At a first glance, a new song called "Moscow" with a video that features picture-perfect views of Russia's capital seems harmless enough.
But the song, performed by Russian rappers Timati and Guf, has been "disliked" by more than 1 million viewers in the two days since it premiered on YouTube. According to the Vkontakte page "YouTube Life," the video broke the record for the highest number of dislikes on a single video on Russian YouTube — and rocketed into the top 30 most-disliked videos worldwide.
The song's lyrics, which contain zesty one-liners about Moscow being “the city that doesn’t hold gay parades” and affirmations that “I don't go to rallies and don't bulls***,” apparently haven't resonated well with Russian viewers.
“I'll eat a burger to [Moscow Mayor] Sobyanin’s health,” the song declares — perhaps poor timing after a summer that has seen mass protests against the city's government.
Viewers quickly took to social media to voice their opinions beyond a mere thumbs-down, saying the rappers released the song because they were paid by the government or that they did it to protect their brands.
"Today it's trendy to complain about the government, but I have my own opinion," Timati wrote on his Instagram page in response to the haters. "Instead of going to protests, you should work and improve yourselves."
“The track and the clip were made in two days. There is no government contract, no money here — just a drone and the desire to celebrate the day of our city," Guf responded in an Instagram story.
The two rappers deleted the video from YouTube after midnight on Tuesday.
"I’m deleting this video so as not to continue this wave of negativity," Timati said. "There was no intention to offend anyone."
Pro-Kremlin candidates on Sunday lost one-third of the seats in the Moscow City Duma election following a summer of protests against the authorities' refusal to register opposition candidates on the ballot.
Earlier this summer, Moscow authorities had organized a handful of music and food festivals on the same days as the protests. Observers viewed it as a tactic to distract people from the protests.