Iranian hip hop

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Iranian hip hop or Persian hip hop is a style of hip hop music developed in Iran.[1][2][3] It is influenced by the American hip hop, but it is also credited with inspiration from the contemporary Iranian music.


Persian hip hop emerged in the 2000s, from Tehran, the capital of Iran.[4]

The rap group 021 (also known as 021 Music) was one of the very first groups performing hip hop music based in Tehran, which has taken its name from the area code of Tehran City, and was founded by Soroush Lashkary, better known by his stage name, Hichkas.[5] He uses elements of Persian traditional music combined with hip hop[6][7] and has a unique theistic and nationalistic lyrical style, avoiding vulgar words while referring to social issues.[6] His first Album, Asphalt Jungle (Persian: Jangal e Āsfālt‎‎), was one of the first Persian rap albums in Iran and brought much recognition to his name in Iranian communities.[6] In 2009, Hichkas appeared in the movie No One Knows About Persian Cats which explored the subject of Iran's underground music scene.

In a society where rap music is considered forbidden, Bahram Nouraei has been able to break all social and political barriers, and successfully establish himself as one of the premier Hip hop artists in Iranian underground music movement.[8] He is also named as one of the 50 most influential people shaping the culture of the Middle East by Huffington post and Al-Monitor.[9][10] His debut album "24 Sa'at" (In Persian: 24 ساعت) (In English: 24 Hours) released in August 2008 containing the track "Inja Irane" (In Persian: اینجا ایرانه) (In English: Here's Iran) which is described as a powerful commentary on modern-day of Iran by Rolling Stone.[11][12][13] His second studio album "Sokoot" (In Persian: سکوت) (In English: Silence) released in 2011 containing the first Iranian abstract hip hop track called "Khorshid Khanoom" (In Persian: خورشید خانم) (In English: Lady Sunshine) written in the form of a monologue with the sun in a chronological order.[14][15]

Yaser Bakhtiari, better known as his stage name, Yas, is the first Iranian rapper who received the release license from the Ministry of Ershad and authorized to perform by the Iranian government, and is one of the most popular rappers in Iran.[16][17][18] He uses poetic imagery delivered through an impassioned, at times ferocious, flow to communicate uplifting rhymes about his culture and people. Yas was chosen by the voters as the Artist of the Week in MTV IGGY, entitled "Tehran’s Hard-Hitting MC", on December 21, 2011.[19]

A 30-second preview of Erfan's Nemitooni Band Koni Paamo Be Zamin (Ft. Paya)

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A sample of the song Zamin Sāfe by Zedbazi

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By the April 2002, another Persian hip hop band called Zedbazi, which was founded by Saman Rezapour and Mehrad Mostowfi, started casually by a couple of songs shared between their friends. Soon, they were heard by a large audience across the country, due to their controversial lyrics, and became one of the most popular hip hop bands in Iran. Zedbazi is considered as the first music group in Iran to use such explicit language in their music. They are also credited with starting a new movement in Iranian music, and in the song Iroonie L.A., the group lyrically attacks the Iranian music industry in Los Angeles.[20]

A few other performers include Erfan, Pishro, Ho3ein, Sorena, Zedbazi, Kaardo, Shayea, Sadegh, Tik Taak and Fadaei.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran-Style - Tehran Bureau | FRONTLINE". PBS. 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  2. ^ "Why Iran is cracking down on rap music". Telegraph. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  3. ^ "Iran's thriving rap culture - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Iran's underground hip hop dance scene | The FRANCE 24 Observers". 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  5. ^ "Hichkas on Sakkou - Manoto 1 TV". 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  6. ^ a b c [1] Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "روزنامه اعتماد ملي85/6/28: رپ ايراني ، صداي اعتراض نيست". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  8. ^ San Francisco's Iranian Film Festival| Bahram, An Iranian Rapper | Official Trailer
  9. ^ Bahram Nouraei | Iran (Rap & Hip Hop) | Al-Monitor
  10. ^ 50 People Shaping The Culture Of The Middle East | Huffington Post | Aug 2012
  11. ^ Interview With Rolling Stone | By Julie Ashcraft Feb 2012
  12. ^ Bahram Nouraei's Official Account On Soundcloud
  13. ^ [2] Bahram Nouraei's Official Biography
  14. ^ [3] Bahram Nouraei's Official Soundcloud Account
  15. ^ [4] Official Biography
  16. ^ Retrieved April 21, 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  17. ^ Kimball, Cody (2008-10-19). "Iranian Rapper speaks of Peace at film screening - Western Herald: News". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  18. ^ [5][dead link]
  19. ^ Bondy, Halley (2011-12-14). "YAS: Persian Rap Royalty". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  20. ^ "Biography - Zedbazi Official Website". 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2015-06-17. 

External links[edit]