WBEZ | Music http://www.wbez.org/news/music Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Radio M August 28, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-08-28/radio-m-august-28-2015-112756 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Belgian artist Stromae.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Belgian artist Stromae is not a well known commodity in the U-S but he&#39;s huge everywhere else. But the son of a Rwadan father and Flemish mother certainly gained new fans stateside when he appeared at this year&#39;s SXSW in Austin Texas.</p><p>He deftly mixes hip-hop , electronic dance music and Congolese rumba <strong><em>and</em></strong> he&#39;s got his own line of clothng; quite the Rennasciance man.</p><p>This week on Radio M we play two cuts from Stromae, including his biggest hit. We&#39;ve also got the sounds of three Yemeni sisters who take traditional music from that part of the world and give it a 21st century spin.</p><p>Plus Chicago veena player Sara Ranganathan, the latest from Dengue Fever and a killer West African version of a James Brown classic. Always expect the unexpected on Radio M.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Playlist</p><p>9PM</p><p>Stromae- Ave Cesaria- Racine Caree</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rO1VDCZh_Ko" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Lisa Bassenge- Lass die Scheinenhunde Heulen- Wolke 8</p><p>Mestre Cupijo e seu Ritmo- Cade o Anel Siria</p><p>Dengue Fever- Tokay- Deepest Lake</p><p>A- WA - Ya Raitesh Al Warda- Habib Galbi</p><p>Francois &amp; The Atlas Mountains- Le Verite- Piano Ombre</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>9:30 PM</p><p>Hailu Mergia- Tche Belew- Tche Belew</p><p>Googoosh- Digeh Geryeh Delo Va Nemi Koneh- Googoosh</p><p>Moreno Veloso- Num Galho de Acacias- Coisa Boa</p><p>Sara Ranganathan- Hexagon Heart- Refreshing Raga Blues</p><p>Voice of the Seven Woods- Fire in My Head- Voice of the Seven Woods</p><p>Doctor L- Riders in da Storm- We Got Lost</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>10 PM</p><p>Sekou Bambino- It&#39;s a Man&#39;s Man&#39;s Man&#39;s World- Sinikan</p><p>Stromae- Alors on Danse- Cheese</p><p>Afrosound- Banana de Queso- The Afrosounds of Colombia Vol.2</p><p>Nneka- Babylon- My Fairy Tales</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yVNSG2KyfPM" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Buffalo Springfield- Kahuna Sunset- Neil Young Archives Vol.1 63-72</p><p>Kaveri Special- Pikajuna- Kaveri Special</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>10:30PM</p><p>Rhyton- Pannychis- Kykeon</p><p>Cheick Tidiane Seck- M&#39;Boudi- MandinGroove</p><p>Kishore Kumar &amp; Chorus- Aaya Sanam Aaya Deewana Tera- Bombay Disco 2</p><p>Bassekou Kouyate &amp; Ngoni Ba- Waati- Ba Power</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yjI7DHjU8vA" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-08-28/radio-m-august-28-2015-112756 Titus Andronicus gives us ‘The Most Lamentable Tragedy’ http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/titus-andronicus-gives-us-%E2%80%98-most-lamentable-tragedy%E2%80%99-112626 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/titus-andronicus-the-most-lamentable-tragedy.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>Though many rock critics utilize &ldquo;pretentious&rdquo; as the surest single-word condemnation of anything they dislike, nothing is possible in art without some pretension. In the realm left-of-center noise (punk, indie, alt, whatever you want to call it), the ambition to create a great, sprawling epic can in fact be laudable, at least when it succeeds (witness, say, <em>Zen Arcade </em>by Hüsker Dü or <em>David Comes to Life</em> by F*cked Up), though of course it&rsquo;s rightly derided as overreaching and overinflated when it fails (much of what we got from the Smashing Pumpkins, the princes of pomposity).</p><p>In any event, pretension is a given for a band named after Shakespeare&rsquo;s most difficult play and with one concept album already under its belt using the Civil War as a central metaphor (<em>The Monitor </em>in 2010). The question is where Titus Andronicus falls on the spectrum with its 28-track fourth album <em>The Most Lamentable Tragedy</em>, which bandleader and auteur Patrick Stickles has described as &ldquo;a complicated metaphor about manic depression, melding elements of philosophy, psychology, and science fiction through the plight of one troubled protagonist&rsquo;s inner demons.