Vladimir Putin poses with rapper Timati. (Getty)
Russian rapper and Vladimir Putin supporter Timati removed an anti-LGBT, pro-Kremlin music video from YouTube after it set an unwanted record.
More than 1.4 million people disliked Timati’s ‘Moscow’ over the space of three days, making it the most unpopular Russian-language video on the platform.
Released on Sunday (September 9), the song includes lyrics such as: “I don’t go on protests and I don’t talk s***,” and praises Moscow for being “the city where they don’t hold gay parades.”
Russian rapper Timati accused of being state-sponsored
Many were suspicious that the video had been posted on the eve of Moscow’s local elections, leading to suggestions that Timati had been sponsored by the Kremlin.
“Top two of the dumbest Kremlin strategies: 2. [Beat people up] with batons to make them respect the authorities. 1. Release Timati’s video to make the people respect the authorities,” read one widely-shared tweet.
Timati, who has previously described himself as Putin’s “best friend,” announced on Tuesday (September 11) that he was pulling the video.
“I broke the record,” he said, according to the BBC.
“But I didn’t want that at all. I did not aim to offend anyone.
“I love my city, and now it looks the best it has ever looked in all 36 years of my life, for which I am immensely grateful to those who made it possible.
“I definitely do not need mess so I am deleting this video to stop this wave of negativity.”
Collaborator claims he was ‘tricked’
Guf, another rapper who was featured on the track, said that he had been “tricked” into his appearance.
“I’m in shock,” he said.
“I am very sorry. I did not know we had mayoral elections the day before yesterday.
“I was told we needed to congratulate the city on its day. I did not get a single penny out if it, I swear to you. They tricked me, they framed me.”