Mehrak Golestan

Documentary on rapper in UK

I'd like to share with you a short documentary that we recently produced here at Current TV about the Iranian rapper -- Mehrak Golestan, who is actually the son of the late famous photo-journalist Kaveh Golestan. In this piece, he shares with us his story of moving to London from Tehran while his father worked for the Times during the Iran-Iraq War. His music became all about revealing the truth and was heavy impacted by his father's depiction of media censorship in Iran. With the current ban on rap music in Iran, there is much controversy on the intention of the music. For Mehrak, Persian rap isn't about politics; it's about the identity of being Persian in a post-revolution Iran.



The way each individual mind

by parastoo_karimi on

The way each individual mind works is baffling... But if you listen to
Mehrak rap, its his form of poetry, his words are from the heart. Never
judge a person by how they look or what they appear, the content of
character is the most important thing and clearly Mehrak has that.
Damesh garm!! Mehrak isnt acting like a thug, Mehrak is himself he
doesnt pretend to be anyone else. Look at his video and you see a
person who is genuine and as someone who knows him I can back that up.
Mehrak is an inspiration, never to give up, to always achieve, to
always work hard and NEVER give up. And personally I beleieve thats the
right message to be sending out. And the signs they are doing is 021!!
Which symbolises something to the youth of Iran and clearly by judging
about so called 'gang signs' you appear to be a narrow minded
individual, who follows a status quo then really making a differnce.



by Lowkey (not verified) on


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I was thinking the same thing.



Listen to the Deputy DA...

by faryarm on

Listen to the Deputy DA...he can surely tell us about the real world of Mehrak's generation...

Mehrak's poems are a cry of desperation of  innocent youth...with  street culture as his parental guidance...his lyrics mirroring the cesspool of the society he and other expat iranian  kids are growing up in...

I am sure his father is his Guardian Angel... 



Best of luck Mehrak.

by TY (not verified) on

Best of luck Mehrak.



by Anonymouspersian (not verified) on

Thug imagery?!!!! ummm maybe its the whole american biritsh accent thing but are you actually able to understand the words they say or do u just hear the music, not understand it and make assumptions!!! and i think u didnt really understand the piece, the Persian rappers work from within Iran not from london, Reveal is an exception, his case is diffrant.

And as far as being Genltle kids who would not last in the hood, lets not start judging people we really dont know anything about!

And as for 021 being a gang sign , thats just ignorant, learn what these youngsters stand for and what they represent before you accuse them of the wrong things!


> ye soal

by Another Lost Iranian in France (not verified) on

Why is it that young iranians in the UK act like black thugs ? Can somebody explain that to me ? I'm not talking about this dude only, but in general. Just browse some dating sites like Iranian Personals or NewPersia (although this one is really cheezy...anyways) and you'll see what I'm talking about.


Sorry if I am bemused.

by Bache Pooldar turned activist (not verified) on

I'm sorry but are the two kids flashing gang signs? As a Deputy DA who has done his time on the Gang Task Force unit in Los Angeles I don't find that amusing in the slightest. I wish these kids could spend a day going out to the crime scenes I've been to, and realized that the hand gestures they are making are a symbol of death, and cause nothing but grief and sorrow for a number of families. The way I look at it, the kids in Echo Park and Compton don't have a choice, but these kids who's parents sacrificed everything to get them out of Iran, only see them attracted to a "pop culture of death" this has got to be the most heart breaking thing I've witnessed.

I've prosecuted my share of gang members, but I've never lost sight of the fact that those kids given the opportunity could have made something of themselves.

These kids are a tragedy. . .they were given every opportunity through their parents' sacrifice and opted for the thug imagery they portray. The reality is these are probably gentle kids who would not last a minute in "the hood"

Nevertheless I find kids living in London and rapping about the oppression in Iran amusing, if not drole.


A found a poem too...

by revealFan (not verified) on

this is Mehrak's verse from a song with Hich-Kas called "dideh o del", is this "crass commercial culture"? I'll leave you to decide:

I'm like the reed flute I tell a tale of seperation/

Let me explain the statement/

Thats a reference to my mental state when/

I see tragedys but feel no sensation/

Desensitized by events in life is the only explanation/

No revelation, half of my lifes been sufferation/

From the loss of loved ones to my peers incarceraton/

Sleepless nights I lay awake in contemplation/

Debating the purpose of our existance and nature of our creation/

Half the world caved in and gave in to Satan/

the other half still waiting on Angels to save them/

Look deeper dont believe in just the stereotype/

God aint there in the sky, He's there in your mind/

Heaven and Hell aint destinations, they'r there in your life/

To reach Heaven you go through Hell so prepare for the strife/

They want me dead like Hallaj because I speak the whole truth/

In 22 years I'v seen more than im supposed to/
From street wars we grew and reformed/

My people came together to work as one like 30 birds forming the Simorgh/

Dont get confused we're not just rappers/

In the studio we dont record tracks we perform Sama/
Submerge the self and kill the Ego/

Ultimate Jihad is against yourself not other people

- Reveal, "Dideh o Del" feat. Hich-Kas copyright 2006 - 2008



by number1persian (not verified) on

give it a rest with the holier than thou comments! the fact you find the way he speaks strange just proves that you haven't been around everyday people before! as for "pop" this is anything but, its a nice change from the usual gelled hair tight t shirt wearing LA croonies that we usually see...way to go Mehrak! dont let comments like the ones below stop you, those type of people are the reason that modern Persian culture is caught in the time loop that its currently in....


He's awesome and so was his

by skatermom (not verified) on

He's awesome and so was his father. That's the problem with us Iranians we're so in to ancestor worship that we can't admire what's unconventional. Creativity is thwarted in every aspect of our culture. Poetry is essential to us. It doesn't have to be translated through a dead man who has been quoted ad nauseum. It can be translated through a young hip kid. Frankly I'd rather download Mehrak than Shajarian any day.


I found this poem somewhat relevent to the world today!!

by Anonymousnari (not verified) on

Like a Torch

"devil she is
no match for her you are
she will take you with ease
to a world dark and far

she will prey on you, you will be lost
she will turn your house into utter dust
yet so ever deceivingly gentle
so ever deceivingly soft

to the beast, is her sanity
civil, crafty, lusty not humanity
her light is dark, you will see
in the light of her darkness you will be

she is oblivion, that's what she is
busy yourself with her,
oblivion is what she gives

and the heart not enlightened
with fear she will seize"

Copyright ©2008 k


Well done!

by reza bagheri nejad (not verified) on

Wow, was really blown away by this film, its really sad to see narrow minded people here who feel that they must condem anything which they do not understand, as a 35 year old social worker who mostly listens to Jazz and classical I may not be able to catch the vibe of the rap music but the point that many of our friends here seem to be missing is that this is a musical form that has captured the ears of out young generation and instead of condemming that which we do not fully understand it is better to congragulate those who take a responsibility in their art.

maybe you should take some time to listen to the lyrics of the artist, I found him to be deeply moving in tracks where he talks about the death of his father.

also as someone who deals with many young people from many walks of life in the UK i would jus like to add that his accent sounded perfectly normal for someone who has grown up in the London school system! pseudo cockney-jamaican-ALI G ? No, just everyday london! spend some time on public transport and you'll see what I mean!


Mehrak for VP

by Saman on

Mehrak is the real deal. I’m really proud of him for who he truly is. He is Mehrak and he is Iranian too. The world is becoming more connected and share common identities. If you don’t like it … make a point by getting off the internetZ.


Bacheh Tehroon, where is the beauty?

by faryarm on

My comment does not judge Mehrak or his generation..

In a lot of ways, as a kid growing up away from Iran in UK, i relate to him.. 


Yes the world is denying that everything is "changing" ...It is changing for the worse...

In Persian Art and music , it has always been about love, beauty and the elevation of the spirit..that is why our music and poetry has survived centuries...It has been inspired by the heart and soul..even when it has had foreign still connected..

As social commentary, I enjoy some of rap about Iranian youths' miserable existence...I hear and enjoy the brilliant adaptation of Black American rap into Persian street poetry, but find it lacking of any beauty or harmony or any connection to the heart. Its words and rhythm only appeal to the physical senses; which provoke anger and sadness.

Yes The world is changing, and certainly Iran is...but to what?

The "fossil" you refer to is perhaps the world around us, A crass commercial culture in a world that is  fast losing its sense for standards; with  people who  are its blind followers ;

One needs to be open and  think independently , not follow any thing considered cool...

So if you dont mind, I prefer to remain the rose garden and smell the flowers...not the whiff from the cesspool...Id'd rather  listen to yestrday's timeless SHAJARIAN, DARIUSH,CHOPIN, FLOYD,Debussy, CLAPTON, MILES DAVIS, LENNON, HARRISON, CHRIS MARTIN ...and not the soon to be forgotten...

but as Lennon said...feel free; "what ever gets you through the night.." 






Sweet Lord

by Booyashaka!! (not verified) on

I'm speechless. I honestly thought Ali G was a caricature. Never thought somebody would be a real life equivalent.

I actually sat and listened to him and realized he is truly as clueless as he sounds. Most of what he states is what one of my professors used to label "a deep penetrating glance into the obvious!"

Unfortunately I used to run around my high school screamin RUN/DMC and NWA (at the risk of dating myself) lyrics, and now I realize how it must have come across.

Hip Hop in Iran may be created as a social comentary by the people creating it. However, by the time it reaches mass distribution it's just something else to drink Absolute Peach to in Elahieh, or smoke hash to in Neeyavaran.

Most of the audience listening to it are bored rich kids with time to contemplate their navel (that pretty much describes all the youth in my family). As far as vulgarity goes. . .I am reminded of the words of my mentor (who saved me from myself when I was a teenager), who observed, "cursing is a crutch for the conversational cripple."

My 2 cents.

Party Girl

Another Artistic Golestan

by Party Girl on

Thank you for introducing Mehrak to us.  I had seen a clip on the 021 song and how he had travelled to iran to find rap partners a couple of years ago.  At the time I only knew this singer as Reveal.  Thank you so much for telling us that he is Kaveh Golestan's son.  I was moved to see the part in this video where he talks about his father.  Kaveh Golestan was a unique and very special human being, born himself to an artist father, Ebrahim Golestan, and brother to another artist and promoter of artists in Iran, Lili Golestan.  It is no surprise to me that Mehrak has found his own way of artistic expression. 

Whether we like his music or generally appreciate rap music as palatable music for us, in my opinion is a moot issue here, as we look at this young Iranian man in search of his roots and heritage in the middle of a very western art form.  Good for him.  I wish him the best. 



by Bacheh tehroon (not verified) on

Beautiful, strong and moving!
And to you dear faryarm, the world is changing, Iran is changing, art and culutre is changing and you need to move on with the flow if you don't want to become a fossil!


Persian Pop culture becomes even more confused...

by faryarm on

Stomach turning synthesis of everything vulgar about the post revolutionary decay in iranian society..

not to mention the UK made pseudo cockney-jamaican-ALI G  thing ..happening here.....Not music; but angry street "poetry" repulsive even to anything remotely Persian in its roots...






by eyeranian on

Close your eyes and you could swear you are listening to "Ali G." All that is missing is the snap of fingers and 'RESPECT!'