More bans. Why is it now fashionable to blame “destructive” musicians for spreading “darkness and debauchery”?
Recently, a number of concerts of performers, popular among young people: Husky, Allj, the bands IC3PEAK and Friendzone, were disrupted. Cancellation of popular performers' concerts is a new trend in Russian reality, but not the only one. Today, the authorities also prohibit Telegram, battles, anime festivals and even dancing. The CrimeRussia investigates, who artists and free youth are an obstacle for.
“I will sing my music”
On the evening of November 21, rapper Husky (Dmitry Kuznetsov) was detained and arrested in Krasnodar for disorderly conduct. He performed on the roof of the car in front of spectators who were not allowed to attend his concert in one of the local clubs. Together with a crowd of fans, he sang the song “Ay” with the words “I will sing my music, the most honest music.”
Husky came to Krasnodar for a concert, but it was canceled alternately at two sites under pressure from law enforcement agencies. The performance was to take place in the Arena Hall. However, according to the director of the rapper, Andrey Orekhov, the site owners canceled the event, because “the prosecutor’s office intimidated them with closing, checks and so on.” The rapper's performance was urgently transferred to the Bounce club, but the police arrived there, and the club building was de-energized. Then the rapper went out to speak on the street, hearing the cries of fans.
The Prosecutor's Office of Kuban warned the sites in Krasnodar about the undesirability of the Husky's concert. The authorities of the institutions were given warnings by the prosecutor's office on the inadmissibility of violating the law on the protection of children from harmful information. The document said that the Husky's lyrics include calls for suicide and extremism, as well as drug propaganda. The performer complained about the claims of law enforcement agencies to his songs. In particular, he wrote that in the song “Poem of the Motherland” calls for cannibalism were found – because of the line “Remember, you died and we ate your meat, which smelled like a mummy, forgotten in the mausoleum”.
Shortly before these events, Husky’s concert in Rostov-on-Don actually got frustrated. Before the performance, the police forced the organizers to sign a warning banning extremism and breaking the law during a public event. After that, the site director decided to cancel the concert. At the same time later, the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Rostov region stated that the police officers did not use any restrictive measures at the rapper’s concert.
On November 17, it became known that YouTube blocked Husky's video "Judas." It is unknown when exactly this happened and why. By the time of the blocking video "Judas" gained more than 5.6 million views.
Meanwhile, Husky's current lyrics are more about a grim reality than about politics. He released his first and, perhaps, most biting political text as far back as October 2011 (two months before the first mass protests against election fraud). The name of the track coincided with the date of birth of Vladimir Putin. Husky talked about the feast of the sovereign in the midst of a country drowning in chaos, poverty and lawlessness. Already in 2016 and later, the songs, that made Husky famous, were released – “Black-Black”, “Bullet-fool”, “Panel”. There are no political statements in them, they are filled rather with an abstraction with a social sound.
Noize MC, Monetochka, Allj, and others
On the evening of November 26, in Glavklub, Moscow, Basta, Oxxxymiron and Noize MC gave a concert in support of Husky, tickets for which were sold out in a matter of hours. Shortly before the concert, it became known that Husky was released from arrest, which did not prevent the performances from taking place. During his speech, Oxxxymiron compared the current situation with state censorship regarding hip-hop with the position of Soviet rock of the 80s and noted that music is a reflection of reality that is ridiculous to blame for the spread of "gloom and debauchery."
Noize MC noted that Husky’s experience is close to him. Firstly, in 2010, the musician spent 10 days in the Volgograd special detention center for insulting remarks to the police, and secondly, in 2014, his concert in Samara was interrupted, as the singer said, by “people with guns”. In 2014–2015, the group had a number of concerts canceled due to the pacifist position of the musicians regarding the armed conflict in Ukraine.
Monetochka, who has a joint track "Childfree" with Noize MC, also fell out of favor. Moscow lawyer Sergey Afanasyev incriminates her with the following lines: “Listen to my advice in mp3 format: “Do not wait until you grow old, die sooner!” And for this reason he demands a prosecutor’s check. In his opinion, these lines can provoke suicide. Although, in the context of the song, “an impressionable person” calls for death, who “strictly followed any advice. He died of this and actually, apparently, on the advice of YouTube video." And further: "Satan sings this song deep inside." Lawyer Sergey Afanasyev was mistaken, the opposite is true: the song says that suicide is from the evil one, and the evil one calls for it.
The Moscow duet IC3PEAK, which plays electronic music, was also persecuted. This year they released the album "Fairy Tale", where songs on social topics appeared. The brightest of them – "Death is no more." In it, singer Nastya Kreslina addresses her listener with the words: “They will twist you on the square together with others”; "I go outside to stroke the cat, and the police car runs over it." In the music video, Kreslina pours herself with gasoline near the House of the Government in Moscow and sings, sitting on the neck of an OMON (Special Police Force) officer in front of the FSB building in Lubyanka. The video, by the way, was watched by more than 5 million people.
In November, security officials in Nizhny Novgorod also tried to cancel their concert – but the group managed to find another venue. Even if the law enforcement authorities succeed in banning IC3PEAK concerts, they are unlikely to be able to intimidate all 5 million fans who responded to the duet’s work. Prohibitions will not make a sense of hopelessness, fatigue and despair in people disappear. The authorities with all their behavior prove that there is no life about which the performers sing.
A few weeks before the IC3PEAK performance in Nizhny Novgorod, the local prosecutor's office canceled several concerts due to the dissemination of prohibited information among children. Among the performers whose concerts did not take place were Allj, Matrang, Monetochka, and Jah Khalib. A month earlier, a 19-page appeal by unknown representatives of the “Parent community of Nizhny Novgorod”, who demanded the authorities to ban the performances of eighteen “destructive artists,” was distributed on the Internet.
Reasons for cancellation of concerts
The list of musicians negatively affecting the youth, according to sources, was allegedly made up by the security forces after the terrorist attack in the building of the FSB Directorate in Arkhangelsk and the Kerch Massacre. The interlocutors of Znak.com said that the Center "E" and the FSB analyzed the musical preferences of adolescents who are interested in anarchism, Columbine communities and other radical movements, and noticed some intersections in tastes.
The “black list” of musicians and instructions to prevent their performances in the regions of Russia descend from the central office of the FSB of Russia, confirms Agora’s lawyer Pavel Chikov. “Undesirable” are the performers who use harsh expressions, obscenities, or mention politics in their songs.
Words to believe
As long as the artists sing about the harsh reality, Russian officials carry their truth to the masses. This is something recent, for example: “The state generally owes you nothing, your parents owe you, because they gave birth to you, the state did not ask them to give birth to you.” Olga Glatskikh, director of the youth policy department of the Sverdlovsk region, shared this opinion. So, the official spoke out about the financial assistance of the state to parents who cannot pay for the trips of their children to competitions.
Another official, the Minister of Labor and Employment of the Saratov Region, Natalya Sokolova, said that 3.5 thousand rubles was enough for minimal physiological needs. “You will become younger, more beautiful and slimmer! Makaroshki always cost the same!” noted Sokolova and paid for her words with her position.
A 23-year-old deputy of the City Duma of Yekaterinburg from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Andrey Pirozhkov, even stated the superiority of the labor camps of the USSR. “GULAG is a good thing, really. Previously, people were sent under supervision to work for the good of society – at least were useful for the society. Now prisoners – rapists and murderers – drink builder’s tea and do nothing else, and we spend our money on their support,” The Village quoted the deputy.
Russians are increasingly hearing the cynical statements of officials, usually living in luxury. It becomes scary, because they say exactly what they think.
Under the guise of educating a patriotic young generation, the authorities are tightening their screws more seriously and restraining people in freedom.
In the Leningrad region, deputy Vladimir Petrov proposes making rap and battles outlawed. Many songs openly advocate drug addiction, Satanism, extremism, suicide, and even treason, says Petrov. The deputy asks to ban rap concerts and songs of contemporary artists, at least until the normalization of the “situation among the youth.” Here Petrov is referring to the recent incident in Kerch.
In Makhachkala the annual anime festival AniDag was disrupted. Before the event, the theater director began to receive complaints. Residents of Makhachkala also wrote about dissatisfaction with the festival in social networks. In particular, the local comedian and member of the regional Public Chamber, Eldar Iraziyev, wrote on Instagram: "Those who are silent in protest against debauchery in Dagestan, go on, the festival of gays and transvestites in this city is not far off." Then he deleted this post, but the Kavkazsky Uzel news portal published a screenshot.
All beloved State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov proposes even to ban dancing. A dance in the style of twerk, which was performed by a 16-year-old schoolgirl, fell under his keen eyes. The Novosibirsk dancer Ulyana Frolova taught the teenager. “If she is a lady of completely deviant behavior, if she can be called that, then she has no right to even approach children. Because what she makes children do, cannot be named anything except as a subtype of pedophilia,” Milonov said.
The state is increasingly trying to preserve “spiritual bonds” and establish an “iron curtain”, while young people want to live freely: use Telegram, go to rappers' concerts, or simply dance.
New aesthetics and sincerity of popular performers, of course, affect young minds, but it is not creativity that disfigures minds, but the cruel reality and social policy towards young people.
By approving the pension reform, Russian lawmakers have admitted the frailty of life. For instance, 62-year-old Viktor Ozerov, Senator from the Khabarovsk Krai, has suddenly got tired and decided to retire. ‘Authoritative’ businessman Aleksander Shishkin is eager to succeed him. A former Senator and member of the Committee for Defense and Security, Shishkin is concerned about his personal safety and immunity.