Morgenstern's interview with Yuri Dudyu, published in early November, received 21 million views. It's funny that the rapper himself had previously tried to persuade Dud to take an interview with him, and he dismissed him, believing that Morgenstern had nothing to say after talking to the Vpiska YouTube channel. It turned out that Yuri was wrong: the rapper in "Viska" and the rapper in "VDuda" are two different people.
The views of clips and videos on Morgenstern's own channel are in the tens of millions, the Legendary Dust album, written in a week live on YouTube, a few days after its release, scored 35 million plays on VKontakte alone, in the first month of Spotify's work in Russia Morgenstern got out in the top 5 most listened to artists of the streaming service, losing only to the Korean giants BTS, and in October this year, according to MTS big data analytics, it turned into a separate type of mobile traffic along with "online shopping", "education" and "entertainment ". We figure out how Morgenstern managed to earn millions and take the throne for a long time in Russian-speaking rap.
Chapter one, in which Alisher felt the hype
Ufa resident Alisher Morgenstern (paternal Valeev), the son of a flower business owner who now lives in Spain and the founder of a refining company, has been storming YouTube since he was 16. Then Morgenstern - the owner of a long curly hair a la Sergei Galanin - dreamed of becoming a rock star and under the pseudonym Mama Virgin sang ballads like “My chick doesn't give me, but she gives to my friends”, then electric pop-punk about the fact that he skates like an asshole, then he performed with a tribute to Diana Shurygina. Albeit cautiously, he worked for the needs of the public, who adores provocations and the topics discussed. However, in comparison with today's Morgenstern, he did not even work half-time.
At the same time, Alisher realized his rocker ambitions in the underground passage - he earned a couple of thousand rubles a day, performing compositions of Russian rock aksakals. In an interview that came out a month before Morgenstern's first tour, a modest boy, completely different from himself, told a touching story about how DDT played.
Although in that conversation he fondly recalls the rocker's past, not a trace of the image remained: in 2017, Alisher braided dreadlocks, got the first tattoo on his face “so that they would definitely not be hired to work in the office,” released “The Alumni Anthem,” in which sang: "Today I'll get drunk and give it to someone," and a video about how he was expelled from the pedagogical university for immoral videos.
In the same year, the artist launched the # EasyRep column on the channel, where he sorted out the tracks of popular performers, wrote similar beats in Ableton and shot parody clips on a smartphone. The rapper Face was the first to get dissected (Morgenstern worked with his fellow countryman a couple of years before the latter took off - he edited clips, including "Gosha Rubchinsky" and "Megan Fox", but did not have much sympathy for the rising star, although he was well aware of the potential of the genre) … Now the video "Face - track and clip in 5 minutes" has 14 million views. The video was released in September 2017, and in October, when the # EasyRep heading was replenished with parodies of Eljay and Olga Buzova, the channel exceeded 100 thousand subscribers. The musical and humiliating format began to bring the first money: a 19-year-old blogger for 2,500-5,000 rubles. advertised a surprise box store,online casinos and brokers (which, by the way, is considered a "fierce bastard" in the blogging environment).
Still from the video “FACE - TRACK and CLIP in 5 MINUTES! [# EasyRep] »© MORGENSHTERN / YouTube
Advertising of fraudsters is still on the list of sins that recall Morgenstern (he himself claims that he has not promoted sports betting and other fraudulent schemes for a long time). And the first place in it is plagiarism. Blogger Stas Vasiliev, who filmed the two-hour "Morgenstern Exposure" this spring, claims that Alisher's # EasyRap format spied on a more talented and less impudent colleague Lida, who also shot a parody of Face. This is not entirely true: the founder of the format is considered to be Red Lamp with the heading “On the knee”. We will return to plagiarism in music (which, it seems, was not filmed by the lazy only).
In the meantime, let's fix it: 2017, Morgenstern took one of the shortest paths to success in blogging - the mention of celebrities and scandalousness. Aroused the anger of future colleagues - musicians (including Feduk and Kizaru), took hold and began to storm rap. Yes, the one that, in his words, is "easy" and "for the stupid." Having blown the New School to smithereens on YouTube, in life Alisher decided not to fight the situation, but to lead it.
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Chapter two, in which Morgenstern began to show his true face
2018 year. Alisher embarked on his first music tour in 13 cities and released the EP "Hate me", as well as the debut album "Before You Got Known." The release broke the record of rapper Lizer (28 thousand shares in VKontakte per day), gaining more than 50 thousand shares per day.
