Facepalm: A pair of Russian rappers have just broken an unwanted record by releasing the most-disliked Russian language video on YouTube: a pro-Kremlin music video that praises Moscow, mocks anti-government protestors and celebrates the city’s lack of gay pride parades.
The song, titled Moscow, is performed by Russian artists Timati and Guf. It was released on September 7, a day before the elections to the Russian Duma (city parliament), and contains lyrics such as “I don’t go on protests, and I don’t talk shit,” and notes that Moscow is “the city where they don’t hold gay parades.”
The video managed to gain the highest number of dislikes on Russian YouTube—1.48 million—which also made it one of the top 30 most disliked music videos in the world.
The timing of the video and its message has led many people to believe the Russian government paid for its recording, something that Timati and Guf deny. The song was removed from YouTube on September 10, with Timati admitting the lyrics were too much.
"I broke the record," he said. "But I didn't want that at all. I did not aim to offend anyone. I love my city, and now it looks the best it has ever looked in all 36 years of my life, for which I am immensely grateful to those who made it possible. I definitely do not need mess so I am deleting this video to stop this wave of negativity."
Back in 2015, Timati, who has collaborated with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Craig David, and Timbaland, released a song called My Best friend is Vladimir Putin.
Guf claimed on his Instagram account that he wasn’t aware the elections were taking place. "I'm in shock," he said. "I am very sorry. I did not know we had mayoral elections the day before yesterday. I was told we needed to congratulate the city on its day. I did not get a single penny out if it, I swear to you. They tricked me, they framed me.”
In other news related to Russia’s recent regional elections, Roskomnadzor, the country’s communications regulator, has accused Google and Facebook of interfering in the process by running political ads on their respective platforms.