Saturday, January 18, 2020

The rap of the Iranian revolution

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Hichkas, here in concert in Malaysia in 2010. Khodayar Sheibani

The song had the effect of a bomb: nine days after its publication, it was listened to by 243,000 listeners on the Soundcloud audio platform and retweeted almost 8,000 times. On December 10, 2019, the very popular Iranian rapper Soroush Lashkary, known by his stage name Hichkas ("person" in French), released his most political song, Dastasho Mosht Karde ("He clenched his fist"), in reaction to the repression of the recent protest movement in Iran.

At least 300 dead and thousands of arrests

A month earlier, rising gas prices had brought Iranians to the streets. Riot forces, regular police and Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of Tehran, had not hesitated, from the first hours, to quell this mobilization in violence. As of November 16, the Internet was cut across the country for at least a week.

"We decided to stop working on our new album to compose a song about what was going on. An audio document to go down in history. »Hichkas

Iran, cut off from the rest of the world, has sunk into unprecedented darkness. Only people close to power and a few connoisseurs managed to get around the blockage and connect to the Internet. On December 16, Amnesty International released its latest report, citing "At least 304 dead" and thousands of arrests, including 15-year-old children.

Information about the dead and the intensity of the repression filtered in bits and pieces over the telephone networks, fixed or mobile, which worked. "We saw that a massacre was happening in Iran, explains the Iranian composer of Hichkas, Mahdyar Aghajani, 30 years old and living in Paris since 2009. So we decided to stop working on our new album to compose a song about what was going on. An audio document to go down in history. "

In its text, all the evils of the country

In a five-minute piece, Soroush Lashkary, who has emigrated to London since 2011, denounces all the evils of his country: poverty, nepotism, corruption of the leaders, their policy of interference in the region and repression. He describes his country as a country "Colonized" or "Not even a penny is spent on the people" and where the authorities "Hardly want citizens, but slaves".

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