Note: Due to differences in rendering italic text, some Cyrillic lowercase letters used here may appear in different forms, or may look similar to Latin lowercase letters on some systems, as italics are subject to the rules of Cyrillic script.
Cool mustache, Wario.
(Rasputin compares Stalin to Wario, an anti-hero and Mario's polar opposite/rival from the Super Mario franchise, as Stalin's and Wario's mustaches are similar in appearance.)
Try messing with the Mad Monk, you'll be sorry, yo!
(Rasputin has been called the "Mad Monk", even though he was never actually a monk. He was a mystic and a faith healer who exerted considerable influence over Nicholas II, the ruler of Russia from 1894 to 1917.)
How many dictators does it take
(This is a reference to the classic joke, "How many _____ does it take to change a lightbulb?")
To turn an empire into a union of ruinous states?
(Before the Russian Revolution in 1917, Russia was an empire stretching over most of Eastern Europe and much of Asia. Following a civil war and a short-lived republic, the Soviet Union was formed. Six despots (Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko) ruled the USSR until the mid-1980s, gradually breaking up the nation and creating what Rasputin terms a "union of ruinous states". This may also reference the Soviet national hymn used from 1944 until its dissolution; therein is found reference to "an unbreakable union of free republics". The Soviet Union itself was a country of twelve states and three administrative territories, with additional influence over most of Central and Eastern Europe.)
It's a disgrace what you did to your own people!
(Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions of Russians and others living within the USSR. Many of them were evicted or executed, and Rasputin finds this to be shameful towards Stalin's reputation in his homeland.)
Your daddy beat you like a dog and now you're evil!
(Stalin's father was an alcoholic and severely abused both Stalin and his mother during Stalin's childhood. Rasputin believes this is the reason behind Stalin making the lives of others so miserable. This could also a reference to George Orwell's 1945 novel Animal Farm. In the novel, Stalin is represented by a pig named Napoleon, who kept dogs as his security/servants. They would beat up anyone Napoleon ordered them to.)
You're from Georgia, sweet Georgia,
(Stalin was born in the country of Georgia, which was a Soviet state in Stalin's time. "Georgia, Sweet Georgia" is a reference to a section of the chorus of Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind", written about the U.S. state of Georgia, stereotyped as a state of friendly people.)
And the history books unfold ya
(Stalin was, by many accounts, an evil mass-murderer, especially in history books that reveal the truth about him and his dictatorship, having ruled a country with an iron fist. He is often compared to Adolf Hitler, another great mass-murderer of his era.)
As a messed up mutha fucka bent in the mind
(According to Rasputin, Stalin was paranoid, which resulted in him taking actions such as killing by the masses. This may also be a reference to the fact that many believe he died from a cerebral hemorrhage.)
Who built a superpower, but he paid the price
(Stalin's USSR became a superpower, but collapsed in the early 1990s, resulting in the former Russian empire being split between a large number of poor, underdeveloped countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Stalin was known for making rash decisions, which ultimately cost him his life.)
With the endless destruction of Russian lives!
(Stalin murdered many Russians throughout his reign during his purges, often for reasons clear only to himself.)
If you're the man of steel, I spit kryptonite!
(The name Stalin literally means "steel" in Russian. Stalin's birth name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili: he adopted Stalin as a nickname in his early writings. "Man of Steel", which is Stalin's nickname, is also Superman's nickname. Superman is weak to the fictitious mineral Kyptonite, so Rasputin says that his raps are Stalin's weakness. This line follows-up the previous two, alluding to Superman's superpowers (in his case, superhuman abilities, compared to Stalin's powerful nation) and controversy over civilian death caused by Superman in some renditions of the character.)
Big dick mystic, known to hypnotize!
(Rasputin, as an infamous seducer, supposedly had sex with many women and is also said to have performed miracles and hypnotize. When Rasputin was killed, his testicles and penis (larger than the average size) were supposedly removed and preserved in formaldehyde.)
I can end you with a whisper to your wife.
