|Iranian police have been instructed to close rap studios in an official nationwide campaign to stamp out “obscene” rap music. A similar crackdown on online access to rap music in Farsi langauge is in the cards, reports Agence France Presse and BBC News.
In an attempt to maintain what the Iranian government defines as Islamic values, a large number of Iranian rappers have been warned that their music is considered “illegal” due to their use of “obscene words”. An official at Iran’s Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, Mohammad Dashtgoli, was quoted by the official Islamic Republic News Agency as saying that a “large number” of illegal rap artists already had been identified and that from now on illegal rap studios would be sealed and the rap singers “confronted”.
Rap music in Farsi, called ‘Rap-e-Fars’, is increasingly popular among young men in Tehran – with lyrics covering political, social and sexual themes, inspired by the Iranian exile community in Los Angeles. Most of the music is circulated through a growing underground market for rap.
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The Independent – 28 January 2008: