Saturday, 16 February 2008

Tatar Hip-Hop & R&B



This is a Russian 5TV program about the Tatar "R&B phenomenon", mainly focusing on the hip-hop group IttifaQ. Reporter Kirill Ivanov, who is quite handsome himself, travels to Kazan to get the straight dope on this intriguing issue. Can you be a Muslim and a rapper? (Well, the answer seems obvious, but just to be sure they've asked a real philosopher, too.)
Featuring: the Ittifaq crew, president Mintimer Shaimiev a.k.a. "Babay", various cute Tatars and Russians, the statue of Musa Jalil (Soviet hero of WWII), and the Qul Sharif mosque. I also thought I recognised pop singer Bulat Zhighanshin in a clip.

Note: Maybe it's my bad Russian, but it seems that R&B means something completely different in Russia than what I'm used to. Call me old-fashioned! Check the Wikipedia articles on R&B and Contemporary R&B if you are interested.

2 comments:

Tinet said...

Heh ... At 02:50 they say that they've got a Tatar equivalent for "yo". (I don't know the Tatar alphabet, so I can't really transcribe it ...)

As for the meaning of R&B, I think it's a "joke" meaning (maybe only in Russia) that it means "rich & beautiful", because of the usual R&B esthetics and thematics. When Albina Suleimanova's mum (who is really cute!) is trying to guess what it means, Albina says it's "rhythm and blues", and then the narrator says that there is another, modern meaning - "rich and beautiful", and Albina's mum says that it might indeed be a more suitable translation ...

ainur said...

Yes, I was wondering about that. I've never heard that "explanation" before, so I was hoping and praying that they were joking.
But of course, if you look at modern pop-R&B videos, you would get that impression. It's a bit disturbing to me, because I like to think about the tradition of African-American music as a tradition of resistance. But of course it is also a tradition of conformism and adaptation of majority norms. Getting accepted as rich & beautiful, in a way... Purists would argue that this is not "true" R&B, but oh well whatever...