Persian Hip-Hop

Posted by on May 22, 2012

From the “things you didn’t know existed” department comes this music video by Iranian-Swedish hip-hop artist Arash. I first discovered the music of Arash while eating a chicken kabob (with extra tzatziki sauce, of course) at a nearby Mediterranean restaurant. The upbeat, authentic music was a nice touch. I don’t know about you, but I always find it terribly disappointing when I hear Kenny Loggins playing in the Chinese buffet.

One of the tracks had enough English in it that I was able to identify the song by searching for the lyrics. Once I located the album, I did what any connoisseur of strange snacks and purveyor of wacky weirdness would do: I downloaded the whole thing from my subscription music service and started listening to it. (They have everything on Rhapsody these days.) The mix of traditional Persian harmonies with aspects of modern pop proved to be very interesting, even if the lyrics were obviously simplistic. In spite of the exotic sound, this was clearly music for the masses.

Not satisfied with this extraordinary auditory experience, I wondered if there might be a music video to go along with any of these Persian pop pieces. Sure enough, there was, and it’s the one you see presented here. Like any good hip-hop video, it includes plenty of dancing, lots of costume changes, and a low-rider with hydraulic suspension. Be sure to also note the cleverly altered Hollywood sign as well as the cameo appearance from a papier-mâché Hulk. In case you don’t speak Farsi, the lyrics are basically: “I used to love you, but you were unfaithful. Go away. I don’t want to see you anymore. Go away. I love someone else now.” I hope you weren’t expecting more; this is hip-hop after all.

The music of Arash is popular in Sweden and Iran, as well as throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East. His albums have also sold well in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Armenia(!)

In conclusion, I won’t say, “boro boro,” because I don’t want you to go away. Keep checking back for more odd observations.

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