With Iran's Ban On Hip-Hop, This Rapper's Dream Of Performing In His Family's Homeland Is In Jeopardy

Iranian-American rapper Azad Right weighs in on Iran's new ban.

Following the Iranian revolution in 1979, the country's fundamentalist Islamic regime has continued to implement strict laws that limit the influence of Western culture on their society, with the latest being a ban on hip-hop shows.

According to The Jerusalem Post in a online article posted last week, Hussein Noosh-Abbadi, a spokesperson for Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance says hip-hop concerts are now against the law, unless approved by the ministry through a lengthy process. This ban will continue indefinitely.

"This music encourages wild behavior that could have a detrimental effect on society," Noosh-Abbadi said in a statement. "We don’t want to have it and we will prevent any unwanted incidents normally associated with such concerts and other events."

For hip-hop artists of Iranian descent, like Azad Right, this is a devastating blow. Azad grew up in Los Angeles, after his parents fled from Iran in the 1980s -- first landing in Turkey, then France and eventually Venice Beach -- but he still has dreams of being able to perform in his native country one day.

"When I heard the news, it made me angry because it's already difficult getting embraced in the U.S. being an Iranian-American rapper," Azad told MTV News. "And now they won't even mess with me where I'm from? Having a concert in Iran is definitely one of my dreams and I hope that it'll be possible one day."

"I was always into music as a kid, I grew up playing piano and violin and that eventually led into hip-hop," he said, adding that this ban won't likely stop rappers in Iran from pursuing their passion.

"I know for a fact that hip-hop is huge in Iran -- that rebellious, revolutionary mentality is something a lot of the youth resonate with. Even though I have a small fan base of less than 20,000 people, I still see a large number of Iranians reaching out and being very supportive."

For now, returning to Iran is out of the question for Azad, but he's not losing hope.

"I've been told that it's not safe for me to go to Iran-- I've never been, the closest is Turkey, because of some of my family's political ties," he explained. "With that said, my mom has been going back for quite a while now and I'm looking forward to eventually meeting that entire side of the family, as only four of my relatives live in the States."

Azad Right released a full album called For The Hopeful in 2014 and he's opened for artists including Kendrick Lamar, The Game, Slaughterhouse, Mos Def and Mob Deep.

Listen to the project above and find him on Twitter @AzadRight.