MOSCOW — Alarmed by the growing popularity of rap among Russian youth, President Vladimir Putin wants cultural leaders to devise a means of controlling, rather than banning, popular music.

Putin says “if it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it.”

But Putin said that attempts to ban artists from performing will have an adverse effect and bolster their popularity. Putin noted that “rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest” – and that drug themes are a path to national degradation.

– From news service reports