(It was rumored that Rasputin had been bedding Tsar Nikolai II's wife, Alexandra, while he was there to help cure their son. Rasputin was also said to manipulate the Tsar through his wife, making this one of the most important factors in the Tsar's downfall. Rasputin says he'll cause Stalin's downfall in the same way.)
Look into my eyes, you perverted witch!
(Stalin wants Rasputin to look at him directly in the eyes. Rasputin can be seen as a witch, due to his healing and supposed psychic powers. Stalin calls Rasputin a pervert due to his rumored sexual deviancy.)
See the soul of the man who made Mother Russia his bitch!
(It is often said that "the eyes are the windows to the soul." Stalin wants Rasputin to see his soul by looking him in the eyes. Russia is often called "Mother Russia" by its people and is personified as a woman. To "make someone your bitch" means to control, dominate, and enslave that person. Stalin essentially did this to Russia, ruling as a ruthless dictator from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953.)
You think I give a fuck about my wife?
(Referencing Rasputin's last line about Stalin's wife, Stalin was known to be uncaring about his family, so his wife wouldn't be an exception. His second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva was found shot dead in her bedroom, which some believe Stalin might’ve been responsible for.)
My own son got locked up in prison, and I didn't save his life!
(Stalin's first son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, was captured by the Germans during World War II and sent to prison. When the Germans offered to exchange his son for a German Marshal, Stalin replied, "I will not trade a Marshal for a Lieutenant" brought upon by his belief that prisoners of war were to be considered traitors to their country. Yakov was later shot in prison after refusing orders.)
You got off easy when they pickled that moose cock!
(According to an urban legend, Rasputin's genitalia are preserved in a jar, but are also speculated to have actually belonged to a moose. Stalin says that this wasn't torturous enough by his own standards, so Rasputin "got off easy" when his penis was amputated and preserved.)
I'd leave your neck in a noose in a trench and shot!
(Stalin was infamous for executing dissidents, so he says that he would hang Rasputin with a rope, shoot him, and leave him there for dead. This may also be a reference to Rasputin's death, in which he was poisoned, shot, stabbed, and bludgeoned before finally drowning when he was thrown into a river. Stalin says that he would kill him using multiple methods to make sure he dies.)
Your whole family; shot! All your wizard friends; shot!
(Stalin will then execute all of Rasputin's relatives, friends, and anyone else who was close to him. Stalin had entire families killed during his terrible reign. Two years after Rasputin died, the Tsar and his family were executed by firing squad. Rasputin's "wizard friends" may refer to his close associates whom Rasputin was able to get positions in government through good word to the Tsarina.)
Anyone who sold you pierogi; shot!
(Pierogi are Slavic potato dumplings that have more in common with ravioli than they do with dumplings. If anyone even sold Rasputin food, Stalin would shoot the seller.)
Starve you for days till you waste away!
(Stalin will starve Rasputin to death until his remains decomposed, just like he did to the Russian people and prisoners.)
I even crush mother fuckers when I'm laid in state!
("Lying-in-state" is when the coffin of a deceased person is placed in view, so the public can pay their respects to them. After Stalin's death, he was laid-in-state for 3 days. Thousands of people lined up to see him, but it was so chaotic outside that people were crushed and killed underneath the crowd. About 500 people lost their lives during this event.)
Pride of Lenin, took Trotsky out of the picture.
(Vladimir Lenin was Stalin's mentor, though Stalin's leadership was not one he had pride for. Leon Trotsky was a friend of Lenin who was murdered with an ice axe by Ramón Mercader, one of Stalin's operatives in Mexico, as Trotsky opposed the totalitarian rule that Stalin had favored. He was then blotted out of any photographs that showed him and Lenin together.)
Drop the hammer on you harder than I bitch-slapped Hitler!
(The Soviet emblem includes a hammer and sickle, the symbols of communism. During World War II, when Hitler attempted to advance into Russia, the results were ugly. Stalin's army was better-equipped for adverse weather, so the Nazis were decimated. Stalin says he's going to "drop the hammer" on Rasputin, or hit him hard with all he has in order to defeat him—harder than he did Hitler. Another note: Hitler, another mass-murdering dictator like Stalin, was also played by Lloyd in the Darth Vader vs Hitler trilogy.)
I have no pride for you who ruined everything
(Lenin breaks in, claiming that he never approved of the government Stalin created, contrary to what Stalin's second to last line stated.)
My revolution was doing to stop the bourgeoisie!
(In the October Revolution in 1917, Lenin led the Bolsheviks against the Tsarist government to empower the working class against the owners of the means of production (upper class—bourgeoisie) to shift the balance of power. His intention was for a "vanguard of the proletariat" to pave the way for a classless utopian society (communism), but instead, Stalin consolidated power in a firm repressive dictatorship.)
I fought the bondage of classes!
(Lenin believed that the lower class were in bondage, or oppressed and enslaved by the upper classes.)
The proletariat masses have brought me here to spit a thesis against both of your asses!
(The proletariat is the working class, which Lenin supported. He claims that they summoned him to diss both Stalin and Rasputin in the battle. This also refers to Lenin's April Theses, in which he encouraged the middle class to rise against the Empire.)
Let me start with you there, Frankenstein!
(Lenin starts out with rapping against Rasputin, and he pokes fun at Rasputin's homely appearance, saying he looks like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, a grotesque humanoid creature from Mary Shelley's 19th-century novel Frankenstein.)
Looking like something out of R. L. Stine!
(R. L. Stine is an American author who penned the famous Goosebumps series of horror and supernatural-centric stories directed towards adolescents. Lenin is calling Rasputin so homely that he looks like a creature from the series.)
It's hip-hop chowder, red over white,
(A veiled reference to both sides of the Revolution; royal loyalists were white, and the communists were red. Lenin's faction won, so it was red over white. This distinction was even more apparent in the Russian Civil War, where Lenin was the leader of the Red Army, against the White Army. There's a nod in here to red and white chowder; some prefer the tomato-based red chowders over the cream-based white ones, so based on this, Lenin says he'll be victorious in this rap battle. This may also reference propaganda posters for communism which often used a red and white color scheme, such as the propaganda poster serving as Lenin's background in the battle.)
'Cause the Tsar's wife can't do shit tonight!
(Rasputin was very close with Tsar Nikolai II's wife, and it is thought that they had an affair. Lenin calls him out for hiding behind a woman when challenged.)
And Joseph, you were supposed to be my right-hand man,
(Stalin was Lenin's subordinate during the Revolution and was eventually promoted to a higher rank within what became the CPSU behind Lenin. His title may have been equal to a vice-chairman, which would also place him at Lenin's right hand in order of succession.)
But your loyalty shriveled up like your right hand, man!
(After a carriage accident that happened to Stalin when he was 12, his left arm was shortened and stiffened at the elbow, while his right hand was thinner than his left and frequently hidden, so there is a mistake in the line where Lenin says that Stalin's right hand was shriveled, when it was really his left. This is also referenced in the battle when Stalin looks at his right hand, confused. Stalin betrayed Lenin during the Russian Revolution, so he lost his trust, and Lenin says it was gone like his injured hand.)
Our whole future was bright! You let your heart grow dark,
(Lenin's rebellion might have worked in the USSR's favor if not for Stalin's insanity, and their future could have been better. He uses opposite adjectives, light and dark, to describe the effects. In fact, Leon Trotsky, who would later be assassinated, was intended to be Lenin’s successor.)
And stopped the greatest revolution since the birth of Marx!
(Karl Marx was a German philosopher whose ideas birthed communism, which is otherwise known as "pure" socialism, in which the government provides for nearly every aspect of human living through the collection of workers' earnings as its own income and the uniform division of funds amongst all people so as to ensure their well-being. His works were the inspiration for the Russian Revolution and Lenin's policies, but Stalin broke from Lenin's ideals.)
Knock knock knock knock.
(Gorbachev opens a hidden door. This references Gorbachev being the person who "knocked" down the Berlin Wall.)
Did somebody say birthmarks?
(Gorbachev enters after hearing Lenin's "birth of Marx" line, thinking he said "birthmarks". Gorbachev is well-known for the port-wine stain birthmark on his head.)
Yo, I'm the host with the most Glasnost!
("Host with the most" by itself is a colloquial expression that indicates "a great host all around". Gorbachev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. During this time he introduced his policy of Glasnost (Гласность), from a word meaning "openness". Though widely believed to refer to the détente in relations with the West, Glasnost was intended to encourage the Soviet Union to be more transparent in how it dealt with issues of policy and human rights.)
Assholes made a mess and the war got cold!
(The Cold War was a series of conflicts and tension between Soviet Russia and the Western world from 1947 to 1991. Under Stalin and Lenin, the Russian economy and culture were suppressed by the regime; thus, the people were in a mess that was largely covered up by the Communist Party. However, Gorbachev's new policies helped to end the Cold War.)
Shook hands with both Ronalds: Reagan and McDonald's, no doubt!
(Gorbachev shook hands and made peace with US President Ronald Reagan. During his leadership, the first McDonald's was opened in the Soviet Union. The McDonald's mascot is Ronald McDonald, who has the same first name as Reagan, referring to the fact that, beginning with McDonald's, Russia's market was opened for Western investors and companies.)
If your name end with "in", time to get out!
(Rasputin, Stalin, and Lenin all have names ending with "in". Gorbachev wants them to step aside while he raps. This is also a pun since the word "in" is the opposite of "out".)
I had the balls to let Baryshnikov dance, playa!
(Mikhail Baryshnikov is a ballet dancer from the USSR who defected to North America. Under Gorbachev, exiled talents from the USSR such as Baryshnikov were personally invitated to come back by him. Though Baryshnikov declined, the invitation was something no other politician in Russia dared to do.)
Tore down that wall like the Kool-Aid Man, oh yeah!
(Reagan famously demanded that Gorbachev "tear down" the Berlin Wall. The Kool-Aid Man serves as the mascot for the Kool-Aid powdered fruit-flavored drink. Starting in the mid-1970s, their advertisements would have the Kool-Aid Man break in through a wall in response to thirsty children calling out "Hey, Kool-Aid!", and shout his catchphrase, "Oh yeah!" before supplying the kids with Kool-Aid.)
You two need yoga. (Дa!) You need a shower, (Дa!)
(Gorbachev says Stalin and Lenin need to relax because they have a lot of pent-up stress from being in power and arguing over their policies, and yoga helps to release stress. Gorbachev also tells Rasputin to clean up, as he rarely bathed or showered.)
And you all need to learn how to handle real power!
(True power is neither psychic, nor acquired by force, Gorbachev says. He believed it is attained through understanding what the people want.)
Did somebody say real power?
(After Gorbachev says "real power", Putin busts his way into the battle, demonstrating to these Russians what true power is. Putin is currently one of the most powerful people on the planet.)
Дa, you want to mess with me?
("Дa" /DAH/ means "yes" in Russian. Here: "Yeah, you want to mess with me?" Putin says he can take them all on due to him being known as a badass president.)
I spit hot borscht when I'm crushing these beats.
(Borscht (or more accurately borshch) is a beet (pun on rap beats) soup served many ways in Russia and surrounding areas, such as in Ukraine from whence it came. It can also refer to crushing as a method of cooking ingredients when making the borscht, and Putin saying it's hot means it roasts his opponents. Incidentally, the Russian word for power (strength) is мощь/Moshch, a similar sounding word to borscht, which enhances Putin's prior line about him having real power.)
Blow it up like a tuba while I'm balling in Cuba.
(Putin refers to his visit to Cuba, the first by a Russian president since the end of the Cold War, but says he's going to "blow up the mic", or rap hard and fast. Tuba players make their unique sound by blowing into their instruments.)
Doing judo moves and schooling every Communist сука!
(Putin has studied judo since he was 14 years old. сука [suka] /SOO-ka/ is Russian for "bitch", so he says he will use his experience to beat up every Communist bitch, i.e. all but Rasputin.)
