The Christian Science Monitor

Not back in the USSR: Russia’s battle over rap highlights cultural shifts

Public debate over popular music – and the cultural fault lines it often straddles – can reveal a lot about how a society has changed. The recent controversy in the US over radio stations playing the 1940s classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a good illustration.

The issue currently roiling Russia is the place of defiant and often obscene hip-hop and rap music, as performed by a new generation of outspoken young artists. And it suggests that while some things remain similar in today’s Russia, a great deal else has changed dramatically.

Since October at least seven prominent rap musicians have seen their concerts mysteriously canceled. In late November, one of the most popular young rap stars,

‘Our music is about our reality’Fear of awakening the beast?

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