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Regular version of the site

Article

Holding onto your roots: Tatar-language rap in post-soviet Kazan

Popular Music and Society. 2020. Vol. 43. No. 4. P. 401-413.

In this article we analyze the independent Tatar rap scene in two relevant contexts: the globalization of this musical culture, and the post-Soviet nation-building efforts in the Republic of Tatarstan (Russian Federation). Having analyzed 29 in-depth biographical interviews with young rap scene participants and diary entries obtained in the course of a one-month-long participant observation, we conclude that the Tatar rap scene is a special case in the Tatar urban youth culture shaped by the younger generation of Tatar-speaking intelligentsia (humanities graduates and creative professionals) in opposition to both the cultural policy of Russification of the imperial center (Moscow) and the folklorized version of the Soviet Tatar culture.