I'm a president in my prime. My enemies don't distract me.
(Putin is the current President of Russia, having held that title since he was 48, quite young for someone at his position. Russia has been secure ever since Putin became president. The use of "prime" may also refer to Putin's tenure as Prime Minister of Russia from 2008 to 2012; during this time, the President of Russia was Dmitry Medvedev, though it is widely perceived that Putin held the real power in the Russian government—in other words, being the real president in all but title. Despite the fact that Putin has a long list of enemies, he says he isn't flustered by them.)
The last man who attacked me lived a half-life, so comrade, come at me!
(A half-life is the amount of time it takes for one half of a quantity of radioactive material to decay into more stable material. The "last man who attacked" Putin is Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident, who died in exile in London after ingesting polonium-210, a radioactive element. It's widely believed Putin ordered it or knows who did. Regardless, he invites all to try and beat him, but in doing so invokes a common stereotype of Russian-English speech using "comrade" as a form of address.)
You don't know what you're doing, when you try to bust a rhyme against a mind like Putin.
(Putin essentially says that it wasn't smart of the other four men to rap against him. This is a reference to a song by Russian electro-dance band Poyushchie vmeste (Singing Together) called "Такого как Путин" [Takogo kak Putin] /TAH•kō•gō KAHK POO•tin/, also known as "A Man Like Putin.")
You'll find that the ex-KGB is the best MC in the ex-CCCP!
(Putin was an agent of the Soviet State Security Committee, better known as the KGB, before becoming the second and fourth President of the Russian Federation. СССР is the Russian abbreviation for the USSR, read as "SSSR", but since the Cyrillic S looks like Latin C and the R like Latin P, it's often read that way in English. Finally, MC is the term used for rappers, and Putin uses these abbreviations to claim that he is the best rapper in all of Russia.)
They're calling this for Stalin, I will kick you in the rectum
(Stalin claims that all are predicting his victory in the battle. The rectum is the organ in the digestive system that stores fecal matter until release. Stalin says he will kick Rasputin's ass.)
You should now prepare to be my next Bolshevik-tim
(Stalin was a Bolshevik, a member of the Communist Party in Russia. Stalin warns Rasputin that he will be Stalin's next victim, one of the many people he killed. Stalin connects the words Bolshevik and victim as a pun.)
What smells like a poo log? It must be rhymes from you, dawg
(Stalin implies that Rasputin's rhymes are shit.)
I got this battle locked up like I threw it in the Gulag
(To have something locked up means to be sure to be successful in it. Stalin says he has the battle locked up as if it were a prisoner he threw in the Gulag, Soviet labor camps known for their brutality.)
You're a gross and creepy scary-eyed weird wizard
(Stalin calls Rasputin gross and weird-looking, while also generalizing Rasputin to a kind of wizard.)
Now poof, disappear and conjure up some beard scissors
(As if Rasputin actually was a wizard capable of impossible feats of magic, Stalin wants Rasputin to leave quickly as if he was instantaneously disappearing. He also wants him to make some beard scissors appear so he could deal with his unruly beard. Beard cutting, performed by Peter I the Great of Russia, signified the advancement and modernization of Russia into a new age. Similarly, Stalin is saying that Russia is entering a new age by cutting off Rasputin's beard.)
I'm Stoli Gold, you're a plastic handle of Popov
(Stolichnaya Gold is a well-respected Russian vodka. Popov is a relatively cheaper British vodka with a plastic cap. Stalin is referring to Rasputin as cheap and a knock-off compared to him.)
You sure act like a dick for a punk with his junk chopped off
(Despite Rasputin's penis being placed in a jar after his death, Rasputin's behavior is observed by Stalin as obnoxious and mean, or "like a dick.")
I'm majestic, you're a bit thick, I'm not impressed with your magic tricks
(Stalin calls himself dignified and beautiful, while calling Rasputin thick, or stupid. He says that Rasputin's magic tricks (faith healing) don't impress him.)
