Kapushon: “When you bribe, you compromise the right way of things in the society. Everyone suffers because of it”

UNDP in Moldova
Dec 9, 2019 · 8 min read

The rapper Kapushon (Marin Creţu) is the protagonist of a social campaign to promote integrity, launched by the UNDP and National Anticorruption Center. The video clip of the song “If you’ve given or if you’ve taken where the singer urges people to curb corruption was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. At the same time, young people from different educational institutions had the possibility to talk to the rapper and listen to the most known songs under the campaign “A lesson on integrity from Kapushon”. Find out more about the campaign and the reasons behind Kapushon’s songs with social messages from the interview below.

Photo from the production process of the videoclip “If you’ve given or if you’ve taken”

- Marin, tell us, please, why did you accept to get involved in this integrity social campaign?

- Corruption is a big challenge in our country and when I had the opportunity to get involved in its curbing, I said “yes”. I can contribute to such campaigns with music only because this is what I do. I am happy I was helpful with my songs. And I did not see why I should not do it.

- What message did you want to convey in the song “If you’ve given or if you’ve taken”?

- The message is very simple but very important — do not get involved in corruption and do not be indifferent if you witness an illegality. So do not bribe and be pro-active — call the anticorruption hot line — 08005555, when you know that an illegality is being committed.

Photos from the production process of the videoclip “If you’ve given or if you’ve taken”

- How was this song “born”?

- First audio version appeared in 2014 as a result of a cooperation launched at the initiative of NAC. I did not know what I was going to write, and I did not have a vision for the song at that time since I was not aware of this field. I knew about corruption, but I did not know much about the prevention of this phenomenon. I participated together with the NAC employees in courses and trainings to discuss about corruption, bribing and punishment of such crimes. I listened carefully and memorized everything, then I started writing. I launched the first audio demo.

- The song was launched officially in the fall with a video clip…

- Yes, and I have to tell you that when we decided on the video clip, the song changed a bit, too. Initially the text had longer lyrics and was faster and difficult to understand; the mood was more “hysterical”. Last summer, when the UNDP and NAC suggested producing a video clip for this song, I changed my vision of the text and reduced it to a shorter and more consistent song.

- How did your fans comment on the song? What was their reaction?

- The comments were more than 95% positive. I am glad that people understand and feel my involvement. Many thanked me for supporting such projects and that I do not write just songs for dancing.

- What does it mean to you to have integrity? How would you describe a person of integrity?

- A person of integrity is a person who is aware and responsible for him/herself and his/her life. If you are responsible, you will not do things that harm yourself and others.

- To bribe or not to bribe? What would you tell people who have such a dilemma?

- Of course, they have to choose the integrity. The process of bribing compromises the right way of things in the society. The social mechanism should work in a certain way; there are certain steps to be taken. When a bribe is given, the mechanism breaks. And many people suffer.

- What is your message for those who listened or will listen to your song “If you’ve given or if you’ve taken”?

- I urge them to listen to the song, to watch the video clip and show it to other people, to discuss it with co-workers, parents, and friends.

- How do you think people will react if more singers start voicing anticorruption messages in an integrity campaign?

I am very sure that such campaign will be welcome by the public. Each singer has an audience, his/her way of conveying a message. For instance, we, the rappers, convey the messages in lyrics. I am not sure how a pop singer would do it because they focus on text messages. Certainly, there is a solution via joint videos with the participation of pop, rap and rock artists. I believe that many would accept to involve in such a campaign.

- How many people who listened to your song stopped bribing, in your opinion?

- I believe I managed to draw the attention of many people who listened to the song and attended the Lesson on integrity from Kapushon. I am sure that many have started thinking. Maybe someone thought of it for the first time. I would like to believe that there are many who made good decisions to stop bribing.

The most active participants of “Lesson on integrity from Kapushon” were awarded by the artist

- What changed for you after this campaign?

- It was something new for me, an experience of talking to my public about serious things that affect us all. I interacted with people in the clubs, but it was about fun there. During this campaign we talked, we answered questions, we learnt how the young people think.

- You showed in your video that many people prefer to solve their problems by bribing. They do not stop even if they compromise their future or endanger others’ life. How do you think, why is corruption still spread in the Republic of Moldova?

- It is a difficult question. I do not have sufficient information to give a more comprehensive answer. We live in a country that became independent relatively recently and the mind-set of the population is not fully free yet. Many still do not know how to make decisions. People who have freethinking are not corrupt and do not try to solve their problems through the back door. However, I believe that we will succeed to overcome this situation. Such campaigns are very helpful.

You decided to do more special rap with profound messages and somehow you ‘ennobled’ this style. Why?

- The Rap appeared on the streets and developed in the last 40 years. Some rappers sing about fun, love, while others send social messages. Of course, when I started, I was singing street music, but with age, I have changed.

- When did this change occur?

- I made music until 2007 and then I took a break in the following four years, because I left for Russia where I lived and worked. It was a period of analysis of many things, a period when I matured. I was 28 years old when I returned to music and since then, I understood that I wanted something different. What I used to do was not in line with my interests. I also knew some artists from Russia, France who were making more profound messages, which made you think. So, I realized I wanted to make that type of rap.

-I understand the return was successful for you. A new turn in career, in life. Was it difficult to come back?

- I was in Moscow when I recorded the first two albums. I admit, I wrote these songs for myself. It seemed then that I would be living permanently in Russia. I was working in a company, with a good salary and possibility to grow. The first album was a success, people asked questions, listened, and sent me videos. The second one followed quickly after, and I was invited more and more often to sing in Moldova, so I started thinking about coming back home and resume my musical career. And I was offered the position I waited for three years in Moscow.

- How did you choose?

- I chose what I loved the most — music. I went to the head of the company I was working in and I told him I was moving back to Moldova and I was not accepting the position offered. “Are you crazy? What do you want to do at home?’ he asked. I said “Bye” and came back home with the goal to make music. If I did not succeed, I would go back to Russia. I gave myself a year, however, the first year was not easy; there were few concerts, but I involved in everything possible. Shortly I launched “Mămăligă” which was taken well by the public. I was sought not just in the Republic of Moldova, but also in Romania. I signed a contract with „Kat music” for the song “A road in Europe”, which I sang with Guz. Gradually I found myself involved for good.

- Have you ever regretted this return?

-I have never regretted because I did what I loved the most. I have always wanted to do this since 1999 when I started to write music and even if I had to pause, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I go very often to Moscow, I have many relatives there, I like it there, but I do realize that my place is here.

- What is next? Should we expect more songs with social messages?

- Yes. In the next days I will launch a very strong message to draw the attention to the environmental issues. I can hardly wait to launch it and see the reaction of the public.

- We wish you success!

UNDP Moldova

UNDP in Moldova on Medium: articles, opinions, events

UNDP in Moldova

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In Moldova, UNDP helps people build better lives, by supporting #GlobalGoals.

UNDP Moldova

UNDP in Moldova on Medium: articles, opinions, events

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