6 trendy Russian hip-hop artists under 30 (VIDEO)

Antoha MC
Most Russian musicians have grown up on Western culture’s hip-hop and have since come up with their own, unmistakable variants of the genre. So, what’s so special about Russian rappers and why should you care?

1. Face (age 22)

Ivan Dremin, aka Face, was brought up in a poor family. He allegedly recorded his first songs with the money his grandmother gave him. The performer was quickly spotted by producers and, already at the age of 20, he released his first studio album Hate Love, which turned him into a real star. In it, Face swears a lot - which he later admits he did for the hype.

In 2019, the themes of his songs changed. He started raising awareness to important social problems - violence, the gap between politics and reality, false values and censorship. To the latter, he devoted his soundtrack to the recently released movie, The Humorist - the video has already been viewed more than 41 million times on YouTube. 

The rapper's latest track, Spasatelnyy Krug, came out four months ago. In it, the musician simply complains of being tired of the people around him. The video has already been watched by 16 million people.

2. Feduk (27)

The first time Fedor Insarov came across rap was in Hungary at the age of 11, where his parents worked at the time. Later, in Moscow, together with his brother and friends, he set up the group Dobro za Rap, which soon released its debut album. Listeners liked their songs about blokey friendship and love of football.

In 2016, his Fri [Free] album came out. The young performer added more freestyle and creative improvisation to his songs and his fans liked it.

2017 was arguably the best year of his career when, together with another rapper, Allj, he released the single Rozovoe Vino, which reached the top of the Russian iTunes chart.

The musician's latest song is the lyrical Palmy, which came out about a month ago. As of today, the video to the track has been viewed by 1.6 million users.

3. Allj (25)

Alexei Uzenyuk, Feduk's co-collaborator on the Rozovoe Vino hit, became interested in music back at school - after watching a rap battle, he started taking part in such events himself. He posted his early compositions on social media, where he found his first fans.

It’s interesting to note that Allj doesn't regard himself as a rapper: He says that in the same track he can include "rap in the verse and pop in the refrain, and use dance music". Indeed, nearly all of Allj's songs are a combination of dance beat and simple lyrics, which the musician "recites" in his usual, calm manner.

The performer also attracts a lot of attention with his eccentric appearance: He wears white eye lenses that create the illusion that his eyes have no pupils.

One of his most popular songs, Rvanyye Dzhinsy, has been viewed over 104 million times on YouTube. And on August 15, 2019, he posted a new song, Sayonara Detka, which he performs together with Kosovan pop star, Era Istrefi.

4. Antoha MC (29)

Anton Kuznetsov, aka Antoha MC, made his first album, Ot Vsei Dushi, without any outside help: He wrote the music and lyrics, played the trumpet and recorded the songs - all by himself. His next album - Vse Proidet - was noticed by Russian rap music portal, The Flow, which included it in its list of the top 50 songs of 2015. That’s when his career took off: He was invited to talk shows, his tracks were played on the radio and Anton himself was described as a "music hero of the new generation".

Antoha MC skillfully conveys a mood of happy moments drawn from personal experience. In most of his songs he organically uses a mix of rhythmic rap, pop music and jazz compositions.

In the summer of 2019, he released his fifth album, Pro Menya, and on August 14, posted another new short music video, Tokyё, about his travels in Japan.

5. Husky (26)

Dmitry Kuznetsov doesn't pursue fame, has no Instagram account and attends no celebrity events. He claims to spend all his free time reading.

At 16, Husky moved to the capital from Ulan-Ude (5,600 km east of Moscow) and enrolled at the Journalism Faculty at MGU [Moscow State University]. And in 2011, at the age of 18, the rapper posted the video Sedmoye Oktyabrya on YouTube, which soon made him famous - and many fan comments still express surprise that such a young man could write such “mature poems”.

Husky has repeatedly shocked audiences with his eccentric antics. On September 16, 2018, he staged his own funeral. And a few months later, after a concert of his was cancelled in Krasnodar, after an MP filed an application with the prosecutor-general's office, he started reciting rap on the street outside the venue, surrounded by his fans. The performance ended with him being detained by police for disturbing public order. The incident provoked a heated public debate among rap performers about censorship. 

In May 2019, the musician posted one of his latest videos, Detka-Hollywood - a composition criticising the consumer society and dealing with lies in life and on screen.

6. Markul (26)

Markul studied sound engineering at college in London and then went to university to become a producer.  According to peoples.ru, while still in London, with the help of a $11,000 loan, he set up his first recording studio, and at the age of 21, in 2014, released the track Sukhim iz Vody, which brought him some fame. A year later, the musician released an album with the same name. The album and subsequent tracks, including ones recorded with other Russian hip-hop artists, was very well received by his Russian-speaking audience. The latter must have encouraged the rapper to return to his homeland - in March 2017, he moved to St. Petersburg.

In the same year, together with artist Oxximiron, who was already a rap star, he made a music video for the song Fata Morgana. As of today, the video has been viewed 26 million times. Several months after its release, Booking Machine Production officially announced they had signed up the musician.

In August 2019, Markul released a video for the song Skaly. According to his fans, his videos increasingly resemble technology-driven short films with special effects.

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