Vladimir Putin, Rap Advocate?

Russian prime minister just plain awkward at music awards show
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2009 8:33 AM CST
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, speaks during filming for a Russian music television channel in Moscow, Friday, Nov. 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)

(Newser) – While it would have been infinitely more entertaining had Vladimir Putin actually tried to freestyle, his appearance at a music awards show this weekend still made newspapers titter. Putin, who first stood around looking awkward while his “youth disguised” security mingled with the dancing crowd, handed out an award and offered his thoughts on rap ("addresses the problems of youth"), graffiti ("a real art form"), and, yes, break-dancing, the Telegraph reports.

He looked “less than slick,” tee-hees Andrew Osborn in the Telegraph, dubbing him “stiff,” “awkward,” and “embarrassed,” before quoting a Moscow newspaper that called it “a desperate move” to increase his popularity. Putin was “doing his best to look cool, in a turtleneck and windbreaker,” adds Adam K. Raymond in New York. The stunt apparently worked on one rapper, who says he dreams of performing a duet with Putin.