Popular Russian rapper Timati couldn’t take the heat following his latest controversial move.
According to the Daily Mail, the 36-year-old has been an adamant supporter of Vladimir Putin over the years, and ahead of the elections in Moscow on Sunday (Sept. 8), he chose to post a music video where he once again sang Putin’s praises. After receiving nearly 1.5 million dislikes in less than three days, Timati pulled the video down on Tuesday.
In 2015, Timati had released a track where he’d rapped, “President Putin is my best friend,” and on the latest track “Moscow,” he went even harder.
“I don’t go to rallies, I don’t bullshit,” is one of the song’s bars in which he refers to the large protests that occurred when candidates opposing Putin were barred from Sunday’s ballot. He also praises Moscow for not holding gay parades and shows support for Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a Putin ally who has cracked down on the protests and their participators.
Upon removing the video, Timati used social media to explain his choice to do so.
“I’m deleting the video to stop this wave of negativity,” he said. “I made a record. Only I didn’t have such a goal.”
The track also featured fellow Russian rapper Guf—who was much more apologetic in his response to the backlash.
“I am proud of our young people who understand politics,” he wrote. “I’m sorry that I don’t follow the political situation in the country.” The video is reportedly the 30th most disliked in YouTube history.
This isn’t the first time a rap has drawn criticism for pushing a government agenda. Last year, Thailand’s government dropped off an official diss song to clap back at critics of Thai government.
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