Russian hip hop

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Russian hip hop refers to hip hop music recorded in Russia or in the Russian language in former Soviet states like Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.[1][2][3] Some Russian rappers also perform in English and German languages. Hits by Russian rappers are included in the soundtracks of some 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".[citation needed] The recording was influenced by the music of Grandmaster Flash and Captain Sensible. These experiments were not generally recognized at that time. Until the beginning of the 1990s, 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 '90s and beginning of the 2000s, Rostov-on-Don was considered the center of Russian hip hop subculture, and the most notable representative was Kasta.

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

Many Russian rap artists have achieved commercial success, including Detsl, Bad Balance, Timati, Basta, 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 Smoky Mo, Dymovaya Zavesa, 25/17, Krovostok, Money Makaz, Supreme Playaz, Underwhat, Ddrop, Kazhe Oboima). At the same time in Russia and Belarus, new R&B performers appeared (Maks Lorens, Bianca, Satsura, Band'Eros).

In the late 2000s, the 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 of the most notable Russian rappers.

In 2007 the group 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. The members of the group were Aleksey Dolmatov, aka Guf, David Nuriev, aka Ptaha ("ptaha" means "a little bird" in Russian) and Igor Motylyov, aka Slim. Their two albums, «Качели» (Kacheli/Swing) and «Эфир в норме» (Efir v norme /Ether's Fine) became the one of the most popular Russian hip hop albums). In 2008 it won MTV Russia Music Award for Best Hip Hop Project. In 2010 the group disintegrated because of the controversies among its participants and the each of them continued the solo career or joined the other groups. In the 2016 the group reunited and recorded the new album, «Система» (Sistema / The System).

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

In the late 2000s - early 2010s the new notable performers appeared on the Gazgolder Records label, owned by Basta (such as AK47, Triagrutrica, Tati, Charusha, Slovetsky and Skriptonit, the DJ from Kazakhstan).

The most popular Russian hip-hop artists of the last years are:


  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. Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2014-02-24. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  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.