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, but is also credited with inspirations from contemporary Iranian music.
Iranian hip hop emerged by the 2000s, from the country's capital city, Tehran. Iranian underground rappers started by recording mixtapes, and later on combined hip hop with elements from Iranian classical music.
Offering an accurate history of the underground activities of Iranian rappers would not be possible, especially due to the fact that such artists were always under pressure. However, it is likely to argue that Sorush Lashkari, better known by his stage name Hichkas, is one of the individuals who founded the 021 music group, which was one of the very first groups to record hip hop music in Iran. Hichkas has a unique theistic and nationalistic lyrical style, avoiding vulgar words while referring to social issues. His first album, Jangale Asfalt ("Asphalt Jungle"), was one of the first illegally published Iranian hip hop albums, and brought much recognition to his name in Iranian communities. It is also pertinent to point out to the fact that the 021 music group was co-founded by the Yashar and Shayan duo, who are now active as an underground band called Vaajkhonyaa.
Zedbazi, founded in April 2002, is known as the pioneer of gangsta rap in Iran. They rapidly achieved a huge popularity among the youth, due mainly to their controversial lyrics littered with profanities and depictions of sexual encounters and drug use. They are also 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"), is described as a "poignant critique of the country" by Rolling Stone.
Yas was the first Iranian rapper to be authorized to perform by the government. He reached a national fame by writing a song entitled CD ro Beshkan ("Break the Disk"), which was written about Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, a well-known Iranian actress who was the victim of a sex tape scandal that was getting widespread. On December 21, 2011, he was chosen by voters as the "Artist of the Week" on MTV, entitled "Tehran’s Hard-Hitting MC".
Mahdyar Aghajani and Hangi Tavakoli are known as the two key elements to Iranian hip-hop music. The producers had been creating some of the most controversial tracks, mainly criticizing Iranian government, which is a small reminder of what the Yashar and Shayan duo used to do, it contributed in the establishment of such a sub-genre in the society of Iran.
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