The only difference between the rap offered by Sandy and Deev is that the latter has political, violent and racist lyrics
November 7, 2005
Rap music is one of the biggest and an important part of Afro American subculture called Hip-Hop culture, which is also comprised of graffiti art, break dancing, fashion, attitude, and basically the lifestyle of the people who subscribe to its' mores and traditions. Rap is a musical art form that has been growing ever more popular since it first appeared on the radar around 20 or so years ago in the United States. With its popularity, the Hip-Hop culture has spread all over the world to a point where it even entered the Iranian music scene around 10 years ago by a commercial band called Sandy.
However in contrast to Iranian Rock and Alternative music scene that has been evolving so rapidly over the past few years, Persian Rap still seems to be stuck exactly where Sandy was a decade ago with impersonal and somewhat humorous lyrics, with no social relevance, laid on some synthetic rhythms. It sounded idiotic back then and it still does today.
Every art form has its ground and roots and its own public. Hip-Hop has always had its roots in the heart of the ghettos and the streets where misery and poverty is everyday life. That is the place where the socially relevant words form in the minds of the youth and become a message that is expressed through rhythms and blues. This is exactly what our Persian rappers are missing, the connection with the youth of the streets of Tehran.
Thirty-one-year-old Deev [deev.org], who lives in the United States, entered the rap scene last year by promoting his one song and himself as a "true Iranian MC". When I first heard his one single track called "Dastaa Baalaa" I was so disappointed and angry that yet another Sandy had appeared on the Net. The only difference between the rap offered by Sandy and Deev is that the latter has political, violent and racist lyrics.
The following is the translation of a portion of "Dastaa Baalaa":
... from the grasp of this evil
my country is burning at their shameless' hand
... it's time to topple you with an uprising
it's time for your public execution
know that this is not a threat, it's just a message!
And this only happens to be a part of his message for the freedom and liberty of our country! Quite a peaceful man, isn't he? It is not my business to review his belief but when he defends himself on his web site by announcing that he is not a racist against Arabs, and all that he wants is to express his love for the Persian culture that has been taken over by Arab culture, then it makes me wonder about his claims.
Deev seems to have forgotten that he is using the Afro American art form, Rap music, to save our Persian culture, from the Arabs! I personally believe that Western culture is the most progressive and vital culture and that's why it is the dominating one today and I have nothing against letting our culture as the older and non-progressive one become a crossover for giving birth to a new and living culture. But dear Mr Deev, how about some perspective? So is it just fine to be influenced by the Yankees, but simply not those Arabs?
Musically, Deev seems to have no idea what Rap music or Hip Hop is about. "Dastaa Baalaa" consists of a sample of a boring drum machine, which goes on and on forever with a sound of a keyboard in the background that has no creativity of any kind whatsoever. It is the experimental part of Hip-Hop, from Scratching to Sampling and different styles of rapping that gives it the interesting and colorful sound. Of course I'm not talking about the ones that are played all the time on MTV which get their color from experimenting with the shapes and sizes of butts and breasts.
What you get from Deev in the track "Dastaa Baalaa" is a music that has no roots in its own generation, with only some hot political sound bites and nothing more. However, there is always hope. What Deev should do to in my opinion to progress on the path of becoming a real Persian Rapper is:
1- Take a trip to Iran and live among the Iranian youth in the streets and write your lyrics in the heart of the everyday life of Tehran, and not in the heart of the USA, where your home is!
2- Learn more about the Hip-Hop culture and hopefully if you don't hate Afro Americans, try to become one of them in order to learn and feel the rhythms and philosophy of the real Hip-Hop style!
3- Free your mind.
I hope that Deev -- if he plans to continue working in this field -- h\would show us some signs of creativity with his music, and frankly whatever he wants to say or express then, is his own business.