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A Russian rapper who once described himself as Vladimir Putin’s “best friend” has uploaded the most disliked video in Russian YouTube history, according to the Guardian.
Timati—who has worked with Snoop Dog, who has made himself into a burger restaurant connoisseur, and who has designed clothes for the Russian army—uploaded a music video titled “Moscow” the night before city council elections in Russia’s capital city earlier this month. Before he took down the pro-Kremlin video that featured him and fellow hip-hop artist Guf, it had amassed 1.48 million dislikes, the most for any Russian video, against just 85,000 likes.
According to the Guardian, the song “contained lyrics praising the city’s Kremlin-installed mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, as well as criticizing protests that rocked Moscow this summer after opposition candidates were barred from the city council polls.” In the lyrics, Timati, who has 2.63 million YouTube subscribers, referred to Moscow as “the city where they don’t hold gay parades.” As RT pointed out, the song also contained “authority-worshiping lyrics.”
Apparently, some believed he had been compensated by the Russian government to create the song, but he denied that. Timati, who recorded a song in 2015 called “My Best Friend Is Vladimir Putin” and who called the Russian president a “superhero,” said he took down the video to halt “the wave of negativity.”
On his Instagram page, Timati wrote, “Today it’s trendy to complain about the government, but I have my own opinion. Instead of going to protests, you should work and improve yourselves.”
According to the Moscow Times, the Kremlin-backed candidates lost one-third of their seats in the election “following a summer of protests against the authorities’ refusal to register opposition candidates on the ballot.”
Still, Timati would’ve had a long way to go to reach the title of most disliked YouTube video ever. That honor is reserved for YouTube’s 2018 Rewind video that drew widespread condemnation from the community for featuring too many celebrities and not enough content creators. That video currently has 16 million dislikes.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.