Iranian hip hop

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Iranian hip hop, also referred to as Persian hip hop,[1][2][3] refers to hip hop music developed in Iran.[4][5][6] It is rooted in American hip hop music, but is also credited with inspirations from contemporary Iranian music.


Iranian hip hop emerged by the 2000s, from Tehran, the capital of Iran.[7]

The music group 021 was one of the very first groups performing hip hop music in Iran. It was founded by Soroush Lashkari, better known by his stage name Hichkas.[8] He combines hip hop with elements from Iranian classical music,[9][10] and has a unique theistic and nationalistic lyrical style, avoiding vulgar words while referring to social issues.[9] His first album Jangale Asfalt ("Asphalt Jungle") was one of the first Iranian hip hop albums, and brought much recognition to his name in Iranian communities.[9]

Zedbazi, founded in April 2002, is known as the pioneer of gangsta rap in Iran.[11][12] 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.[13] They are also credited with starting a new movement in Iranian music.[14]

Bahram, an underground Iranian hip hop singer,[15] is named as "one of the 50 most influential people shaping the culture of the Middle East" by The Huffington Post and Al-Monitor.[16][17] His debut album 24 Saat ("24 Hours"), released in August 2008, was described as a powerful commentary on the modern-day of Iran by Rolling Stone.[18]

Yas was the first Iranian rapper to be authorized to perform by the Iranian government.[19][20] On December 21, 2011, he was chosen by voters as the Artist of the Week on MTV Iggy, entitled "Tehran’s Hard-Hitting MC".[21]

Hangi Tavakoli is one of the founders of old school hip hop in Iran. Because of the harassments caused by Iran's former government he had to leave the country in 2011[22]. Now he is running his music label Flipside Production in one of south east Asian countries and working with international artistes. [23]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "No one knows about Persian rap". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  2. ^ AM, Janine di Giovanni On 8/16/16 at 11:42 (2016-08-16). "Exiled Iranian rappers are revolutionizing the underground hip-hop scene in Tehran". Newsweek. Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  3. ^ "How Hip-Hop Connected the Iranian Diaspora and Taught Me to Swear in Farsi". Noisey. Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  4. ^ "Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran-Style - Tehran Bureau | FRONTLINE". PBS. 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  5. ^ "Why Iran is cracking down on rap music". Telegraph. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Iran's thriving rap culture - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  7. ^ "Iran’s underground hip hop dance scene | The FRANCE 24 Observers". 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  8. ^ "Hichkas on Sakkou - Manoto 1 TV". 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  9. ^ a b c [1] Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "روزنامه اعتماد ملي85/6/28: رپ ايراني ، صداي اعتراض نيست". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  11. ^ Rebels of rap reign in Iran
  12. ^ Iran's 'illegal' rappers want cultural revolution
  13. ^ Al Jazeera: Inside Iran's 'revolutionary' rap – September 2014
  14. ^ Ahmadi, Ardeshir (director). Zedbazi Documentary (Documentary film). Tehran. 
  15. ^ San Francisco's Iranian Film Festival| Bahram, An Iranian Rapper | Official Trailer
  16. ^ Bahram Nouraei | Iran (Rap & Hip Hop) | Al-Monitor
  17. ^ 50 People Shaping The Culture Of The Middle East | Huffington Post | Aug 2012
  18. ^ Ashcraft, Julie (Feb 2012). "Article:The Great Escape". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. 
  19. ^ Kimball, Cody (2008-10-19). "Iranian Rapper speaks of Peace at film screening - Western Herald: News". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  20. ^ Cherayil, Neena (March 26, 2009). "Iranian Filmmaker Sarmast and Rapper YAS to Visit Campus". The Daily Gazette. 
  21. ^ Bondy, Halley (2011-12-14). "YAS: Persian Rap Royalty". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  22. ^ "Hangi Tavakoli". Flipside. Retrieved 2017-05-18. 
  23. ^ These Days, 2017-02-15, retrieved 2017-05-18