Scout Mills
Articles by Scout Mills

Hip-Hop Lifestyle Branding and Russian Ethno-Nationalism: The Case of Timati

On Vladimir Putin’s sixty-third birthday, Russian rapper and businessman Timur Yunusov — better known by his stage name, “Timati” — released a music video featuring the hook “My best friend is President Putin.” To those unfamiliar with Timati and Russian popular culture, the song was a comical artifact of Putin’s rule over an enigmatic country dominated by kitsch propaganda and undying loyalty to its “supreme leader.” But Timati’s presence in contemporary Russian society extends far beyond his birthday gift to Putin.

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