For regular users of TikTok, you may have recently come across a strange trend with influencers and celebrities including Gordon Ramsey tucking into their favourite snacks followed by an incredibly half-hearted dance with mouthfuls of food:
For the more eagle-eyed viewers, you may have noticed the song used for this trend is another Russian song, a common theme of recent TikTok trends such as the one we covered in the original version of this article (read more about this below). However, non-Russian speakers may be particularly shocked when it comes to the lyrics present in this trend.
Seemingly unrelated to food challenges in any way, the song used is called Я буду ебать (I will fuck) by Moreart featuring IHI, and as you’ve probably guessed from the translation of the title, the artists aren’t discussing their favourite pizza toppings.
The lyrics glorify misogyny from the off, referencing every mention of a woman with the Russian word сука (bitch), and graphically outlining acts like those made by a previous American president (he is actually mentioned by name in the lyrics) whilst on delirium-inducing drugs.
Whilst this particular song is a horrendous continuation of Russian-speaking rappers attempting to copy American rap music, the lyrics seem to contradict the artists’ true intentions. Almaty born Kuat Kuralbayev, known commonly as Moreart, led a tough childhood with an abusive father that left the family early on. Now, with a wife and children, Kuat stated in an interview that he would not want to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Despite this commitment to his family, Я буду ебать does not strike as the Kazakh rapper being a family man, and further proves the lack of authenticity within the Russian-speaking rap community.
For the majority of people that do not speak Russian, this song may just seem like another catchy tune to dance along to during the latest TikTok trend. However, seeing people, including children, dancing to a song essentially glorifying rape and substance abuse is incredibly unsettling to Russian speakers across the world.
The Other Viral Russian Song/Dance Explained
If you’re one of the 1.1 billion people using TikTok at the moment then you have probably heard another unusual Russian rap song in the background of videos accompanied by random teenagers dancing in a circle with their arms crossed.
The almost eclectic vocals supported by a very heavy bassline is only the 6th release of Moscow rapper Kostromin, entitled моя голова винтом (My head is screwed).
Many people, Russian’s included, have probably never heard of Kostromin, and little is known of the Muscovite due to his recent entrance to the scene. Despite seemingly only beginning his music career in the early part of 2020, ‘My head is screwed’ – which itself was only released on 2nd February of this year – has become an instant hit thanks to TikTok. The app is famous for popularising artists through the usage of their songs in the backgrounds of users’ videos.
The song itself is actually quite depressing, delving into the subject of toxic relationships. The lyrics tell a story of the singer believing his girlfriend has been unfaithful, which is screwing with his head. He even addresses the listener in the bridge of the rap telling them to always “be careful” – a warning that love never lasts. The lyrics are akin to many depressing heartbreak ballads, but it’s the delivery which has caught the attention of listeners from across the world.
The chorus features a deep echoey style of rap similar to other popular Russian rappers such as Miyagi and Endspiel, however it is interwoven and ad libbed with Kostromin’s higher octave singing which certainly makes it stand out against others in the Russian new school rap scene. This particular scene has recently become saturated with young Russian’s attempting to imitate their American counterparts, going too heavy on the autotune over trap-hop beats and talking about their bitches and money. Minus the lyrical content, ‘My head is screwed’ is no different.
One of the main questions on everyone’s lips is: How did this Russian rap song from a barely known artist become so popular on TikTok? Unfortunately, we at KollektivMSK still don’t have an answer to this. That being said, we will be carefully looking out for Kostromin’s next steps following the success of ‘My head is screwed’, or whether it will just be a one hit wonder that dies out, as often does on apps like TikTok.
Find out more about the region’s music scene: