Friday, May 25, 2007

Ain't No Rigga Like the One I Got

Last weekend, I went to the opening party of a new R 'n' B club, Zhara.

Few subcultures inspire as much ire as Russian hip-hoppers (ahem, riggas). Why though? Certainly these homeboys aren't any more ridiculous than, say, Burmese or Canadian homeboys. A character in Aburdistan even points out that Russians share plenty of similarities with their American brothas: they live in housing projects, they solve problems with drive-bys, their kids have asthma.

But all that's not really applicable though because hip hop is only popular with rich teenagers living on Rublyovka whose daddies are the ones killing people. No idea what their lungs look like.

That's M for Moscow, bitch!

Maybe the annoyance comes from the mindfuck of it all. Most riggas hate or at least fear blacks, but worship hip hop culture. And the country's biggest rap star, Timati, isn't black, he's Jewish/Tartar. Meh, he's tan — close enough.

The crowd in front of Zhara naturally parted when a real black man approached. He couldn't walk 50 meters in the city without being stopped by police, but was graciously waved in by the feis kontrol, operating under instructions to admit anyone with a tan. To give the club their air of authenticity.

The only explanation that I can come up with is that the Russian hip hop party is a carnival, that ritual staging of the violent decomposition of society, in which social hierachies are inverted. Exactly at this time is when you feel the weight and power of social totality most powerfully. The height of holism and individualism coalesce, etc. The carnival is necessary and cleansing. A societal douche, if you will.

Riggas are also douches. (Outed! Its true, I'm an avid, rabid La Russophobe reader.)

Zhara, 8a Tverskoi Bulvar, Metro: Chekhovskaya, Tel. 650-4556

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very true :)
But people that are able to make money (by any means) should be respected.