Russian rap artists have achieved commercial success, including Detsl, Bad Balance, Timati, Centr, Kasta, and Belarusian artist Seryoga, who combined original rap with the native Russian satiric song genre chastushka.

In the mid-2000s, underground bands began to appear and became popular in Moscow (like Money Makaz, Supreme Playaz, Underwhat, Ddrop, Krovostok, Kazhe Oboima). Also, at the same time in Russia and Belarus, new R&B performers appeared (Maks Lorens, Bianca, Satsura, Band'Eros).

In 2007 Centr became increasingly popular, partially due to aggressive promotion on the internet, and in 2008 they won an award at the MTV Russia Music Awards.

At the same time Russian/German rapper ST1M received scandalous popularity after production of his single "Я Рэп" (I'm Rap), featuring Seryoga, in which he was dissing nearly all the notable Russian rappers.

In 2008 on Russian musical channel Muz-TV started a hip-hop show Battle for Respect, which led the winner Ant (Zasada Production) to become highly popular.

Currently, the most commercially successful Russian rapper is Timati, who was recording singles featuring American rappers like Snoop Dogg, Timbaland, Xzibit, P.Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Craig David, Flo Rida, Fat Joe, Mario Winans and DJ's (Laurent Wolf, DJ Antoine) on his first album in English (SWAGG).[7]


  1. ^ "Russian Rap Taking on Real-Life Issues, Not Bling | Arts & Ideas". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  2. ^ Steven Erlanger (1992-08-23). "THE MANY ACCENTS OF RAP AROUND THE WORLD; Russia: Of Dog Cosmonauts And Leather Jackets - New York Times". RUSSIA: Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Putin praises Russian rappers on hip-hop TV show". 2009-11-17. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Russian hip-hop struggles its way onto international scene — RT News". 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  5. ^ Pushkin, Yuri (2010-04-10). "Russian Rap Taking on Real-Life Issues, Not Bling". Moscow Times. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  6. ^ Osipovich, Alexander (2010-07-24). "NoizeMC, aka Ivan Alexeyev, and Russian Rap Inspire a Movement -". Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  7. ^ Ameen, Taji (2013-11-02). "Catching up with Krussia, New York's Best Russian Rapper | VICE United States". Retrieved 2014-02-24.