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Iran Bans American Inspired Rappers

Updated on November 24, 2010

Iranian youth have proven difficult for the current Iranian regime to tame. They ban this or that to prevent American influences and culture, yet, look at any Iranian under 25 and you know it is not working. 

The latest is banning rap and hip-hop music not only from America but from Iranian artists influenced by the West. Iran's top rappers are Hichkas (means, nobody, in English) and Yas, with a devout, large following of fans. Banning American music is not new, it has been law since 1979, when the Ayatollah Khomeini first did this.

Iranian rap artists are inspired by Tupac and Eminem. They secretly record their material in vacant houses or basements, then produce the CD and sell it on the Black market. Last week, police raided many homes thought to have "secret recording studios" and busted several young rappers. In 2008, Iran produced a movies called, Shock, that showed Iranian rappers as drug addicts and sex perverts, all in an attempt to persuade others not to idolize any rapper or their music. Yet, in the same year, Hichkas, produced their first rap video and it spread like wildfire among the under 25 crowd. Since then, the rappers have become much more political and openly sing how corrupt Ahmadinejad is and how he rigged the recent summer election and more. Even women rappers are doing their thing, like Salome, a 25 yr old who appears in her video with no hijab covering her head! OMG! Her song, Don't Muddy the Water", challenges the Islamic way as it is now practiced in Iran. She rips into the mullahs and the fraudulent election. She is sick of being told what she can or cannot do. The videos are on YouTube.

Not only are the rappers being targeted, but also the heavy metal bands, which are prolific in the underground movement.

Iran should really look at the USSR from 1955+ and realize it is impossible to crush the spirit of youth. Russia banned The Beatles until the 80s, yet, its youth (including Putin) grew up secretly listening to them whenever and however they could. The power of music is enormous. For Iranian youth, it is a symbol of freedom, rebellion, and art. 

What makes Iran think they can prevent Iranian rappers and rockers? The more they attempt to crush, the more others will follow them, the more underground music will occur. Since Iran has over 30 million age 30 and under, the odds of winning this culture war is nil.


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