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Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:11 pm
by Seva
I created a similar topic about a half year ago, but then, TV producers bumped me from the TV station before the first day of shooting. But now, believe and behold, Seva IS on the loose again, and this time, for real real reals.

In the mid-2008, a video appeared on Russian YouTube fields. The guy who rapped in it called himself "Rapper Syava" and he sang about himself being a part of Russian sub-culture called "gopota", for which there's no equivalent in the English-speaking world; I would translate it as "thugs" or "tough guys". Their main distinctions are a big plastic bottle of beer, cheap cigarettes or hashish, leather jacket, cloth-cap and an occasional knife. As for linguistic side of a subject - yes, nothing more but profanity, profanity, profanity. And there was galore of it in his parody song (the rapper is an actual DJ from the city of Perm').
Soon, he gathered an enormous amount of watching viewers on YouTube, and became a nationwide star. Thugs he parodied in a video didn't get the joke and took it all serious, making a general audience for his concerts.
You won't be offended by any dirty words since they're all in Russian, so here it is, Rapper Syava:

Being from St. Petersburg, a "cultural capital of Russia", and a lead-singer and songwriter of a parody rock-groupe "Glom!", which was created by me as a heavy Al fan (see Avatar), I was looking for a Russian popular single to make a smart parody of, and I couldn't find better than that.:D I came out with the idea of "Rapper Seva", a guy from the Philological faculty rapping about Balzac and irregular verbs. Soon I realized that the idea has much in common with "White and Nerdy", and that would be a "parody of a parody"... but then I said, why not? I took a cheap camera, my friend from the Institute of Cinema and Television to shoot it, Weird Al for inspiration, and made this:

I expected some response from the Internet community, but could never even imagine what would happen. My video gained about 200,000 views in a week on YouTube only, I started to get propositions to make a number of concerts for MONEY (!!!), and even had been interviewed twice! It really boggles my mind right now. People even recognize me in the streets! WOW!! And the most exciting news is, the original artist I parodied wants to include our video in his upcoming DVD. Isn't that just sweet?!

You can, BTW, read the interviews right here and here . BE FOREWARNED: You won't get neither the video jokes nor the interviews since they're all in Russian, but you can watch the photos and be proud of your devoted alumni. 8) I do even mention Al in the first one, but you won't find it anyway.:lol: Which is all double-fun for you, I know.

And I, surely proud of myself being so darn cool, want to sincerely thank and hug all the WOWAYers for inspiring and merrying me for all these years, and of course, I wanna thank and hug my elder brother from the far United States, my all-time favorite artist and the first in the list of my mentors, Alfred Matthew Yankovic, mostly known as - Weird Al.

Loveya!!! :wub:

*mods, you can sure move it, since I don't have an idea where it belongs*

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:17 pm
by WHiZZi
Congrats on your succes!

So, you are famous in Piter now but can we still meet&greet in May ? :P

EDIT: Just got confirmation that "Seva the rapper" is famous indeed in Russia.

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:07 pm
by Seva
Really? right from... the person I think of? :D How cool!!

Oh, of course we''ll meet! In fact, the success of the stuff that was inspired by WOWAYers make me wish for it even more!


Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:03 pm
by WHiZZi
Seva @ March 11, 2009 04:07 pm wrote: Really? right from... the person I think of? :D How cool!!

Oh, of course we''ll meet! In fact, the success of the stuff that was inspired by WOWAYers make me wish for it even more!

and yes, I've heard it from Аня ;)

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:20 pm
by TMBJon
Well, it certainly seems funny. Haha, nice work Seva!

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:46 am
by wayword
Great video! I definitely see the W&N parallels-- even without the accordion playing. Very clever.

Congratulations on the great response to your work!

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:10 pm
by like_im_27again
Fantastic video, Seva! :bigups: And we can say we knew you when...

Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:23 am
by Dr_Dad
Seva, I just posted this on your YouTube video site:
Врач Папа wrote: Мой друг! Какая замечательная пародия! Я услышал об этом на "Мире Уирд Аль Яньковик"!  Уирд Аль очень гордился бы Вами!  Я наслаждался этим очень! Даже если я только понял половину слов!   - Врач Папа

And for the rest of y'all:
Dr Dad wrote: My friend!  What a remarkable parody!  I heard about it on "World of Weird Al Yankovic"!  Weird Al would be proud of you!  I enjoyed it very much!  Even if I only understood half of the words!  -  Dr Dad

Yes, kids. Уирд Аль Яньковик is the way our fearless leader's name looks in Cyrillic. Right, Seva? 8)

PS: Thanks for the heads-up, Vikki!!! :Y

Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:29 am
by Dr_Dad
By the way, there is another way the original Russian rap video and Seva's parody are inadvertently funny. And it has to do with a peculiarity of Russian pronunciation and the Cyrillic alphabet. Bear with me a moment while I explain:

Turns out, believe it or not, the Russian language has no equivalent to our "H" sound. So whenever a Russian speaker must articulate a foreign phrase that has a prominent "Huh" sound, they simply can't pronounce it the way we are used to hearing it. Words like "Hitler", "Hawaii", or "Helsinki" can't be directly transliterated, but must be modified to fit the structure of the Russian language and alphabet. They modify these foreign words in one of two ways:

(1) They switch the "Huh" sound with their letter "Г", which is pronounced like our "G" sound. Thus, "Hitler", "Hawaii" and "Helsinki" sound when spoken by a Russian more like "Geetler", "Gawa-ee", and "Gelseenkee". [Why a "G" sound? I haven't a clue. But this well written but obviously very unofficial Yahoo Answers question gives some pretty good ideas as to why ...]


(2) They switch the "Huh" sound with their letter "X", which is pronounced like ... um ... like, "hkuh". :huh: Okay, okay, it's kind of like the Yiddish pronunciation of the "ch" sound in words like "chutzpah" or "Chanukah" ... or ... like how you sound trying to dislodge a popcorn shell from the back of your throat .... Thus, "Hitler", "Hawaii" and "Helsinki" sound when spoken by a Russian more like "Hkheetler", "Hkhawa-ee", and "Hkhelseenkee".

Okay, having endured that lonnnnng setup, now begins the unusual stuff. In Russian, when a native speaker laughs, it is currently commonly written and pronounced as “Xa-xa-xa!” (Hka-hka-hka!). This use of the "hk" sound is more common among younger speakers of Russian; the older ones lean more towards the "G" changeover above.

So, imagine my amusement when I saw Russian news services calling videos by Syava [and our own Seva] as "gip-gop". :lol:

Well, hey, *I* laughed.

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:38 am
by Seva
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!!! I MUST have done a musical video just to finally see Dr. Dad posting!!! :lol: To say I'm happy is to say nothing. Missed ya a lot, соскучился, The One and Only Vrach Papa!!

Thanks for posting a comment on my brand-new video! BTW, that account is not actually mine: it's the director of photography's friend who first uploaded it and gained so many views. (For what I'm still giving him as much mad props as I can.) THIS is my own YouTube page and THIS is the page of my parody rock groupe. ;)

Yes, your Russian is still damn good. But there's few corrections to the statements you've pointed.


As you might know, the word "weird" is NOT a name but a WORD translatable in all languages. There are some enthusiasts here who come out with awful transliterations like "Вейрд", but almost always we translate with the common Russian equivalent "Странный", which means - weird, strange, odd.
As for a short form of Al's first name, there's another "but". Since "Al" sounds in American English not as "Uhl" but "Al", we modern Russians must reproduce it in our language, and we can't do it in another way but to write it as "Эл".
And, there's a big problem with Al's last name. As you know, Al's last name is Yugoslavian (most likely Serbian or Slovenian), and our languages are closely related. (Russian is Eastern Slavonic and Yugoslavian languages are South Slavonic.) A big half of names there end with "-ich", so does sound the name Yankovic, which sounds there like "YONK-O-VICH", just as Al himself stated in some interview. And, we do pronounce it that way too, no offense to the correct American pronunciation.

So, though we do have variations like "дикий", which means "wild" instead of "странный", "Ал" instead of regular "Эл", and "Янковик" used by the most die-hard fans of linguistics, the way you will find Al on Russian domains and web-sites is by typing this:


So there. Gotta go now, more to come!