Will hip-hop really save the world?
A senior Russian diplomat hinted that he might as well sang the praises by Kanye West, known simply as Ye, and influential Russian rapper Oxxxymiron.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov unveiled his musical tastes at the end of a week of security talks with the United States, NATO and the OSCE, Europe’s top security body , which ultimately failed to resolve deep-rooted geopolitical tensions.
“If Oxxxymiron’s rap could be layered with Mr. West’s music, that would probably be good,” Ryabkov said in an interview with Russian-language international TV channel RTVI on Thursday.
“Oxxxymiron’s lyrics are amazing in their depth, in my opinion they are best listened to and studied without the musical background,” he explained.
“And Mr. Ye – he was always experimenting with music,” added the Russian diplomat. “Even now there is harmony in his compositions, if you take away some aspects of the modern treatment… If you listen to Mr. West in an abstract way, there are some things you can play balalaika, piano and harp.
TikTok users immediately took up the challenge and created a to crush lyrics by Oxxxymiron and music by Ye.
In the RTVI interview, Ryabkov also revealed that his favorite artist is Lady Gaga.
“I think she’s unique in every way – as a songwriter, as a singer and as an actress,” he said.
Ryabkov’s unexpected appreciation for popular music follows in the footsteps of former Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov, who openly shared his affinity for the poetry of the late rapper Tupac.
But the pop culture digression did not distract from the grim reality that Russia and the West remained at odds over European security.
After three sessions with the US, NATO and the OSCE in three European capitals, Ryabkov told RTVI he saw no reason to “get together again and resume the same discussions”. He did not rule out Moscow sending troops to Cuba and Venezuela in response to what the Kremlin perceives as a US threat to its security with troops and missiles near Russian borders.
The US and NATO have rejected Moscow’s demands to withdraw troops from Eastern Europe and never admit ex-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia into the US-led military alliance .
The West has warned that around 100,000 Russian troops and equipment amassed on the border with Ukraine signal an “imminent” invasion, which the Kremlin denies.