&rdquo;</p><p>The answer: Regardless of whether you think Stickles fulfilled those lofty literary ambitions&mdash;and the (he says fictional) storyline isn&rsquo;t always easy to follow, given his wordiness and the fact that his shouted vocal fry can sometimes obscure what he&rsquo;s trying to say&mdash;the album is a start-to-93-minutes-later-finish thrilling rollercoaster ride of anthemic melodies delivered with near-hardcore-punk intensity leavened by a latter-day Bruce Springsteen-like grandeur (heavy on the Celtic pub-rock lilt, especially with the emphasized violin and piano throughout).</p><p>Somewhat ironically, given Stickles&rsquo; singular voice and vision, two of the three covers here do the most to frame the story of a protagonist wrestling with manic-depression and, however briefly, finding a tonic in fleeting love: Daniel Johnston&rsquo;s &ldquo;I Lost My Mind,&rdquo; given new poignance in this context, and the Pogues&rsquo; &ldquo;A Pair of Brown Eyes,&rdquo; which sets up Stickle&rsquo;s most affecting love song, &ldquo;Come On Siobhán.&rdquo; (The other cover is &ldquo;Auld Lang Syne,&rdquo; which kinda makes sense if you&rsquo;re trying to follow the five-act story, though it also can be viewed as a dramatic pause, like the silent &ldquo;Intermission.&rdquo;) But again, the sheer emotional force of this style-hopping musical and mental assault is an undeniable and ultimately breathtaking accomplishment, well worthy of a bit of pretension (and your time).</p><p><strong>Titus Andronicus, <em>The Most Lamentable Tragedy </em>(Merge)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/titus-andronicus-gives-us-%E2%80%98-most-lamentable-tragedy%E2%80%99-112626 Review: Mick Jenkins, 'Wave[s]' http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-mick-jenkins-waves-112714 <p><p>Mick Jenkins&#39; 2014 release The Water[s] helped establish him as one of the stronger voices in Chicago&#39;s vibrant, diverse (and crowded) hip-hop scene.</p><p>While the locally popular drill and bop music often associated with that city&#39;s rap are visceral expressions of youthful energy, Jenkins&#39; music is the decidedly cerebral and emotive other side of the same coin. It might be tempting to throw the conscious label his way, but that&#39;s reductive, especially in an era where the term is used pejoratively and associated with self-righteous and pedantic MCs.</p><p>For Jenkins, as evidenced by his new H2O-themed project, Wave[s], being smart doesn&#39;t have to mean being stiff and relying on a leitmotif that&#39;s used as a metaphor for truth doesn&#39;t get old.</p><p>On his past releases Jenkins proved that he can spit and make listeners think, but on Wave[s] he also takes a crack at making us dance. He romances on the Kaytranada-produced &quot;Your Love,&quot; using the track&#39;s elastic synths and future bounce rhythm to court a lady, offering &quot;a dream in New Orleans&quot; and the promise of falling in love in his hometown.</p><p>The flirtations continue on &quot;The Giver&quot; where Jenkins takes off his cool and makes his intentions to build a relationship clear: &quot;A n**** heart on his sleeve / girl it bleed / I&#39;m just letting you know / you don&#39;t gotta hit the weed / just bring your smile and a seed / I got water, we connect and it grow.&quot; But what happens when a relationship ends? Production crew ThemPeople provide the somber backdrop for Jenkins to explore heartbreak on &quot;40 Below.&quot;</p><p>Beginning with a soundbite of Halle Berry&#39;s Angela chewing out Eddie Murphy&#39;s character in the movie Boomerang, Jenkins tells his story of a teenage love gone sour, regretting his mistakes and admitting to lurking on her Facebook page, longing for what they once had.</p><p>Jenkins isn&#39;t only concerned with affairs of the heart &mdash; he also seeks to motivate.</p><p>He exhorts the listener to &quot;wake up, wake up&quot; on the jazzy &quot;Slumber&quot; alongside like-minded Chicago poet-cum-rapper Saba and ThemPeople&#39;s Sean Deaux, and uses the song title in the refrain on the high energy &quot;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk_k4zHSGaQ">Get Up Get Down</a>.&quot;</p><p>Though Mick Jenkins&#39; voice resonates with the forceful boom of a preacher delivering a sermon, he doesn&#39;t preach per se; it&#39;s his acknowledgement of his own imperfections that makes the water-obsessed rapper ultimately relatable.</p><p>At nine tracks total, Wave[s] is a brief but potent sample of what Mick Jenkins does best. When it comes to meaningful music, replete with personal truth, his cup runneth over.