Yan “shadowraze” Bragin – A DOTA2 Rapper’s breakthrough

Yan “shadowraze” Bragin – A DOTA2 Rapper’s breakthrough

7. January 2023 by Andrew Williams

Russian musician Yan “shadowraze” Bragin has unexpectedly made it to the Top 10 Rappers of 2022 compiled by Genius.com, a lyrics website. He ranked 10th with 5.2 million views, which is a really gigantic number. The authors of the website have called the success of the Russian Dota rapper a “real surprise”.

Esports is mixing with music more and more and especially with rap that comes from Russia. While shadowraze is celebrating his breakthrough with Genius, there are other rappers involved with Esport. RIOT is also well known for publishing songs by their League of Legends talents and players, even G2 Esports has released a song featuring their now ex-CEO Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez Santiago.

shadowraze raps about Dota 2

shadowraze differs from all the other rappers out there in one thing in particular: all his lyrics are mainly about Dota 2 and everything that has to do with it. He even mentions professional players, like former Natus Vincere player and streamer Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin. His 5 million page views is plenty and shows the potential the rapper has and how well his music is received by the community and beyond.

Shadowraze’s music is a wild mix of cursing, bragging, Dota terms and black humor accompanied by pretty aggressive beats. Shadowraze became increasingly popular in the Russian-speaking countries 2 years ago, and experienced his breakthrough in early 2022 with his most played song “Astral Step” (it has 36 million views now). In March, Shadowraze made it to the list of the top 10 worldwide debuts on Spotify with the track “Showdown.”

Other Russian esports musicians

Besides shadowraze, there is another Dota rapper. Ukrainian rapper Zxcursed is the fastest growing musician in the Rookie of the Year nomination. He ranked #1 with 984,000 page views. In the past, he was a Dota 2 streamer and he went by the name zxc. But after he received a lifetime ban on Twitch, he switched to music. In 2022, he was even dissed with a song by another rap artist in the Eastern European Dota 2 scene, IAMMIND, who became known as the owner of the Mind Games organization.

dota2 rapper newcomer of the year

pic.: zxcursed is the no. 1

Russian Rap x Esport?

In the coming years, we’ll see more and more music mixed with esports both can be considered pop-culture by now. Besides all the organizations making common cause with musicians like Snoop Dogg, we will see even smaller musicians making collaborations with esports. Quite a few (mainly Russian) players have already dipped their feet into new waters, experimenting mainly with rap music, such as Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and his brother Alexey. The two siblings have released a rap song in Russian titled “Киберспорт,” which is Russian for “esport” (to be exact its cybersport in kyrillic).

Then there’s ex-Natus Vincere captain Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhaylov, who recently performed his song “What’s the Cost of Love” live at a concert with NILETTO. Although his skills as a rapper are still in their infancy, it may well pave the way for other professionals from esports to enter the rap scene.