Putin Clamps Down On Rap Music in Russia

Vladimir Putin is apparently not a fan of rap. The Russian president told those in attendance at a conference with his cultural advisors in St. Petersburg on Saturday that the state needed to step in. “If it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it,” he said, according to the Associated Press. But he warned that banning the popular music genre might actually make it more popular. “Rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest,” he said, noting that drugs and protest are the most worrying to him. “This is a path to the degradation of the nation.” Putin's warning to his cultural envoys comes amid warnings of increasing censorship of the cultural scene in Russia. Earlier this month, the popular musical group Nastya Kreslina and Nikolay Kostylev, who bill themselves as “dark rave” were arrested as they got off a train to perform a concert in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. They were released after spending several hours in a jail cell, during which their concert venue cancelled their gig. The new wave of censorship is reminiscent of the 2012 jailing of members of the punk band Pussy Riot.