(AllHipHop News) Vladimir Putin is concerned with the popularity of hip-hop music in Russia.
Over the past several months, dozens of rap shows have been canceled by authorities. Siberian based group IC3PEAK has been complaining their shows have been shut down and censored.
Last month, rapper Husky was sent to jail for 12 days over a surprise protest pop-up show which was critical of the government.
Vladimir Putin, who has been known to breakdance, hosted a roundtable on the discussion where he recognized the power of the genre.
"If it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it," Putin reportedly said during a parliamentary cabinet meeting in St. Petersburg to strategize around the issue.
According to Putin, "rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest" but he issued a stern warning against drug-themed rap, which could lead to the "degradation of the nation."
So Russia is reportedly offering grants to rappers to "help" them promote their careers. There is even a new competition to make the best rap song - about traveling in Russia.
The winner would win a trip around a number Russian cities according to lawmaker Mikhail Degtyarev, who also proposed the idea of the grant.
"We want to give a platform for open discussion and highlight the opportunities as well as drawbacks of this or that town. If, for example, there is a bad road near a tourist attraction, there should be a video about it," Degtyarev said.