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/08/12/431910529/first-listen-mick-jenkins-wave-s?ft=nprml&amp;f=431910529">via NPR&#39;s First Listen</a></em></p></p> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-mick-jenkins-waves-112714 Yo La Tengo dials it down again, to great results http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/yo-la-tengo-dials-it-down-again-great-results-112623 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ylt.jpeg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>When Yo La Tengo released its fourth album <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/jderogatis/2010/09/it-was-20-years-ago-today-yo-la-tengo/35044">Fakebook</a> </em>in the summer of 1990, the celebrated indie-rockers from Hoboken, N.J. were a very different band&mdash;not yet the ferociously electric-guitar-driven noise/drone powerhouse now beloved by two generations of underground music fans, and searching for their identity. Turning toward a then still unique &ldquo;unplugged&rdquo; concept, they built on their roots as the coolest cover band to ever take the stage at Maxwell&rsquo;s, tackling a wide array of songs they loved (by John Cale, Daniel Johnston, the Flamin&rsquo; Grooves, and others) the way that low-level gigging pros would open their fake book of chord charts to fulfill a request at a wedding or bar mitzvah.</p><p>Unemployed and more than a little homesick after newly relocating to Minneapolis, <em>Fakebook </em>arrived as a gift from old friends: &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s ever been a more welcome package from home,&rdquo; I wrote at the time, and the band crashed on my floor while touring. But I&rsquo;ve returned to that album more than any other Yo La Tengo disc in the years since and enjoyed the occasional echo of it in work to follow, and not only because of memories of the time and place. The way the band shined new light on familiar sounds from very distinctive voices, the interplay between Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley&rsquo;s quiet, heartbreakingly intimate vocals, and the spot-on contributions of rootsy guitarist Dave Schramm are more subtly insinuating and enduringly resonant than anything the band has given us over a now storied career.</p><p>&ldquo;<em>Stuff Like That There</em> may well be a 25th anniversary sequel to the idea of <em>Fakebook,</em> but to my ears it makes a case for simply returning to what moved Yo La Tengo to make things in the first place: embracing the people who they still hold close and making a spirited noise about it,&rdquo; the band&rsquo;s pal, Lambchop leader Kurt Wagner, wrote in some pre-release hype, though there&rsquo;s actually nothing hyperbolic about his well-deserved praise for the album. As on <em>Fakebook, </em>the group, once again expanded to a quartet thanks to returning guest Schramm, reimagines deftly chosen covers from well-known names &ldquo;I&rsquo;m So Lonesome I Could Cry&rdquo; by Hank Williams, &ldquo;Friday I&rsquo;m in Love&rdquo; by the Cure) as well as lost heroes and heroines (&ldquo;My Heart&rsquo;s Not in It&rdquo; by Darlene McCrea, &ldquo;Before We Stopped to Think&rdquo; by Great Plains) and some of its own songs (&ldquo;The Ballad of Red Buckets,&rdquo; &ldquo;Deeper Into Movies&rdquo;).</p><p>The result is something much greater and more personal than that simple summation of its parts might indicate. No doubt it will come as a surprise for fans who came on board post-<em>Painful </em>or <em>Electr-O-Pura, </em>and as another timely Care package from old friends for the rest of us. Either way, it offers another welcome perspective on a great band, and a reminder of why we love it.</p><p><strong>Yo La Tengo, </strong><em><strong>Stuff Like That There </strong></em><em><strong>(Matador)</strong></em></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong>Facebook</strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 06:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/yo-la-tengo-dials-it-down-again-great-results-112623 Bangkok Manhunt for Erawan Shrine Bombers http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-19/bangkok-manhunt-erawan-shrine-bombers-112686 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/219977619&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">Manhunt is on for Bangkok bombings suspects</span></strong></p><p>News is moving quickly on Monday&rsquo;s terrorist bombing at Bangkok&rsquo;s Erawan shrine. So far, the attack killed at least 22 people and wounded over 100. A suspect was identified through CCTV footage. Reports now say there may be two more bombing suspects. As Thai citizens tried to make sense of Monday&rsquo;s attack, yesterday, another bomb was thrown from a bridge in Bangkok. There were no injuries reported in the second incident, but police say the bombings were similar. Thailand&rsquo;s Police Chief stated he believed the bombs were part of a coordinated attack by a terrorist network. We&rsquo;ll get the latest from Pailin Wedel, an independent journalist, based in Bangkok.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> <a href="http://www.pailinwedel.com/">Pailin Wedel</a>&nbsp;is an independent journalist, based in Bangkok, Thailand<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/219978523&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="942px"></iframe></p><p><strong><span style="font-size: 24px;">Iraq Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, cuts his cabinet</span></strong></p><p>Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has cut his cabinet, culling it down from 33 to 22 members. &nbsp;Positions cut mean the elimination of certain ministries - including the one that governs human rights and humanitarian affairs. &nbsp;The prime minister says the cuts are meant to weed out corruption and provide better services. Iraqis have been protesting against what they say is mass corruption in the government. We&rsquo;ll talk about the changes with Laith Saud, a visiting assistant professor of religious studies at DePaul University.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong>Laith Saud is a visiting assistant professor of religious studies at DePaul University</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/219983865&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">Global Notes: Controversy over Tango&#39;s African roots</span></strong></p><p>The documentary, &ldquo;Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango&rdquo; details the African roots of Tango, the famed Argentinean music/dance genre. Music journalist and host of <em>Beat Latino</em>, Catalina Maria Johnson, will tell us about the film, &nbsp;play some Tango for us and talk about some of the racial and cultural controversies surrounding its origins. We&rsquo;ll also hear about some lesser known Afro Latin music such as Boogaloo (USA), Candombe (Uruguay) and Saya (Ecuador).</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> <a href="http://catalinamariajohnson.com/">Catalina Maria Johnson</a> is a music journalist and the host of Beat Latino on Vocalo.</p><p><strong>Event:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facets.org/cinematheque/films/aug2015/tango-negro.php">Tango Negro</a>&nbsp;plays at Facets Multimedia through 8/20/15</p></p> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-19/bangkok-manhunt-erawan-shrine-bombers-112686 Going to extremes: Flying Saucer Attack and Black Rainbows http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/going-extremes-flying-saucer-attack-and-black-rainbows-112617 <p><p>Here are two more &ldquo;Buried Treasures,&rdquo; following up on this week&rsquo;s episode of <em><a href="http://soundopinions.org/show/507">Sound Opinions</a>. </em>Stylistically, these are about as far apart as music gets. But hey, we all have our moments at the extreme ends of the aural spectrum, don&rsquo;t we?</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FSA%202015.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>A leading light in the space-/post-rock scene of the mid-&rsquo;90s, the Bristol, England-based minimalist duo Flying Saucer Attack&nbsp;was characterized by two sonic hallmarks over a rich discography of a half-dozen studio albums into the early 2000&rsquo;s: the ethereal, otherworldly vibes conjured by David Pearce&rsquo;s guitars (which many mistook for synths), and the equally disembodied and seductive vocals of his then-girlfriend Rachel Brook. After more than a decade of silence, Pearce is back where he started, as a solo bedroom recording auteur, with a new set of 15 instrumentals. Comparisons can be made to Eno&rsquo;s ambient work, but as in the past, Pearce often has a slightly menacing undercurrent disrupting his lulling trance music; comparisons to the bad-trip psych of Spacemen 3 or the black magick vibes of some of the Krautrock bands are not unwarranted. But as in the past, FSA accomplishes the rare feat here of making ambient music that does no deserve to be relegated to background sounds, and that bears the hallmarks of a unique sonic architect whose work ultimately sounds like no one else&rsquo;s.</p><p><strong>Flying Saucer Attack, <em>Instrumentals 2015 </em>(Drag City)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 3 stars.</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/black-rainbows-hawkdope1.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>Shifting now to turn the volume up to 11, the sixth release from Roman stoner-rockers Black Rainbows is one of the freshest slabs of filthy noise that genre has produced in a decade. Again, the touchstones for <em>Hawkdope </em>are obvious; guitarist, vocalist, and producer/auteur Gabriele Fiori says the band was shooting for &ldquo;a perfect mix of Monster Magnet, Hawkwind and Fu Manchu&mdash;a psychedelic, lysergic storm of heavy space-rock.