Iranian rapper talks a fine line

4 September 2004

Iranian rapper talks a fine line

He is more bow tie and suit than bling bling and Nikes, but Iran’s first rap performer is still managing to unnerve the Iranian religious authorities with his social criticism.

Chart-topping Shahkar Binesh-Pajouh targets unemployment, poverty and westernised Iranian girls in his new album, which the culture ministry took four years to approve. The ministry passed it only after he deleted six songs from his original ten.
“Iran’s officials were reluctant to give permission to rap music because of its critical language,” he said.

Officials imposed a two-year ban on his live acts in 1999 after hard-line vigilantes broke up one of his concerts at a Tehran music festival.

He is probably on safer ground with the religious authorities when talking about women. He pokes fun at girls who he thinks wear too much make-up.
“Lip-liner and lipstick are more vital than daily bread,” he raps. Iranian girls, he says, would be better off if they followed Persian traditions instead of being infatuated with Western fashions.

Story from The Scotsman

BBC News: Iran’s self-styled rapping aristocrat



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