1.48m Dislikes: Pro-Putin Rapper Timati Sets Record for Unpopularity on YouTube

Published September 11th, 2019 - 07:15 GMT
Vladimir Putin posing for a photo with Timati in 2012. Photograph: Alexey Druzhinin/AFP
Vladimir Putin posing for a photo with Timati in 2012. Photograph: Alexey Druzhinin/AFP

Pro-Putin rapper Timati has provoked a major backlash over a music video about Moscow's mayor, who oversaw the recent crackdown on protesters. The popular rapper has later removed the music video, where he praises Moscow authorities, after it received almost 1.5 million dislikes on YouTube

Timati, a 36-year-old rapper known for his support of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, posted the video, titled simply “Moscow”, shortly before elections were set for city parliament on Sunday, causing mass protests. Timati, who is ranked the seventh wealthiest Russian celebrity, made the video featuring another rapper, Guf.

“I don’t go to rallies, I don’t bullshit,” the song goes, in reference to weeks of protests in Moscow after the authorities barred opposition candidates from running in the polls. Lyrics in the music video praise the Russian capital as a wealthy city that has become “world standard” and “doesn’t hold gay parades.” 

The music video, which featured sweeping images of Moscow’s best-known landmarks, recorded the highest number of dislikes – 1.48m – for a single video on Russian YouTube. It also entered the top 30 most disliked music videos worldwide. It had 85,000 “likes”. Timati denied allegations that he had been paid by the government to record the track. He said he had pulled it from YouTube to stop “the wave of negativity”. “Today it’s trendy to complain about the government, but I have my own opinion,” he announced on social media. 


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