Russian Rap Battles Are Very Much A Thing: Oxxxymiron vs Gnoyniy

Rap battles may no longer be an integral part of American hip-hop culture, but the same can not be said in Russia. In mid-August, pop figure and Russian rap mega star Oxxxymiron paired off against the younger, nihilistic, underground rapper Slava KPSS aka Gnoyniy. The battle, which lasts about an hour, has garnered ~20k views on YouTube and had mainstream Russian media outlets talking about it for weeks.

On the podcast She’s In Russia, I and my co-host Lily talk with Lily’s friend Maksim about the battle. Specifically, how Oxxxymiron mixes myth, folklore, and theory much to his detriment; Slava KPSS’s post-irony attitude; and Russian internet’s reaction to the battle.

You can listen to us talk about the battle here:

You can listen to the full episode, in which we also talk about Russia as America’s foil and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov’s dubious arrest, here: