Kings of Rap Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Ukrainian cinema continues to develop even during the war. Of course, he does this in spite of circumstances rather than because of them. Many projects have been put on pause, and some will never see the light of day. The more valuable each Ukrainian premiere is. Especially if it is not directly related to the theme of war, because modern Ukrainian culture needs a variety of films. “Kings of Rap” is just one of these unexpected works. We’ll tell you in our review how it turned out.

Pros: a well-grounded and understandable story for everyone; high-quality directing and camera work; an excellent soundtrack that will potentially open up the world of modern Ukrainian music for you. Cons: the script leaves some storylines without completion; quite depressing main message

“Kings of Rap” / Kings of Rap

Genre crime drama
Directed by Miroslav Latyk
Starring Mikhail Dzyuba, Anton Velboy (WELLBOY), Irma Vitovskaya, Karina Khimchuk, Yuri Kulinich, Dmitry Khomyak, Andrey Boris
Premiere cinemas
Release year 2023
IMDb website

Seventeen-year-old graduate Kazan (Mikhail Dzyuba) dreams of becoming a rapper. For her sake, he and his friend (Anton Velba) are trying to write beats and lyrics. Kazan is also in love with his friend Sveta (Karina Khimchuk), and tries to impress her with his rapping skills. Only in the protagonist’s native village, rap is unable to bring either money or fame. Therefore, Kazan gradually gets involved in dangerous connections with crime, which increasingly alienate him from his dream.

“Kings of Rap” is not even close to “8 Mile” and other similar films about the rap scene. Even though there is a lot of rap here, it acts more as a stylistic element than as a driving force of the story. Therefore, if you are primarily interested in rap battles and the nuances of beat writing, then you need some other film.

“Kings of Rap” is the life story of one man, whose pursuit of a dream and its easy realization led to sad consequences. Here we don’t even have a completely crime drama, even though the suppression of the law plays a leading role in the script, and the drama is simple and human.

The creation of such a tone is helped by the fact that all the characters in the film are ordinary people. You probably had at least one acquaintance of Kazan’s type. A simple guy who wants more but doesn’t know how to get it. Rough and stupid, but sincere, with his own code of honor and kindness towards loved ones.

The entire film is imbued with closeness to ordinary people. He does not pose unnecessarily complex questions, but at the same time he does not give obvious answers. After all, the problems faced by local heroes cannot be solved by obvious actions. And the protagonist himself seems to be doing everything to make his situation even worse.

“The Kings of Rap” tell an accessible and “boyish” story, but they do it masterfully. For this we should thank director Miroslav Latyk, who even in “Maxim Osa” showed his love for experimenting with cinematography. The “Kings of Rap” are also not afraid of visual and semantic experiments, which only benefit the story.

And this despite the fact that the script cannot be called perfect. There are plenty of blank spots in it, which the authors left for the viewers to enjoy. The reaction during the premiere showed that not everyone is happy with this approach. Because for some storylines you really want more clarity. But this moment does not interfere too much with the main messages of the film.

And “Kings of Rap” has an excellent soundtrack, which, oddly enough, does not consist of only rap. The film crew licensed a variety of tracks from Ukrainian musical artists, which perfectly complement the local atmosphere. The original compositions also do not lag behind in quality.

And we can again grumble a little that Ukrainian cinema is once again giving us something sad and depressing. But this is taking into account that there are enough positive episodes in “The Kings of Rap”. Tragicomedy is an extremely difficult genre to implement, but the film crew managed to bring it to life on the big screen.

When watching it, it is impossible to avoid some parallels with “Luxembourg, Luxembourg”. Here you have the involvement of musical performers in acting, and the concentration on ordinary people with everyday problems. But “Kings of Rap” is a somewhat more serious and darker movie.

After the credits roll, heavy emotions remain inside. But they are alive and strong, which proves the effectiveness of the film’s influence on the hearts of viewers.


“Kings of Rap” shows how just one questionable decision can ruin several lives at once. This is not the most original idea in the world, but here it is implemented so well and is accessible to everyone that it is as if you are imbued with it all over again. And all this – in the format of high-quality Ukrainian cinema, which definitely deserves your attention, even if you hate rap

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