NY Times: Bulgaria Pop Duo Challenge Musical Conventions
From The New York Times
By Armand Limnander
"Tochno Sega" is the title of a duet between the 31-year-old Azis - Bulgaria's biggest pop star - and the rapper Ustata. Azis has been heavily involved with Euroroma, his country's socially liberal Roma's rights party, and was recently voted the 21st greatest Bulgarian of all time. (He is also known for simulating sex with men onstage.) Ustata supported 50 Cent on the Bulgarian leg of his tour back in 2006, and is responsible for the song "Clothes are Just an Obstacle to Me."
Both Azis and Ustata perform Chalga, a form of Bulgarian folk-pop that combines Roma, Turk and Bulgarian folk strings and brass with electro beats and over-the-top lyrics. In their mind-blowing video, the slightly heavy Azis imitates Bollywood stars while dressed as a bearded Eastern European gangster's moll; meanwhile, Ustata lounges in a limo and pets a cheetah, perhaps channeling both Biggie Smalls and Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's thuggish, 32-year-old president, who has a well documented penchant for tigers. Our Bulgarian is not quite what it used to be, so we're not really sure what the song is about, but one thing is certain: this duo is challenging not just musical conventions, but just about every traditional notion of masculinity.
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