They say Russia’s crackdown on hip hop concerts today is like something from the USSR. Is that true? Meduza speaks to two Soviet rock musicians about KGB blacklists

“I used to love 80s rock, and I’m having constant deja vu from what’s happening now. It’s all come full circle: again it’s executive committees and bans… It’s a lot like the 70s and 80s,” Miron Fyodorov (better known as the rapper “Oxxxymiron”) said on November 26 from the stage at “Glavclub” during a concert in support of Dmitry Kuznetsov, the rapper “Husky” who spent several days behind bars in Krasnodar, where he defied police and performed for fans atop a parked car. Fyodorov was channeling the frustration felt by many Russian fans of rap and hip hop, among whom it’s become increasingly common to compare today’s banned and disrupted concerts to the crackdown in the early 1980s on underground Soviet rock music. For example, the Federal Security Service’s alleged “blacklist” of contemporary musicians recalls similar lists drawn up by the Soviet police. To find out how close today’s environment really comes to the music scene 35 years ago, Meduza spoke to two musicians whose concerts were broken up by the police in the early 1980s.