In Russia, battle rap is huge.

The most viewed battle rap video of all time is Russian "Oxxxymiron vs Slava KPSS" with over 46 million views and one million likes.

As it usually happens in rap, initially the Russian battles was nothing but dick jokes and yo mama puns delivered aggressively, but as the new, intelligent rap culture was brought to life by Oxford graduate Oxxxymiron, Babangida and others, rappers started to see battle rap as a way to express their own ideas and picture of the world.

Today, if you don't know what was the philosophy of Kant and Hegel all about, who is Slavoj Zizek and if you didn't even read Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", they won't call you a retarded loser – they just won't talk to you.

In Russian you can put the words into sentences almost any way you wish, which allows intricate poetry and many additional meanings.

Many see today's Russian battlers as direct descendants of The Golden Age and The Silver Age of Russian poetry. They are just that – more poets than rappers, and they deliver really sophisticated rhyme structures really often.

Despite that, their flow is also solid, with grime, doule-time and even constantly altering flow with the changes performed flawlessly.

Some compact punchlines are so complex that they unfold in a whole new picture as you google trying to understand them. They are virtually untranslatable, requiring a lot of cultural and philosophical context to even scratch a surface.

Add Comment