I'm sadistic, with a swift kick for a mystic with a missed dick
(Stalin is sadistic, or derives pleasure from the displeasure and pain of others. He will beat down Rasputin quickly. He once again notes Rasputin's penis being taken off in death.)
Ass-putin, you've surely lost now
(Stalin confirms his victory, making a pun on Rasputin's name and the insult "ass.")
You want beef? I got the whole Moscow
(To beef means to have a grudge with someone. Stalin likens this to beef, the edible meat of cattle, saying that his owning of Moscow (pun on 'cow') makes him the owner of said beef.)
Come on, bring it on, I'm ready to start brawlin'
(Rasputin challenges Stalin.)
I don't mean to Russia but you just seem like you're Stalin
(Rasputin makes a pun on the nation Russia with "rush ya" and Stalin with "stalling." Rasputin calls Stalin out for stalling, or saying vague things to take up time.)
You're just five-foot-four but your failure's epic-sized
(Stalin was fairly short in stature, yet Rasputin states that despite this, the failure of Stalin was huge.)
You're doing worse in this battle than the farms you collectivized
(As a part of the First Five-Year Plan, Stalin collectivized the farms in Russia to be run by the state in a process known as kolkhozy. The immediate effects were reduced output from the farms, causing large-scale famine in Russia.)
I'll beat you past the point my magic powers can heal
(Rasputin will beat Stalin so hard that his faith healing would have no effect on him.)
Man of Steel? You fat pig, more like Man of Squeal
(The Man of Steel was Stalin's nickname. Rasputin instead calls him Man of Squeal, implying that he is crying. He calls him a fat pig, a heavy insult that compares Stalin to an insult commonly given by Russians to Americans: "fat capitalist pigs," questioning Stalin's communist status. Pigs are also known for making a squealing noise. In addition, in George Orwell's book Animal Farm, pigs were used as an allegory for the communist regime, with Napoleon the pig as a stand in for Stalin.)
I'll hand your Georgian ass a true Russian defeat
(Georgia was not always a part of Russia and currently isn't, so Rasputin calls Stalin out for not being a "true" Russian while also threatening him.)
You would think I'm making borscht the way I'm crushing these beats
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "I spit hot borscht when I'm crushing these beats!" It was said by Putin instead of Rasputin.)
I was poisoned, shot and beaten and I still fought back like no sweat
(In Rasputin's assassination, all three of these occurred, yet he still continued to fight back until he was tied and thrown into a river, where he died of hypothermia.)
I'm so hard to kill, my rap name should be 50 Kopek
(In 2000, rapper 50 Cent was shot nine times at close-range yet did not die. Rasputin likens this to his assassination, in which he proved himself difficult to kill. Rasputin replaces the "Cent" in 50 Cent with "Kopek," which is one-hundredth of a ruble, just as a cent is one-hundredth of a dollar.)
I was shot and poisoned, my assassin's plot: sadistic
(Rasputin's assassination was very brutal.)
But that couldn't stop the mystic, if you think you can, you're optimistic
(Rasputin notes the term "mistic" in "optimistic" being homophonous as "mystic." Rasputin says that if Stalin thinks he can beat him, he's way too positive and confident.)
You used to be my right hand man
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "And Joseph, you were supposed to be my right-hand man!")
Till your loyalty shriveled up like your right hand, man
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "But your loyalty shriveled up like your right hand, man!" Again, this is the same mix-up between Stalin's right and left hand being stinted.)
We're all Russians, no one's going to get their butt kicked
(Putin announces that the Russians should all work together and that none of them can be defeated as they all are Russian.)
The way our space program's whipped NASA's ass with Sputnik
(Putin brings the Russians against one enemy, the USA. One notable part of the Cold War was the Space Race, in which the USA and the USSR were trying to take control of space and the moon first in order to gain a better hold in the Cold War. Russia was the first to send something to space, that being the satellite Sputnik.)
- ↑ This should not be confused with Russian pirogi, which are entrée pies. A similar dish to the Polish pierogi served in Russia would be pirozhki.
- ↑ In Russian, Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, Soyuz Sovietskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik.