Iranian hip hop (Persian: هیپ‌هاپ ایرانی), also known to as Persian hip hop (هیپ‌هاپ فارسی),[1][2][3] refers to hip hop music developed in Iran (Persia) and in Persian language.[4][5][6] It is rooted in American hip hop culture, but it has sometimes incorporated local elements such as Iranian classical music and literature.[7]


Iranian hip hop originates from Tehran, the country's capital city, although a number of experimental works were recorded earlier by diasporan Iranian musicians, particularly in Los Angeles.[8] Iranian rappers started out by recording mixtapes. Some combined hip hop with Iranian elements, such as Iran's classical music.[7] Hip hop music in Iran has often been an underground movement. On several occasions, recording studios have been shut down, websites have been blocked, and artists have been arrested.[9][10] Only a few works have been officially approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.[11] Hip hop dance is also present in underground movements, with few performances having received limited permission.[12]

Iran's premier rap group, 021, named after the telephone area code of Tehran, was founded during the late 1990s.[6] Hichkas, the lead figure of this group, came to be one of Iran's earliest renowned rappers, and therefore nicknamed the Father of Persian Rap.[7] His well-received album Jangale Asfalt ("Asphalt Jungle"), produced by Mahdyar Aghajani, was the first Iranian hip hop album. It incorporated a fusion with traditional Persian harmonies and contributed remarkably to the evolution of hip hop in Iran.[7][13][14] Hichkas co-founded 021 music group with Yashar and Shayan duo but they later separated from the group and created their own group renamed Vaajkhonyaa. Hichkas, Mehrak Reveal, Reza Pishro, Ali Quf, Ashkan Fadaei and Mahdyar Aghajani became the prominent members of 021.[15][16]

Zedbazi, founded officially in April 2002, is regarded as the pioneer of gangsta rap in Iran.[9][10] The band quickly gained a huge popularity among the youth, due mainly to their use of explicit lyrics, littered with profanity and depictions of sex and drug use.[17] They are credited with starting a new movement in Iranian music.[18]

Bahram Nouraei, who was once arrested,[19][20] was listed as one of the "50 People Shaping The Culture Of The Middle East" by HuffPost in August 2012.[21] His most popular work, Inja Irane ("Here is Iran"), was described as a "poignant critique of the country" by Rolling Stone.[22]

Amir tataloo is most popular Iranian singer in the rap and R and B . He has been active in different styles of music .

Yas was the first Iranian rapper to be authorized to perform in Iran.[23][24] He reached national fame through his song CD ro Beshkan ("Break the Disk"), which was written about an Iranian actress who was subjected to a sex tape scandal. On 21 December 2011, he was chosen by voters as the "Artist of the Week" on MTV, entitled "Tehran's Hard-Hitting MC".[25]

The restrictions have been more stringent on women. Salome MC, who started her career collaborating with Hichkas,[6] was one of the first women to contribute to Iranian hip hop.[9][10][26] She was named as an influential and "revolutionizing" artist by MTV and Time.[27][28]


See also


  1. ^ Sadaghiyani, Shima (6 February 2017). "No one knows about Persian rap". The Michigan Daily.
  2. ^ di Giovanni, Janine (16 August 2016). "Iranian Rap Music Flourishes Underground Despite Strict Religious Laws in Tehran". Newsweek.
  3. ^ Haidari, Nilu (23 January 2017). "How Hip-Hop Connected the Iranian Diaspora and Taught Me to Swear in Farsi". Noisey.
  4. ^ Arjomand, Noah (22 April 2010). "Rap in the Capital: Hip-Hop Tehran-Style". Frontline.
  5. ^ "Why Iran is cracking down on rap music". The Daily Telegraph. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Dagres, Holly (6 January 2014). "Iran's thriving rap culture". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d "پشت دیوار کیه؟ رپ ایرانی؟". Hamshahri (in Persian). Archived from the original on 17 July 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "ریویل، رپ خون ایرانی در لندن" [Reveal, Iranian Rapper in London]. BBC Persian. 12 May 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "Rebels of rap reign in Iran". SFGate. 16 April 2008.
  10. ^ a b c "Iran's 'illegal' rappers want cultural revolution". The Independent. 28 January 2008.
  11. ^ "روزنامه اعتماد ملی 85/6/28 – رپ ایرانی ، صدای اعتراض نیست". Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Iran's underground hip hop dance scene". France 24. 29 August 2013.
  13. ^ Shahrad, Cyrus. "Hichkas the prophet of protest". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Social Networking Sites Aid Iranians Trying to Assert Identity". Voice of America. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Hichkas on Sakkou" (in Persian). Sakkou. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Vaajkhonyaa on PHH". Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Inside Iran's 'revolutionary' rap". Al Jazeera. 9 September 2014.
  18. ^ Ahmadi, Ardeshir (director) (10 January 2014). Zedbazi Documentary (Documentary film). Tehran.
  19. ^ "Bahram, An Iranian Rapper". 10 September 2011. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Mideast Tunes Fall MENA Mix!". 15 September 2015.
  21. ^ "50 People Shaping The Culture Of The Middle East". The Huffington Post. 9 August 2012.
  22. ^ Ashcraft, Julie. "The Great Escape". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  23. ^ Kimball, Cody (19 October 2008). "Iranian Rapper speaks of Peace at film screening". Western Herald. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  24. ^ Cherayil, Neena (26 March 2009). "Iranian Filmmaker Sarmast and Rapper YAS to Visit Campus". The Daily Gazette.
  25. ^ Bondy, Halley (14 December 2011). "YAS: Persian Rap Royalty". Archived from the original on 7 January 2012.
  26. ^ Khaleeli, Homa (10 May 2011). "Salome: straight outta Tehran". The Guardian.
  27. ^ "15 Rappers Who Kill It In Other Languages". MTV. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  28. ^ "World Rappers You Should Meet". Time Magazine. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2016.