The Godfather of Russian Rap

Long before the birth of MC Pavlov, Alexei Pavlov went through a spiritual rebirth when he became a Hare Krishna devotee in the mid-1980's. The first among his friends to start smoking and drinking (at age 14), he was also the first to give those habits up, quitting cold at age 20 because he already realized he was "doing it too much," he says.

Soon after, Pavlov met a man who was distributing photocopies of the Bhagavad-Gita, the 5,000-year-old scripture of the Krishna faith. He struck up a conversation with the man, and told him of his recent conversion to clean living. "So, you've given up smoking and drinking," said the man. "Now it's time to give up eating meat." "Why?" asked Pavlov. "Because it's nothing but dead flesh," said the man. And from that moment on, says Pavlov, he has not had a bite of meat, fish or eggs. "It's dead flesh!" he says, with his characteristic conviction. "Oh, man, it's so simple! Who wants to put dead, rotting flesh in their mouth? As soon as he said that, I couldn't even imagine eating meat anymore."