Modern Day Hero

Hip-hop artist Antoha MC brings positive vibrations with his music, transcending bothersome rap cliches.

Anton Kuznetsov, who goes by the alias Antoha MC, is probably one of the most offbeat and original musicians on the contemporary Russian scene – a humane voice of the generation, brought up in the urban suburbs. With his recognizable and unconventional flow Antoha tells sincere stories, infused with uplifting energy and nostalgia. He is a humble hero of our time, grappling with the joy and sadness of everyday experiences: “My music is about priorities and necessities born out of the social sphere. In there I’m just a lever, throttle or brake, because the music itself is an engine of sorts.”

Anton started playing trumpet and making music as a kid and hasn’t stopped since. This eclectic mix helps to understand the artist’s roots and inspirations, bringing together ragga jungle, dubby beats, Soviet, and 1990s classics. Antoha produces all of the tracks himself, deriving great pleasure from the process: “I get rid of all the superfluous stuff and transform the raw material into what’s really necessary.”

Such is the way his music is made and although the compositions may seem dreamlike, Antoha is a realist at heart, filling his days with books, music and walks. He adheres to a balanced lifestyle and loves visiting places like Moscow’s biggest Russian State Library: “Such strolls always ease my mind. And, in general, I try to spend my time in all kinds of ways – tending to my health, reading thought-provoking books and listening to the music that matches the rhythm of my heart.”

The featured video is a musical autobiography of sorts – one to which every Russian kid born in the late 1980s and early 1990s can relate. Antoha raps about living on the outskirts of Moscow, playing with his neighborhood friends, mastering the Mortal Kombat video game and watching Rambo movies. He revisits the times of his childhood when late evening walks were forbidden and everybody had a Tamagotchi pet instead of a cell phone in their pocket. All Anton remembers from that blissful time is that he was calm – and confirms that he stayed this way and seeks to share this serenity with the world.