Iran: ‘Rap-e-Fars’ – Persian rap and the Iranian rap scene

17 September 2007

Persian rap still illegal

In May 2007, the web site World Music Central published an article about rappers in Iran. Amir Azizmohamadi describes the Persian rap, ‘Rap-e Fars’, as “underground, unofficial, and illegal”. However, the Persian rap scene is alive and kicking – vigorous and musically stunning.


‘Rap-e-Fars’ is very popular among Iranian teenagers. The lyrics are about poverty, unemployment, addiction, prostitution, child labour, economic corruption, homelessness, the Iran-Iraq war and the soldiers killed in the fronts. The rappers also portray young people’s everyday life, describing parties and neighbourhoods – uniquely reflecting what life in Iran is like today.

No instruments on state TV
Azizmohamadi writes: “The Iranian government has never had a brilliant track record in its dealings with music in general. During the Islamic revolution in Iran, pop singers accounted for a big proportion of political exiles and escapees. Over the last three decades, not even once a musical instrument has been displayed on the state TV. More socially accepted forms of music than rap, like pop and rock, are aging in lengthy queues ‘before the law’ for concert permits. No. The government does not seem to be willing to even start flirting with the idea of legalizing rap even in the far future.”

Read the article in full length

World Music Central – 31 May 2007:
“The Loneliness of an Iranian Rapper”


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