Noize MC is a Universal-signed rap artist from Russia. Universal as in Universal Music: Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Rihanna and all that. And he is a story of smashing success, uncompromising artistic freedom and smart showmanship.
Noize MC is Ivan Alekseev. Born in Yartsevo, near Smolensk, he was into music from his early childhood. He mastered classic guitar before he was 15, played in several bands while at school and went to college in Moscow, where his musical career was bound to take off.
In 2005, Noize won a rap battle hosted by Snickers, after which the Snickers promo group took him on board to host and judge rap battles all over the country. In 2006, Noize entered a web battle hosted by Hip-Hop.ru Russia’s most popular rap venue of the time. As he was clearing the 8 rounds against over 3000 competitors, he got noticed by the guys at Universal and signed a contract with them. He also won the battle with this track:
In May 2008, Noize went on screens, starring in a teenage drama “Rozygrish” (en. a prank), mostly as himself, only a bit younger. In the film, he is the new guy at school who starts a band, mentally defeats the bad guy and ultimately gets the girl. Three of his songs made it to the film’s soundrack, here is one of them:
In case you were wondering, yes, that is a cheesy, seemingly deep and thoughtful love song about a fish that is having a hard time without its natural habitat. This next one, however, isn’t. It is more of a manifest, if you wish:
On a side note: Noize did name his first album “The Best”.
With this video, Noize made his first big appearance on TV. And the statement he made was quite clear: he wasn’t too serious about himself, but he was seriously outside the box. And the people loved it. They also loved his remarkable ability to deliver freestyle performances. See this next bit, recorded from a live radio broadcast in Orel, just 4 hours before Noize’s concert.
Because of massive content piracy, in Russia you don’t earn money through CD sales. The major source of artist’s income is his concert work, when he is touring the country for months and performing for the local audiences. Here is a glance at that life for Ivan and his band:
In this song he says he is sick of the television, which in his opinion is pointless and of very low quality. So, without further ado, he throws his TV out of the window.
There are, of course, more videos of Noize to show, but we’ll close this story with this one. Based on a song recorded for the Hip-Hop.ru-hosted rap battle back in 2006, it was the second video to be released for television. The round’s topic was “Behind the closed doors”: