Uzbek Hip-Hop

by Nathan Hamm on 1/26/2006 · 38 comments

Back when I was in Uzbekistan, I ran into a teen who was really into hip-hop. I knew plenty of other guys who were huge fans of Eminem in particular. (And I knew them because another volunteer sent them to me, since I’m a male and all, to translate the delightful lyrics.) However, as far as I saw it, the hip-hop scene was still in the womb.

My Uzbek instructor asked me if I knew the song “Qora Bumer” in class the other day. I didn’t, but I did manage to track it down a long with a lot of other Uzbek rap. (Well, rap as it were. It’s a lot different than what I like and a lot of the links on some of the sites below sound like pop to me.)

“Qora Bumer,” which, I discovered, is a translation of a Russian song, can be found on the Uzbekrap page at The other stuff by the group that does the song, Radius 21, sounds better to me.

Uzbekistan’s answer to Eminem, Uzbek Slim also has a page at the same site. Slim’s about page (also check out his photos) mentions that he and a few other guys are part of Uz Unit. They too, have a site, and Umid’s site has more mp3s and links to other artists.

The Uzbek Rap site also has plenty more links.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Myrthe January 27, 2006 at 12:06 am

Guessing from the title, “Qora Bumer” is the Uzbek version of “Chyorniy Bumer”, a Russian song that was a big hit in Armenia as well, and I suppose all over the FSU. A song that gets really annoying when you hear it too often – it gets stuck in your head and refuses to leave (guess what: I’ll probably have “Chyorniy Bumer” running through my head now for the rest of the day!). As far as I know, there is no Armenian version of the song.

Nathan January 27, 2006 at 12:10 am

Yep, it’s that song. And the Uzbek version is similar. Sticks in the head, but not good. The other song I listened to from the band is much better.

You don’t know, by the way, if a “bumer” is a particular type of car, do you? I can’t tell from the context and have only seen a few uses of it in discussion. (Though I haven’t looked to hard.)

Peter January 27, 2006 at 1:52 am

A bumer is a BMW, or a bimmer if you live in south London. The original Russian song is about a provincial type showing off his car as a status symbol. It also appeared on the soundtrack of an ok Russian movie, Bumer, about some inept thieves stealing the car of the title. It’s all about how modern capitalism has corrupted traditional Russian values and distorted the priorities of the new generation. Indeed, the sight of young men driving around in banged-up BMWs or souped-up Ladas will be pretty familiar to anybody who has been to provincial Russia, or Russia at all for that matter. Sadly, this doesn’t quite work in Uzbekistan as nobody has bumers. There is, though, that swanky model of the Daewoo which I actually once saw someone wolf-whistle at.

Nathan January 27, 2006 at 2:00 am

I was pretty sure it was a BMW. My instructor will be happy to have confirmation.

Peter January 27, 2006 at 3:30 am

Hmmm, just listened to Qora Boomer, and I all I can say is Uzbec Krap indeed. I’ll stick to my Turkmen Eminem thank you very much.

Jonathan P January 27, 2006 at 6:25 am

My 4-year-old daughter absolutely LUVS “cherniy bumer.” It’s melodious strains can be heard in my house at least once a day. Barf!
(And, yes, now it’s stuck in my head again. Thanks alot, Nathan!)

katy January 27, 2006 at 6:30 am

That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Nick January 27, 2006 at 8:00 am

Yah, I’ve been on a bit of an Uzbek tip lately; most of it from that site. I’m particularly enthused by one track by the fragrant Shahruxhon, called Yarim Baxt, that weighs in at a not inconsiderable 1hr 20mins 53secs. Sheesh …

Peter January 27, 2006 at 8:32 am

While we’re on the subject, I’m devastated that I have lost my Sherali Joraev mp3 CDs. If anyone is round Uzbek way I will pay fairly good money for them to be replaced. I don’t how I’m going to finish, or even start, my thesis without them…

Nick January 27, 2006 at 9:50 am


I’ll see if I’ve got any.


Nathan January 27, 2006 at 11:31 am has some, but none of their links seem to be working now.

Peter January 27, 2006 at 2:52 pm is working fine for me. Thanks a lot. I owe you one.

Nathan January 27, 2006 at 4:56 pm

Cool, I’ll have to go back over there. I was hoping it was just something temporary.

katy January 27, 2006 at 5:44 pm

It’d be pretty fun to put together a mix of all this.

David Walther January 28, 2006 at 9:19 am

Just so Sergei Shnurov doesn’t read this and have a stroke, “Chornii Bumer” the original Russian version of the song in question is by Seryoga, and it does NOT appear on the soundtrack to the movie “Bumer/Beamer”. Shnurov and his band (Leningrad) wrote and recorded some really interesting original music for that movie–including a theme that featured tones from a mobile telephone that then became THE phone tone to have all over Tashkent in particular–and to round out the sountrack, Shnurov picked mostly lesser known and more interesting artists (independant label equivelents mostly). The point is that Seryoga is basically the polar opposite of Shnurov, that song is dumb and repetitive (Chornii bumer) and the movie “Bumer” is original, gritty, and has some great perfomances all around and an awesome soundtrack. If anybody really wants it, I could send them a copy (of the sountrack).

I know this is off the subject a little bit, but just a plug for another really interesting Russian arthouse movie with a killer soundtrack–Renata Litvinova’s “Boginya, Kak Ya Pulubila” (Boginya, (or) How I Fell in Love”). I don’t know if it’s been released in the US or not, or translated, for that matter, but it’s a crazy good and very original movie with an incredible soundtrack featuring Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and a couple songs by Zemfira written specially for the film.

Off topic a little, I know, but it’s good stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

Peter January 29, 2006 at 7:36 am

Yes, you have a point about the soundtrack business. Not having ever bought the CD I think I may have been taken in those fake soundtracks that are sold all over the place, a la Tarantino Mix albums.
What I am more certain of is the decidedly pedestrian quality of the film Bumer, a copy of which I am an owner. It is certainly well made, but its concessions to implausibility test even the most patient viewer. It doesn’t really go anywhere and shifts uneasily between tones and bizarre, inconsequential scenarios.
You are on safer ground with Boginya, Kak Ya Polyubila, though I favour much more Renata Litvinova’s previous acting role in Nastroishchik. That truly is contemporary Russian cinema at the top of its game, Not all that braggadocio Guy Ritche-wannabe drivel.
But to return to a more relevant geographical area, while I was in Uzbekistan last summer, I noticed that an extensive array of Uzbek films were on release at the cinema. I was told, probably unreliably, that the government was actively promoting the local product. Sadly, judging by the posters, most of the films on offer looked like intensely cheap Brazilian soaps, though I would be keen to know if anyone out there has any insight to offer on this topic.

Nick January 29, 2006 at 10:14 am

I too heard that the Uzbek government was actively prmoting ‘local product’, using films as vehicles for traditional Uzbek values etc. I saw a couple starring Samandar, in one of which he plays the son of a taxi-driver attempting to woo the daughter of a local mafiosi. The daughter, meanwhile, is engaged to a young gangster who also happens to be a junkie. There was also, I believe, some sort of deeper message about rich Uzbeks taking trophy Russian wives. Or something like that.

Ali January 29, 2006 at 1:21 pm

The website has a pretty hillarious parody on “Qora Bumer”. If you understand uzbek, I highly recommend to listen.

Matt W January 30, 2006 at 2:29 am

Chernyi Bumer may be a terrible song, but it’s an awesome video ๐Ÿ™‚

Incidentally, rap is getting pretty big in Bishkek, though most of it is in Russian.

Nathan January 30, 2006 at 11:46 am

Do you know if it’s available online?

Peter January 30, 2006 at 5:01 pm

The song or the video?

Nathan January 30, 2006 at 5:10 pm

Video. Should have made that clearer, but my head is in a haze today.

Matt W January 30, 2006 at 8:58 pm

It’s very minimalist: just a bunch of Russian girls in bikinis washing luxury cars and being oggled by oligarchs. It should be available online.

Nathan January 30, 2006 at 9:23 pm

That was awesome. It’s on his website.

Fab Bang February 6, 2006 at 5:29 am

Qora Bumer ain’t hip-hop or rap. They just imitated russian shit n’ nothin else!!!

Uzbek Girl May 15, 2006 at 7:49 am

I was really interesting to read y`all`s opinion
i was looking for one song and i couldn`t find it anywhere
it is Sherali Jo`rayev`s ,but i don`t know how exactly it called , it begin with that words karvon kelar tuyalari bo`zlab kelar nor tuyani ustida mening yorim yi`glab kelar
if anyone know where i can find that song i will be so happy
It was so interesting to read about qora bumer
yea i think uzbek singer steale alot of music from other international singer song
it is very sad
because iam uzbek and i don`t like uzbek singers sing
most of them are so bad and they voice is awful but they can change it in the computer , i thoink about old days how people sing without microphone to so many people now days they can`t because they don`t have voice

yvonne August 4, 2006 at 2:33 am

hey guys where can i download that “qora bumer”?thanks.

yvonnene August 4, 2006 at 2:41 am

for Uzbek Girl: I am not Uzbek but a huge fan of Sherali Jureyev,especially”Gulbadan”


Usmon Azim she’ri

Bir zamonlar kishilarni to’ylarini o’tkazib yuradigan, dostonlar aytadigan bir baxshi yigit bo’lgan ekan. O’sha yigit tog’ni u tomoniga o’tib, bir odamni to’yini o’tkazib o’z yurtiga qaytib kelayotsa, tog’ni tomonida cho’ldan kelayotgan bir karvonga ko’zi tushibdi. Karvonboshini to’xtatib, so’ray boshlabdi: “Bu, tuyalarni ustida qizlar doira chalib, ashula aytib kelayapti, yigitlar oldinda shirakayf, ot o’ynatib kelishyapti. Qayoqqa ketyapsizlar?” Shunda karvonboshi yigitga javob qilibdi: “Biz falon qishloqdan falonchini qizini kelin qilib tog’ni u tomoniga olib ketayapmiz”.
Shu payt yigit bilibdiki, o’zi ahdi paymon qilgan qizni o’sha karvonda kelin qilib olib ketishayotgan ekan. Qiz ham tuyani ustida o’tirib, qizlarni orasidan haligi yigit va karvonboshining savol-javobini eshitib, yig’lab turganini yigit ko’rib qolibdi. Shunda yigit qizga qarab:

Peshonangga yozganidan ayrilma, yor,
Jonim chiqar, qo’shiq aytsam qayrilma, yor,

deb turgan ekan.

Karvon ko’rdim, tuyalari bo’zlab kelar,
Nortuyada mani yorim izlab kelar.
Menga bergan va’dalari esdan chiqib,
Ostonasi tillo yurtni ko’zlab kelar.

Peshonangga yozganidan ayrilma, yor,
Jonim chiqar, qo’shiq aytsam qayrilma, yor.

Karvon yo’li ketgunicha qizg’aldoq zor,
Yig’lamagin yig’lagandan dunyo bezor,
O’ynab-o’ynab, kulib-kulib ketayvergin
Famga o’zim xaridorman, o’zim bozor.

Peshonangga yozganidan ayrilma, yor,
Jonim chiqar, qo’shiq aytsam qayrilma, yor.

Qorli tog’dan naridadur o’zga diyor,
O’zga yurtda kelin bo’lib qolishing bor,
O’zga yurtda o’z yurtingni eslab turgin
Menga emas, o’z yurtingga bo’l intizor.

Peshonangga yozganidan ayrilma, yor,
Jonim chiqar, qo’shiq aytsam qayrilma, yor.

Men-chi, menga goh g’am to’lar, alam to’lar,
Gohi shodlik, gohida g’am nolam to’lar,
Bu dunyoki meni ko’nglim yarim etding
Yarmi bilan kuylasam ham olam to’lar.

Peshonangga yozganidan ayrilma, yor,
Jonim chiqar, qo’shiq aytsam qayrilma, yor.

Karvon ko’rdim, tuyalari bo’zlab kelar,
Nortuyada mani yorim izlab kelar.
Menga bergan va’dalari esdan chiqib,
Ostonasi tillo yurtni ko’zlab kelar

uzbek August 23, 2006 at 4:01 am

yvonnene, I enjoy listening to Sherali Juraev too. You can download ‘qora bumer’ at

Good luck…

Akmal salomov October 29, 2006 at 7:27 pm

Ismim Akmal uzim asli Tojikistonda tugilganman. Ota bobolarim fargonadan. Ayni vaktda Amerika kushma shtatlarida bir uzim bir amerika oilasida yashayabman. Oila menga juda yahshi munosabatda. Zerikgan paytlarimda Tjikistondan olib kelgan sherali Jurevning kassetalarini eshitaman ca vujudim ila his kilaman.
Uzim endi 16tiga kirdim. Kupchilik meni yoshimdagi bolalar bunaka kushiklarni esitmaydi. Lekin bu kushiklar hayotimning bir kismiga aylangan

Azizbek November 4, 2006 at 7:19 am

Hey wazzup i’m a son of an uzbek singer and my dad use to be really famous in uzbekistan and now we’re in canada i like my country better than canada (no effence) ya i’m only 11 years old man! do i love my country well have fun see ya!! peace out!

Akmal December 24, 2006 at 11:32 pm

I really don’t like recent uzbek songs even i’m uzbek. Cause the new songs doesn’t have an old strength. I love the old uzbek style.
All those recent singers are just cheaters. They don’t have their own
music. They just only copy and copy. And i still can’t understand why most uzbek teenagers likes them. It always makes me sick.
Why????? And also the words are very easy and slang words.
They all want only money. They only think about their budget. That is their goal.
I want to tell you that we are losing our culture. Who takes care
of it?!

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