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Russian parliament to run competition for best rap song

December 13, 2018
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In this photo taken on Monday, Dec. 26, 2018, people cheer during a concert in support of rapper Husky, in Moscow in Moscow, Russia. In recent months, Russian artists have experienced a spike in pressure from the authorities, with a string of concert cancellations and arrests that have brought an outcry from critics who see it as the latest expression of censorship against Russian musicians. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian parliament has announced a rap song competition amid a crackdown on contemporary music that evoked Soviet-era censorship of the arts.

A dozen rappers have had their shows cancelled recently after warnings from officials who claim that their music promotes the wrong values. At least three musicians have been detained.

In a symbolic gesture of reconciliation, the State Duma announced on Thursday that it would run a competition for the best rap song on the subject of travel in Russia. The winner, according to lawmaker Mikhail Degtyarev, will win a trip around Russian cities.

Rap has emerged as one of the most popular music genres among Russia’s youth thanks to its frank portrayal of daily realities and scathing criticism of the government.

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