The HuffPost: The first rule of Fight Club: or 3 reasons why rap battles are a (political) viral hit in Russia

Journalism and Digital Media 21 August 2017

Anastasia Denisova, Lecturer in Journalism at the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) at the University of Westminster, has published a blog for the HuffPost discussing how a rap battle video became viral in Russia.

Anastasia Denisova described in her blog a brand new viral hit invading Russia’s internet: a video of a rap battle between well-known Russian rapper Oxxxymiron and new emerging star MC Gnoynii. 

The video was watched by almost 12 million people in the first 48 hours. Anastasia explained that this unexpected popularity could be justified by the unusual profiles of each rappers and their love for poetic quotes. “Russian tradition of poetry is extremely strong - and now it is born again, through thorns of the vulgarities and beer-infused punches.”

The rap battle did not only reach the young Russian population but also counted, among its viewers, Russian politicians taking advantage of this viral hit to attract the youngsters‘ attention. “The main opposition leader Alexey Navalny tweeted in the middle of the night: ‘It is 1am and I am watching the rap battle. […] The mixed reaction of his followers showed awareness of the rap battles matters for our political career. Some commentators accused Navalny of gaining points on the hype of the viral hit. Others confessed that they would definitely vote for him.”

Read the full blog post on the official HuffPost website.


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