Iranian hip hop

Music of Iran
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Ethnic music
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National anthem

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 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.[7] Iranian underground rappers started by recording mixtapes, and later on combined hip hop with elements from Iranian classical music.[8][9]

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.[8] 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.[8] 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.[10][11]

Zedbazi, founded in April 2002, is known as the pioneer of gangsta rap in Iran.[12][13] 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.[14] They are also credited with starting a new movement in Iranian music.[15]

Bahram Nouraei, an underground and formerly arrested Iranian hip hop singer,[16][17] was listed as one of the "50 People Shaping The Culture Of The Middle East" by HuffPost in August 2012.[18] His most popular work, Inja Irane ("Here is Iran"), is described as a "poignant critique of the country" by Rolling Stone.[19]

Yas was the first Iranian rapper to be authorized to perform by the government.[20][21] 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".[22]


See also


  1. Sadaghiyani, Shima (February 6, 2017). "No one knows about Persian rap". The Michigan Daily.
  2. di Giovanni, Janine (August 16, 2016). "Iranian Rap Music Flourishes Underground Despite Strict Religious Laws in Tehran". Newsweek.
  3. Haidari, Nilu (January 23, 2017). "How Hip-Hop Connected the Iranian Diaspora and Taught Me to Swear in Farsi". Noisey.
  4. Arjomand, Noah (April 22, 2010). "Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran-Style". Frontline.
  5. "Why Iran is cracking down on rap music". The Daily Telegraph. November 10, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  6. Dagres, Holly (January 6, 2014). "Iran's thriving rap culture". Al-Monitor. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  7. "Iran's underground hip hop dance scene". France 24. August 29, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  8. 1 2 3 "پشت دیوار کیه؟ رپ ایرانی؟". Hamshahri (in Persian). Archived from the original on July 17, 2011.
  9. "روزنامه اعتماد ملی 85/6/28 – رپ ایرانی ، صدای اعتراض نیست". Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  10. "Hichkas on Sakkou" (in Persian). Sakkou. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  11. "Vaajkhonyaa on PHH". Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  12. "Rebels of rap reign in Iran". SFGate. April 16, 2008.
  13. "Iran's 'illegal' rappers want cultural revolution". The Independent. January 28, 2008.
  14. "Inside Iran's 'revolutionary' rap". Al Jazeera. September 9, 2014.
  15. Ahmadi, Ardeshir (director) (January 10, 2014). Zedbazi Documentary (Documentary film). Tehran.
  16. "Bahram, An Iranian Rapper". September 10, 2011.
  17. "Mideast Tunes Fall MENA Mix!". September 15, 2015.
  18. "50 People Shaping The Culture Of The Middle East". The Huffington Post. August 9, 2012.
  19. Ashcraft, Julie. "The Great Escape". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012.
  20. Kimball, Cody (October 19, 2008). "Iranian Rapper speaks of Peace at film screening". Western Herald. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  21. Cherayil, Neena (March 26, 2009). "Iranian Filmmaker Sarmast and Rapper YAS to Visit Campus". The Daily Gazette.
  22. Bondy, Halley (December 14, 2011). "YAS: Persian Rap Royalty". Archived from the original on April 27, 2013.
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