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Entertainment of Monday, 18 May 2020

Source: BBC

Plinofficial: Russian rapper who loved dollars arrested by FBI

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A court in Pennsylvania this week took up the case against a 29-year-old Russian rapper, known as Plinofficial, accused of cybercrimes. He once dreamt of becoming the biggest rap artist on the planet. Where did it go wrong?

"Married to cash, high as a kite" - this is how Maksim Boiko, a rapper originally from Siberia, formulated his credo in 2015. His track The Money is Flying came out in a collection called Killa Verse.

Plinofficial was never a household name. MTV Russia fans voted him 74th best Russian rapper and he rarely performed in public.

But the redhead from northern Russia wanted to stand out among his fellow rappers. Although he couldn't have come from a more different world, Boiko identified with black hip-hop culture in the US and tried to emulate it in his own lifestyle, writing on social media that he lived and rapped like an African-American man.

Boiko learnt about the lives of American rappers during a trip to the US. He adopted their habit of photographing himself with a stack of cash next to his ear - the famous "money phone" meme to resemble the "brick" mobile of the 1980s.

Boiko published a photo of the fat bricks of cash, held together tightly with elastic bands, on Instagram. Awash with red bills portraying Chairman Mao, he made them into pyramids. Greenbacks with US presidents looked good against a backdrop of luxury handbags. Red and brown notes were only any use for "phone calls" inside Russia.

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