HammAli & Navai

HammAli & Navai: Azeri Influenced Russian Language Pop-Rap

Published: January 17, 2022

HammAli & Navai is a popular Russian rap group created by Alexander Aliev and Navai Bakirov. The two Moscow native, ethnically Azerbaijani musicians formed their rap duo in 2016, when they released their first song “День в календаре” (A Day in The Calendar). Both members studied music from their early years, which led to individual attempts at making music before their formation of HammAli & Navai.

The duo’s early releases were quite popular – songs such as “Фары-туманы” (Fog Lights – 2017), “Хочешь, я к тебе приеду” (Do You Want Me To Come To You – 2017), and “Ноты” (Notes – 2018) have earned approximately a combined 200 million views on Youtube. In 2018, the duo released their first joint album – JANAVI, which went on to be the most streamed album on VKontakte Music in 2018. In 2019, the two rappers released their most popular song to date – “Без тебя я не я” (Without You I’m not Me – 2019).

Above: “День в календаре”, HammAli & Navai’s first release.

In 2020, the two rappers began focusing on solo work – releasing their own songs and pairing up with other popular artists. In 2021, the group announced the official breakup of HammAli & Navai in order to pursue solo work – news that was devastating to many of their fans. However, later that summer, the two rappers began working together again, and have since released new several songs.

Although HammAli & Navai consists of two rappers, much of their music undoubtedly has a pop influence. “Без тебя я не я” (lyrics), for instance, is particularly reminiscent of American pop. There is still a lot of rap within their music, but both rappers tend to sing quite well while utilizing a decent amount of autotune. Because of their strong pop influences, they can make for a great introduction for Americans to pop/rap music in Russia.

Above: “Без тебя я не я” HammAli & Navai’s most popular track to date.

About the author

Hudson Dobbs

Hudson received his BA in Russian Studies with a minor in Corporate Communications from Baylor University. At the time he wrote for this site, he was serving as a Home and Abroad Scholar as part of a Spring, 2022 session of SRAS’s Language and Society program St. Petersburg, Russia. While abroad, Hudson will be researching the Russian coffee culture, as well as the evolution of specialty coffee in Russia. His goal is to open his own coffee shop in the US - taking his experiences abroad and applying them to his future business.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Hudson Dobbs