New East Digital Archive

No, it’s not a new rap battle. It’s a music video by Soviet pop star Philipp Kirkorov

30 April 2018

Philipp Kirkorov, a 51-year-old Russian pop singer of Bulgarian origin, surprised his fans this weekend with his new music video for the song Mood Colour, Blue (Цвет Настроения Синий in Russian).

Though a major Russian pop culture icon, this is the first time in a long while that his video has made waves in the music scene. The flamboyant singer is known more for his stuffy performances on state TV and being part of the old vanguard of mainstream pop, with its tight links to the government and a music style that has gone unchanged in the last 30 years. This has made his new video — a tribute to young Russian rappers and post-Soviet fashion — all the more absurd.

Although the star has always been daring when it comes to fashion and hair styles, Kirkorov’s Vetements make-over has been a hit on social media, where fans have rejoiced and made fun of the singer’s new look. His black bob is undoubtedly a reference to Russian rapper FACE who first gained popularity with the track Gosha Rubchinsky, while the general mood of the video seems to be homage to the uber-popular 22-year-old Russian rapper, Pharaoh. Part of the video is also set in a Russian bargain supermarket called Dixi and features lots of product placement and cameos from Russian hip hop stars including Timati, rapper and BFF of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, and Gnoyniy whose rap battle with Oxxxymiron broke Russian internet last year.

The video was produced by Ivan Urgant, a late night talk show host who was enlisted to help Kirkorov shoot a video that appeals to a younger audience. The video also features Leiomy Maldonado, a dancer known as the wonder woman of voguing, who also choreographed Willow Smith’s 2010 video for Whip My Hair.

Can you spot all the Vetements and Balenciaga appearances in the video?