Before the release, the artist's independent (not parody) assets included: the track "Hermit" with a fashionable trap sound and a video on it (tracing paper from the Californian Ghostemane) with the line that "in this world [they will be deceived] for the sake of bread" a pre-election video in which the artist calls himself "the freshest president of the Russian Federation" and promises that "instead of honor, the soldiers will give him a deb." The video appeared on the Morgenstern channel in December 2017, and in March 2018, a wave of videos from top YouTube bloggers (Lizzka, Kuzma, Yulik) for the special project "Lenta.ru" began in which they reminded of the need to vote in the presidential elections 2018th.
Alisher immediately preached the "corrupt bloggers" in the video "Top-5 - to the Kremlin with **** (My favorite clips of bloggers)", in which he repeatedly mentioned that he himself would never have recorded an agitation and took money from the state because he values his audience. And then he added that there are "sheep" among the spectators. And while these "rams" will justify their favorite bloggers, explain their antics with banter, they will continue to calmly profit from the audience. At the same time, Morgenstern himself shot a mock clip with the chorus "Twenty-eighteen, ooh!" So, the first bright metairony of Morgenstern went with a bang - the video has 4 million views.
Frame from the video "MORGENSHTERN 20! 8" © MORGENSHTERN / YouTube
Alisher's inner provocateur and merchant appeared in all its glory: the position “I am the only smart one, I stand handsome in a white coat” (by the way, in the video Morgenstern is completely in white) is a career-forming one for him. Just remember how the artist responds to Dudyu's claims of plagiarism (spoiler: with a haughty grin, they say, “Well, isn't it obvious?”) Or as in an interview with Viska claims that the cloak is for 110 thousand rubles. - the most useless purchase in his life, and a year later he pokes a jeweler into the camera for a total of 3 million rubles, buys clothes with a GQ premium for 2 million rubles. and shoots clips for 6 million rubles. (in the same interview a year ago, Morgenstern brushed aside expensive clips: "All this cinematicity is killing the vibe").
By the end of 2018, Alisher became a millionaire: blogging and the first tour, in which, as now, the artist performed under the plus, brought, according to him, 15 million rubles. arrived. Why? The position is “Make money, f ***, like that. Click a finger - and money in the bank ", which Morgenstern first announced not in the track" Cadillac ", but just in the 2018 video, perfectly fit into the realities of the Russian hip-hop scene.
“Rap in Russian has exhausted itself ideologically,” explains Dania Pornorap, the administrator of the PRNRP telegram channel. - There was a series of interesting performers: ATL, Oksimiron, Scryptonite, but they stopped offering something fundamentally new. At the same time, the genre was so commercialized that new artists came in with the goal of making huge amounts of money right away. The aforementioned ones did not have such prospects at the beginning of their careers. The genre was spoiled by large sums. Morgenstern, on the other hand, is a consequence and reflection of this depravity."
Bah Tee, general producer of the Zhara Music label, which publishes Morgenstern, disagrees with the fact that Alisher has absorbed the banality of modern music: “Alisher is a musician, and he sorted rap hits into atoms not because they were banal, but because that they are clear to him specifically as a professional. Alisher says: "Look, there is nothing complicated in this, I will repeat it now." And repeats. This is not to say that all contemporary music is simple and non-trivial. Still, Scryptonite or, say, Andro are still working at full capacity."
Two years ago, a cynic finally hatched in Alisher and, as he himself says, a "genius" who decided to become the quintessence of all the consumer goods that arose in Russian rap: primitive hooks, texts, themes. Fed up with exclusively popular music ("It's impossible to write something that didn't exist before you. Perhaps, of course, but this is already crap, this is already Boulevard Depo," says Morgenstern Dudyu) and accustomed to turning his every breath into content, Alisher began to create him in rap. Fortunately, he got rid of his own musical aspirations along with rock ballads: why be a singer-songwriter and offer something new if it does not bring money? And nihilism brings them more than: in 2019, Morgenstern released the album "Smile, you fool!", Cut his dreadlocks, bought a Mercedes-Benz E200 for 4 million rubles. And to celebrate, he shot a video for the track "New Gelding". The purchase fought back for six months of streaming the track.
Group "Bread" - about falling into the hall, Dudya's jingle and working with Little Big
Frame from the video "New gelding" © MORGENSHTERN / YouTube
“He really became a significant figure, because he established new rules of the game, immediately warning that he should not be taken seriously,” says music journalist Boris Barabanov. - Morgenstern honestly talks about stealing. But this sincerity makes him the new punk."
Chapter three, in which Morgenstern was recognized as king
In 2019, Alisher realized: one confession of the Viska channel, which specializes in interviews with musicians, is not enough. To gain a foothold in the industry, you need to charm the prominent figures. It is precisely to charm, to win over to your side, and not to pin up and parody, as in the case of # EasyRep. Fortunately, the clip "New Gelding", which has gained tens of millions of views (now the video has 87 million), attracted artists. In November, a fit was released (that is, a joint track) and an ambiguous clip in which Alisher backhand hits a girl, "Sad Song" with Yegor Creed and Thrill Pill (63 million views). Morgenstern's verse went viral on TikTok: bloggers twisted their heads and grimaced under illegible text and adlibs (shouts) 120 thousand times. For comparison: Tiktokers have shot 115 thousand videos for Olga Buzova's song “Here I am”. Thanks to fit, Morgenstern forever said goodbye to the possible status of "another singing blogger."
Still from the video "THRILL PILL, Yegor Creed & MORGENSHTERN - Sad Song" © WOW TV / YouTube
“Bloggers like DAVA or Instasamka use rap as a kind of outfit. Morgenstern is a rapper at his core, he has a background, he stewed in this culture, worked with Face, watched the hip-hop boom in Ufa,”confirms the author of PRNRP. By the way, Face and Alisher in December 2019 organized the New Atlanta rap festival in Ufa, for which another dose of hate flew in to Morgenstern - the money was allocated by the government of Bashkortostan. “The person immediately shows that he is in rap, although he uses it in a utilitarian and pragmatic way. He is charismatic, he feels the culture, he is cool to show off, - continues Danya Pornorap. - Morgenstern has competently accumulated schoolchildren who watch bloggers and schoolchildren who listen to rap. This is the core of the audience. Huge audience. They provide Alisher with crazy views. And people inevitably follow the views,for whom it is important to stay afloat. " So, to Morgenstern "stuck" Charlotte, the childhood idol of Alisher Vitya AK-47, Aljay and Timati.
For the recording of all the joint tracks, Morgenstern finally perfected the formula for the hit - thanks to the faithful squire Slava Marlow, who shoots "in the top ten" without misfires. Bend your fingers, 2019 gave us: "Young Hefner", in which Alisher "hangs like a young Hefner", "RATATATA", "Lollipop" (the author's version of "Songs" by the "Hands Up" group, which was quail all over the world and, finally, they returned to their homeland) and, of course, "Cadillac", to which both children who are well versed in the material and adults who have never heard of either Aljay or Morgenstern dance.
“Yes, Alisher did not invent anything new, unlike, say, Scryptonite. But he has an unconditional taste for hits. He understood the market,”confirms the PRNRP author. “Understood the market” means how the car navigator calculated its path with every turn and exit. A clear confirmation: on the day of the promised release of the video "Cadillac" Morgenstern posted the video "Suck". He decided to turn the indignation of the fans to the good and asked them to "throw dislikes on the clip." As a result, he updated the record for the number of dislikes on YouTube, earning 2.4 million “thumbs down” (the previous record holders - Timati and Guf with the video “Moscow” - had 1.4 million dislikes). Impudent, pragmatic commerce and the monetization of the absurd (for example, Morgenstern and Timati earned 50 million rubles for product placement in the video "El Problema" before the video was published - one integration costs from 5 million rubles.) - this is the whole Alisher.
Why do people listen to Morgenstern and still pay for it? Firstly, the rapper has been “changing his shoes” on the fly for three years now: first he vilifies rappers, then takes their place, first he shoots the clip “Navalny Lech”, then calls Putin “handsome,” first teaches subscribers goodness and justice and claims that it is more expensive guitars for 25 thousand rubles. he will not buy anything, after that he is rude to subscribers, playfully parting with millions, postulates misogynistic views on the YouTube show “Girlfriends” and declares at a concert in Minsk: “I [don't give a damn] what is happening in your country!” A deceiver, a trickster, a provocateur - at least it is interesting to watch such a thing.
“He is a magician,” Boris Barabanov agrees. - Only if the magician first shows the trick, and then reveals the secret, then Morgenstern at the beginning revealed his cards and successfully exploits them. The artist confessed in the film "Confessions" for the Premier platform that he had been killing that kind-hearted man with red hair for a long time - they say, he prevented the real Alisher from doing whatever he wanted. Somewhere standing, Mikhail Labkovsky applauds with his famous rule “Do what you want. Don't do what you don't want to do."
How the Kaif Provenance restaurant Morgenstern turned out
Frame from the clip "Navalny Lech" © MORGENSHTERN / YouTube
Secondly, the artist is not in danger of a reputational scandal, which means that brands offering cooperation to Alisher (for example, PepsiCo or Alfa Bank) will not have to blush.
At the end of November, Morgenstern warmed up the audience with promises to release a video for 10 million rubles. And he released - only not a video, but an advertisement for Alfa-Bank with the chorus "This is a clip for ten lyams."
“The clip with Morgenstern is one of ten bloggers' integrations in the last week of November. Yes, the most shocking. But what suits the audience, for example Aleksey Pivovarov or Irina Shikhman, where we also advertise, does not suit Alisher's audience. And vice versa, - explains Alexey Giyazov, director of marketing and communications at Alfa-Bank. - We do not show this clip on television or in the bank's channels, there is the ironic Ivan Urgant. But on Alisher's YouTube channel, it would be strange to see the "unnatural" Morgenstern. We gave him freedom of action, realizing that the result would be a shocking performance. And this should be treated as a performance, with irony."
Brands also do not dismiss Morgenstern (unlike, for example, Svetlana Loboda, who - at least three years ago - refused to wear luxury brands, and stylists did not take it seriously).
“During his career, Alisher collaborated with many stylists, he looks good both in streetwear and in classics. He is one of the few Russian stars who wear designers' archival items, - say representatives of the Spin4Spin concept store, which provide a luxury clothing rental service for stylists. In their jacket, Morgenstern came for an interview with Dudu. - Alisher is not our direct client, but we are pleased that his collection includes our things. He is quite frank, but most importantly, sincere in creativity and presentation. It's great that young trendsetters, which Morgenstern undoubtedly belongs to, buy clothes on the resale, thus forming a new consumer culture in Russia."
Cancellation culture can't work for Morgenstern because there's nothing to cancel. Let's say that Regina Todorenko has a reputation (read, a verified image, a framework, going beyond which is terribly punished). Oksimiron also has a reputation - that's who would be stoned for indifference to the Belarusian protests. And Alisher is absolutely consistent in his indifference and is fully aware of what he is doing. Even when she becomes “Woman of the Year” according to Moda Topical magazine and repeats Oksimiron's speech at the “GQ Man of the Year” award word for word: at least for fun, at the most, so that, like Voltron, he also absorbs the legacy of Oksimiron, and glossy awards. And what can be a clear image or position of a cultural concentrate, an ambassador of appropriation in Russian music?
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About music. Do not turn your nose up right away: they say that music and Morgenstern do not intersect in space. “Morgenstern is a phenomenon of pop culture, in which, in addition to the musical component, there is a component of time and context,” explains Boris Barabanov. - You can't think of musicians solely as people who write notes. First of all, they give a reaction to what is happening around. And it makes no sense to divide anything into “music” and “non-music” in the world where John Cage's “4.33” exists.
What's left in the bottom line? 22-year-old rapper without higher education, wearing around his neck "ten salaries of his rector", famously circling the audience (either they are "stupid" because they give in to provocations, then he owes his success only to them), does not produce anything new, with this masterly parasitic on other people's creativity.
Morgenstern is Frankenstein's monster, nurtured and symbolized by the culture of consumption. He broke into a smoldering rap game and robbed it ("I'll take everything, as if I'm a Tatar," chuckles Tatar Alisher in the recent track "Ice"). Fans love to insist that today's Morgenstern is just an image. No, he is completely sincere in his pragmatism, cynicism, jumping back and forth position, lack of clear principles, bon vivantism (his own institution was not accidentally called "Kaif") and self-determination (yes, Alisher calls himself a "genius", but at the same time " dust "). Sincerity sells well. “I’m stupid, but they will pay me money,” Alisher sings. He gets paid. And we are writing about it. And you are reading. That is, perhaps, the whole phenomenon.
Legalize: “I understand everything. The 42-year-old rapper sounds like a flop."