Russian anti-war rapper Oxxxymiron to headline London charity gig

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O

ne of the Russian music scene’s most outspoken critics of the invasion of Ukraine is coming to London for a show in aid of refugees affected by the war.

Oxxxymiron, a leading artist in Russian hip-hop, will headline the Russians Against War (RAW) charity concert at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on March 24, with a line-up of special guests yet to be announced.

It comes after the rapper, real name Miron Yanovich Fyodorov, cancelled six sold-out gigs in Moscow and St Petersburg in protest against the invasion. “I can’t perform while Russian missiles fall on Ukraine,” he explained back in February.

Earlier this week, Oxxxymiron performed the first of his RAW concerts in Istanbul. During the show, which was also being live-streamed, the rapper paused the music to make an impassioned plea to Russians who are in favour of the war, challenging them to question the narrative they are being fed by the country’s government.

“Explore alternate points of view.  Why do you think all our alternative media was shut down? Why do you think we’re blocking Instagram and Facebook? Why is it all blocked? Maybe because they aren’t allowing you to get an alternative point of view,” Oxxxymiron said, as translated from a video of the concert by Russia-based journalist Jonny Tickle.

“I tell you that the videos and the photos that I receive every day are not fakes. They aren’t coming from Ukrainian officials. They’re from my friends who are there right now, who send me photos and stories that are totally f***ed up.”

The London gig will be Oxxxymiron’s first in the English capital for six years, and will be live-streamed on Twitch, YouTube and Instagram. Announcing the show, he reiterated that the performance would not only raise money to help Ukrainian refugees, but also try to combat the stifling of free speech online.

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“Due to internet blocking and censorship, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people in Russia to express their real attitude towards the war, so raising money is not only financial support, but also an opportunity to be heard,” he said.

Tickets for the London concert are on sale now, with prices starting at £21.45. Proceeds from the show and online donations will be handled by the Saint Nicholas Foundation, a Polish organisation aiding Ukrainian refugees arriving in the country.

March 24, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, livenation.co.uk

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