Author: Zachary Hicks

Pavel Volya / Павел Воля

Pavel Volya (Павел Воля) entered showbusiness as a DJ for the Russian radio station Hit-FM and a VJ on the music channel МУЗ-ТВ (MUZ-TV). In 2003 he became well-known as a regular on the Russian sketch-comedy show Comedy Club, before landing numerous smaller acting roles in movies and TV, most notably the 2009 comedy A […]

Egor Kreed / Егор Крид

Egor Kreed (Егор Крид) is a Russian rap and hip hop artist. Until 2014, he was known as “KReeD” and has also gone by just “Kreed” in the past as well. Egor Kreed knew he wanted to be a musician from the age of 11, when he first heard 50 Cent’s song “Candy Shop”. Born […]

Kasta / Каста

Kasta (Каста) is a Russian rap group originally from Rostov-on-Don, whose core members are the MCs Vladi (Влади), Shym (Шым), Khamil (Хамиль), and Snake (Змей). Exposure to New York’s Wu-Tang Clan in the early nineties prompted them to purchase as many American rap cassettes as they could get their hands on, and to study English […]

Centr / Центр

Centr (Центр) is a Moscow rap group originally formed in 2004 by MCs Guf (Гуф) and Princip (Принцип), and later joined by Slim (Слим), Little Bird (Птаха), and others. The group’s debut album, Gift (Подарок) was self produced and recorded. Only thirteen copies were made – and were given as New Year’s gifts to friends. […]

Basta / Баста

Basta (Баста) the stage name of Vasilli Bakulenko (Василий Михайлович Вакуленко), is one of Russia’s most iconic rappers. Originally from Rostov-on-Don, Vasilli studied music in high school and, under the influence of rappers like Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Busta Rhymes, formed his own rap group at the age of fifteen. Basta later collaborated […]

Detsl / Децл

Detsl (Децл) is the stage name of Kirill Tolmatskii (Кирилл Александрович Толмацкий), who is known as something like the Russian Vanilla Ice. He is a former member of Bad B. Alliance (Bad B. Альянс). Detsl came into the spotlight from his first public performance at Moscow’s Adidas StreetBall Challenge, after which he was featured prominently in […]

Mnogotochie / Многоточие

Mnogotochie (Многоточие) is one of Russia’s most well-known and intelligent rap groups, and are prominent of example of “gangster rap” and political hip-hop in Russia. Their history is somewhat confusing as the group has been fluid in its membership and has used or been associated with several names. The original group existed from 1998 until […]

Bad Balance

Bad Balance (also known as “Bad B”) is considered the first Russian hip-hop group, something like the Russian answer to Public Enemy. Starting out in 1980s Leningrad as a student breakdance group, Bad Balance—at that time consisting of Vlad Valov (who goes by ШЕFF / SheFF) and Sergey Krutikov (who goes by Михей / Mikhey)—the […]

Кино / Kino

Кино/Kino was one of the most popular Soviet rock groups of the 1980s and 1990s. Influenced by Western bands like R.E.M., The Cure, The Smiths, and Joy Division, Kino became a touchstone for Soviet and Russian rock, punk, and alternative music. Largely the brainchild of frontman Viktor Tsoi, Kino’s music was known for its accessible, […]

Brainstrom / Prāta Vētra

Brainstrom/ Prāta Vētra is a Latvian pop group. Originally formed in 1989, they have released a number of albums in Latvia, Russia, and internationally, singing in Latvian, Russian, and English. Renārs Kaupers (vocals), Jānis Jubalts (guitar), Gundars Mauševics (bass), Kaspars Roga (drums) and Māris Mihelsons (accordion, piano), met while still in school and started the […]

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