WORLD
16/12/2018 9:33 AM AEDT | Updated 16/12/2018 9:33 AM AEDT

Vladimir Putin Makes Moves To Control Rap Music In Russia

The Russian president said “if it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to chair a meeting to discuss preparation to mark the anniversary of the allied victory in the World War II in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

MOSCOW (AP) — Alarmed by the growing popularity of rap among Russian youth, President Vladimir Putin wants cultural leaders to devise a means of controlling, rather than banning, the popular music.

Putin says "if it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it."

But Putin said at a Kremlin meeting with cultural advisers Saturday that attempts to ban artists from performing will have an adverse effect and bolster their popularity.

Putin noted that "rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest." But he is particularly concerned with drug themes prevalent in rap, saying "this is a path to the degradation of the nation."

He said "drug propaganda" is worse than cursing.

Putin's comments come amid a crackdown on contemporary music that evoked Soviet-era censorship of the arts.