According to our colleagues at Freemuse, in the 3.5 years the organisation has been monitoring authority abuse on rappers around the world, they have found at least 60 international rappers to have been detained, harassed, jailed and now facing legal consequences.
Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi is one of these people. Freemuse accounts that he was detained and later released on bail, but now facing charges for “spreading propaganda against the [Iranian] state. In his song Normal Life he addresses worker’s strikes, corruption and imprisonments in his country.
Nokrolik is a 22 year old rapper from Belarus and another victim of authoritarian oppression against artists. Recently he was sentenced to spend a year in jail for questioning the president’s intelligence in one of his new songs. This appearantly scared the little president man very much. Enough so that when Nokrolik will have finished his sentence he will be deported out of Belarus.
Please share the music of these artists and help spread their word. Find out more about Freemuse’s campaign to raise awareness about oppressed rappers via their tRAPped campaign.
This Thursday, 12th of November, there are two online events that possibly can interest Shouts’ readers. The first event is a talk given by Nahid Siamdoust, as part of her fellowship at Harvard’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program. She will talk about “the ban on women’s solo vocals in Iran.”
In Iran the Islamic government restricts women from performing their music alone on stage. For one musician, Farzane Zamen, this drove her out of her home country and eventually forced her to seek asylum in Scotland.
Today she is a working musician in that foreign place. Time will only tell if she will be safe to travel back to Iran but until then she will continue to make her music.