Russian hip hop is hip hop music produced in Russia or in the Russian language in other countries including former Soviet states like Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Some Russian rappers perform also in English (Timati) and German (ST1M, Drago) languages. Some hits of Russian rappers (Seryoga, Dolphin) are included to the soundtracks of PC-games and Movies.
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. But these experiments were not generally recognized at that time, and until the beginning of the 90's there were no rap artists in Russia and Soviet Union.
The pioneers of Russian rap were Malchishnik (Мальчи́шник, Russian for "bachelor party", 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.
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).
At 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''.
At 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, at 2008 they won 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.
In the last years the most commercially successful Russian rapper was Timati, who was recording singles in English 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 on English (SWAGG).
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