Iranian hip hop
|Music of Iran|
|Media and performance|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
Iranian hip hop, also referred to as Persian hip hop, refers to hip hop music developed in Iran. It is rooted in American hip hop culture, although homegrown Iranian elements have also been incorporated.
Iranian hip hop originates from Tehran, the country's capital city, although a number of experimental works were recorded earlier by diasporan Iranian musicians based in Los Angeles. Iranian rappers started out by recording mixtapes influenced by their western counterparts. Some combined hip hop with Iranian elements, including Iran's classical music. Hip hop music industry in Iran has usually been restricted to an underground scene. On several occasions, recording studios have been shut down, websites have been blocked, and artists have been arrested. Only a few works have managed to get officially sanctioned by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Hip-hop dance is also present in underground movements, with some performances having received limited permission.
Iran's premier rap group, 021, named after the telephone area code of Tehran, was founded during the 1990s. Hichkas, the lead figure of this group, came to be one of Iran's earliest renowned rappers. His well-received album Jangale Asfalt ("Asphalt Jungle"), produced by Mahdyar Aghajani, incorporated a fusion with Middle Eastern harmonies and contributed remarkably to the evolution of Iranian hip hop. The 021 music group was co-founded by the Yashar and Shayan duo, later renamed Vaajkhonyaa.
Zedbazi, founded in April 2002, is regarded as the pioneer of gangsta rap in Iran. The band quickly gained a huge popularity among the youth, due mainly to their use of explicit lyrics, littered with profanity and depictions of sex and drug use. They are credited with starting a new movement in Iranian music.
Bahram Nouraei, an underground and formerly arrested Iranian hip hop singer, was listed as one of the "50 People Shaping The Culture Of The Middle East" by HuffPost in August 2012. His most popular work, Inja Irane ("Here is Iran"), was described as a "poignant critique of the country" by Rolling Stone.
Yas was the first Iranian rapper to be authorized to perform in Iran. He reached national fame through his work CD ro Beshkan ("Break the Disk"), which was written about an Iranian actress who was subjected to a sex tape scandal. On 21 December 2011, he was chosen by voters as the "Artist of the Week" on MTV, entitled "Tehran's Hard-Hitting MC".
Despite the more stringent restrictions on women, Salome MC became a pioneer among women who contributed to Iranian hip hop music. She started her career collaborating with Hichkas, and later moved outside Iran and had a few performances.
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