6 new faces of Russian rap that will make you pump up the volume

Rap battle between Oxxxymiron (left) and Gnoiny.

Rap battle between Oxxxymiron (left) and Gnoiny.

Have you heard about the recent rap battle between Oxxxymiron and Gnoiny? The one-hour video has so far scored over 20 million views on Youtube. Rap battles are a new phenomenon in Russia and Gnoiny was recently hailed the new “king.” So who is he, and who else is making a name as a modern day, musical Pushkin?


Already known in Europe, Miron Oxxxymiron Fedorov - aged 32 - was famously defeated in a rap battle with Gnoiny (Vyacheslav Mashnov, 27) on Aug. 14, 2017.   

Rapper Gnoiny (meaning purulent: full of pus) is also known as Slava KPSS, Sonia Marmeladova, and Slava Karelin. He was born in Khabarovsk (8,300 km east of Moscow) and his words are often provocative. Why did he choose his main odd nickname? In his own words, his lyrics are “full of immoral words, and he recognized purulence of his own nature.”  

From the song:

I’ll outline the body with chalk – this is my street art.

From the outskirts of Delaware I doubt as Descartes,

That you will sink a carvel (type of ship), if Sonya is captain,

I sound across Russia so (Isaac) Levitan is quieting down!

Miyagi, Endspiel and RemDigga

The trio of Azamat “Miyagi” Kudzayev (27), Soslan “Endspiel” Burnatsev (22) -  both from Vladikavkaz, 1,000 miles south from Moscow - and Roman “RemDigga” Voronin (30) are responsible for one of the most popular songs of this summer. More than 21 million people have already watched the video.

Kudzayev graduated from medical school, but he didn’t want to be a doctor. Burnatsev studied to be a technologist but at the age of 16 rap grabbed his attention. Voronin lives in the Rostov region (965 miles south of Moscow). He started rapping in the early noughties Ten years ago due to an accident (falling from the fourth floor of an apartment building) Voronin injured his spine and is confined to a wheelchair - despite this he continue to rap.

From the song:

You are my Rumba, you are my Samba!

You're my Salsa, you are my Tango.

Add more smoke, chat with more volume,

Fly away with my in these arms.


Dmitry “Husky” Kuznetsov (age unknown) was born in Ulan-Ude (5,600 km east of Moscow). Kuznetsov is famous for his gloomy lyrics and complex rhymes, as a result he’s been dubbed the “new Yesenin.” 

“The whole image of Husky is built on the denial of the ‘glam rap’ of the noughties,” one reporter wrote about him.

He used to work as a waiter, a copywriter and even a journalist. Kuznetsov still has random jobs: He checks tickets at the Big Russian Boss’ concerts, and he also met Oxxxymiron while distributing flyers at a strip club in St. Petersburg. 

From the song:

A jam from the sun is on the visor,

A self-language poem is on the backpack (bullet the fool),

I lie in the recorder on a random bus,

I am always defocusing, I am always a background.

Kristina Si

Female rappers are rare in Russia. The most famous is Kristina Sarkisyan (26). She was born in the town of Tula (180 km south of Moscow) and performs rap and R’n’B. Her song "I want," recorded under the label Black Star (which is owned by hip-hop artist Timati) has been viewed about 50 million times.

From the song:

What Barbie needs: Shops and mannequins.

After these gifts every guy will be Ken.

You wanted to meet prince and became his princess since the childhood,

But everything changed with fat man on Mercedes.

AllJ and Feduk

Alexei Allj Uzenyuk (23) was born in Novosibirsk (3,400 miles east of Moscow). He’s been interested in rap since his schooldays and dropped out of medical college to pursue his love.

His partner Fyodor Feduk Insarov (25) was born in Moscow, but at the beginning of the noughties moved to Hungary, where he got involved in rap.

From the song:

It's so beautiful here, I can't breathe.

Sounds are reduced to a minimum not to disturb.

These clouds are purple cotton wool.

Magic flowers with ice in our glasses.


Gleb Pharaoh Golubin (21) from Moscow used to live in the U.S. when he was a teenager. There he nurtured a love for cloud-rap. The first tracks he made in 2013 were recorded at his friend’s studio.

From the song:

I turn on Daft Punk, she twins blunt to me,

We left the club with Sauvignon Blanc in the hands,

I came off her mouth, stuck on the screen,

I throw money in the air — you catch them yourself,

Hey, baby, are you a model or a fake?

Read more:

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How Russia became the Mecca of battlegrounds for rappers

Russia's Eminem: Oxxxymiron brings Russian rap to the world

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