TabraE, who is a political rapper and producer from Iran <pictured above>, began rapping in Iran at the age of 11, and has quickly developed a following among his peers. His unique rapping style, which incorporates existentialist philosophy and politically charged criticisms delivered in his distinctly fast flow, have set him apart from other rappers in his age group and put him in a ge-nre of his own.
Though he is only 19 years old, Mohamad TabraE already has a long and crazy story in terms of his musical journey so far. In 2012, TabraE was putting the finishing touches on his debut album in an underground studio in Iran that he shared with a number of other local artists. Unfortunately the notorious ‘Morality Police’, who are employed to enforce the strict cultural code of the Iranian authoritarian state, raided the studio, immediately arresting anyone on site, + seized and destroyed all the equipment, which included TabraE’s album. Ever since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian musicians have required official government authorization in order to hold concerts and events, produce music albums and videos, + even just play their music out loud. Government authorisation of such works is extremely hard to obtain, and there are only certain forms of music that regularly receive production and activity licenses ( + if you haven’t guessed, politically crtitical Hip Hop isn’t included).
Luckily for TabraE, he was not present at the studio that day, but it was decided alongside a number of other musicians that they must flee the country as quickly as possible for fear of being reprimanded for political crimes. Tabrae found his way to London, England, and was fortunately granted political asylum. He has spent the last 3 years honing his craft, which has included learning to spit in English, and is in the process of making the connections which will enable him to achieve his dream of re-recording the album which was stolen off him. During his time in London so far, TabraE has performed at several club nights and festivals, including performances Afrikan Boy (the don who did that LIDL song when we were in year 8). He has also had radio-show spots <you can find one below> detailing his story. Though TabraE still raps in his primarily in his native language of Persian, his captivating stage presence and distinctly speedy rapping style have been enough to impress English fans, of which he has already garnered a small fan base.
We asked TabraE if he could tell us the name of more Iranian MCs for those that are interested, and he showed us a few, but told us we couldn’t publish their names because recently an artist and close friend of his was arrested after being found via the internet – yes it’s that hardcore out there, so support the struggle and give a listen to the music below that TabraE and many others have risked their wellbeing for:
TabraE performing at a festival promoting Refugee Week with Afrikan Boy:
You can catch TabraE on these accounts:
Make sure you keep your eye on this one – we’ve heard him talking about his upcoming project‘alliance=world peace‘, which will include 8 different languages –
could be a madness! Also, be on the lookout for his first solo studio album ‘Memories Of A Mental’, which is hopefully out soon!
Compiled by @CareerEnderSam