President of Russia Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that rap should be regulated in the country, but should not be banned, amid its growing popularity.
“If it is not possible to stop, then we should lead and direct it,” Putin said about rap to a meeting of cultural advisers in St. Petersburg, according to The Associated Press.
Putin also said that “rap is based on 3 main pillars: sex, drugs and protest,” and that rap mentioning drugs “is a path to the nation’s degradation.”
The comments of the president come as Russia has started to crack down on musical expression and rap in the country is growing in immense popularity.
A number of rap concerts by popular artists have been canceled in 2018, which includes Gone.Fludd, who said that he was pressured by “each and every police agency you can think of,” Allj, who cited threats and IC3PEAK, who are known to be arrested at a number of venues during their tour.
In the month of November, viral sensation Husky was also arrested during a show in Moscow while protesting another show being canceled.
On Thursday, the Russian Parliament made an announcement that a rap contest to quell concerns that they were actually targeting the genre, but made the competition quite limited to lyrics about traveling the country.