The ongoing Russian election meddling drama has entered its latest chapter. Wait, it hasn’t? Putin cares about rap music? Hopefully we’re not the only people confused by this turn of events.
Yes, you read the headline correctly. For some reason, despite the long list of troubles facing the world as we know it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has set his sights on Public Enemy Number 1 — drug references in rap songs.
We’ve been unable to confirm whether or not Putin has actually ever listened to a rap song that isn’t “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot, but regardless, he is riding his moral high horse headlong into the world of mainstream hip hop.
Why, you ask? Because rap music encourages drug use, of course!
Sex, Drugs, And Protest
OK, ok. To preserve our journalistic ethics, we’ll set the record straight. Russian music producer Igor Matvienko fired the first shots against rap music when he was quoted as saying:
“[Rap is] not our invention [it’s] a total trend in the world [that] came from America, such as gangster rap...It’s wrong that our radio stations put it on the air.”
Matvienko explicitly pointed out “narcotic content” as his main concern with American hip-hop. Putin just happened to agree, saying drugs would point toward the “degradation of the nation.”
Regulators, Mount Up!
So, what does a morally conscious Russian president do in the face of the rising tide of social decay? Naturally, he issues a ban!
Drama aside, Putin hasn’t actually banned hip hop in Russia — yet. Instead he simply and directly mentioned tightly regulating the music played on Russian radios.
There may be a teeny, tiny speck of validity to Putin’s thoughts on normalizing hard drug use, but if you ask us, he’s stretching a bit.