- By Edmund DownieEdmund Downie is a Yale University Gordon Grand Fellow currently interning at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. He works on the regional political economy of Asia. Follow him at @ned_downie.
Do you like the news? Do you like rap music? Then how about news … in the form of rap music!
That’s the airtight logic behind RIA Novosti’s Rap Info, which features rappers delivering the news in Russian. Among its fans is none other than Russian president Dmitri Medvedev himself. Russia Today reported last month on Medvedev’s visit to the RIA Novosti studios:
Medvedev was impressed by the multimedia capabilities. However, he was even more interested in RIA’s new project: Rap Info. Within the framework of the project, musicians "recite" news in the rap musical style. Some recent stories include a report about a "flasher" on producer Nikita Mikhalkov’s car and the trial of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky. And while the president laughed out loud to the rap about Mikhalkov, the "recital" about Khodorkovsky (in which authors included Medvedev’s words from the press conference in Skolkovo, during which he said that the ex-head of Yukos "is not a threat" to society) only brought a simple smile.
"That’s a good idea," noted Medvedev, after hearing the entire production. "We need to hold press conferences in the rap style. I’ll think about what can be recorded in this format."
"Perhaps the budget address?", suggested one of the agency’s staff members, referring to the president’s scheduled address next week.
"Yes, that would be great!", agreed Medvedev. "The most boring topic you could imagine."