&rdquo; But the enthusiasm and sheer joy with which the band dives into the maelstrom will have you banging your head as if you&rsquo;ve never sipped this particular mushroom brew before. Crank it up and try not to smile, I dare ya.</p><p><strong>Black Rainbows, <em>Hawkdope </em>(</strong><strong>Heavy Psych Sounds)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 3 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/going-extremes-flying-saucer-attack-and-black-rainbows-112617 'Straight Outta Compton' is the lamest kind of gloss-over musical biopic http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/straight-outta-compton-lamest-kind-gloss-over-musical-biopic-112628 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/NWA1.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 640px;" title="(Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Pictures)" /></div><p>We might expect that a big-budget Hollywood biopic produced or guided by the surviving members of N.W.A would sidestep the most troubling aspects of the hip-hop giants&rsquo; legacy: the cynical celebrations of the violent gangster lifestyle and, most troublingly, the level of sheer hatred toward women that still stands as a record low in the annals of musical misogyny.</p><p>What we wouldn&rsquo;t expect is an even bigger flaw in <em>Straight Outta Compton</em>, which opens this weekend and is expected to dominate the box office. At a bloated 147-minute running time, it often makes the explosive story of the self-professed &nbsp;&ldquo;World&rsquo;s Most Dangerous Group&rdquo; downright bland and boring.</p><p><a href="http://variety.com/2015/film/reviews/straight-outta-compton-review-1201553979/">Some fawning reviews</a> have compared the movie to another recent biopic of a West Coast musical legend, <em>Love &amp; Mercy. </em>But a few strong performances aside, the more apt comparisons are to other yawningly mediocre big-budget films that erase the rough edges of their subjects and somehow douse the fire at the heart of some of the most incendiary music ever made. Think <em>The Buddy Holly Story. </em>Think <em>La Bamba. </em>Think any made-for-VH1 movie, or <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-11/aaliyah-deserves-better-her-lifetime-biopic-111082">Lifetime&rsquo;s recent <em>Aaliyah: The Princess of R&amp;B</em></a> (whose star, Alexandra Shipp, appears here as Ice Cube&rsquo;s wife Kim, one of a handful of women briefly and grudgingly given speaking roles).</p><p>Better yet, think about sparing yourself the nearly 2.5 hours (<a href="http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/08/11/3757813/director-defends-straight-outta.html">reportedly cut down from 3.5</a>) in front of the big screen and wait for Netflix, if you must.</p><p>Like any music critic with a moral conscience who charted the group&rsquo;s rise and wrestled with it in the three and a half decades since, N.W.A always has left me severely conflicted. The seductive production of its debut album <em>Straight Outta Compton </em>(1988) set the blueprint for the West Coast sound and everything Dr. Dre has done in its aftermath. And the undeniable rage of the epic Cube-driven &ldquo;F--- tha Police&rdquo; is so monumental that the disc&rsquo;s occasional glorification of black-on-black crime and rampant misogyny can almost be overlooked. That is not the case with the Cube-less second and last release <em>Niggaz4Life.</em></p><p>&ldquo;This is an album of hate-filled songs that glorify gang rape and beating women to death, an album so nihilistic that its lyrics brag about making money from these topics,&rdquo; I wrote upon its release in 1991. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the most vile, rancid, festering pile of crap I&rsquo;ve heard in my life. It is also one of the top-selling albums in America for the third week in a row.&rdquo; (The full text of that review, which ran in the Minneapolis weekly <em>City Pages, </em>follows below.)</p><p>Hateful jams and skits such as &ldquo;To Kill a Hooker,&rdquo; &ldquo;One Less Bitch,&rdquo; &ldquo;Findum, F---um &amp; Flee,&rdquo; &ldquo;She Swallowed It,&rdquo; and &ldquo;I&rsquo;d Rather F--- You&rdquo; are conveniently sidestepped in the movie. You can&rsquo;t include everything, one might argue. But there is no exploration of what prompted this hatred of women&mdash;not that anything could excuse it&mdash;even as the film strives in ridiculously exaggerated ways to lay the pre-Rodney King groundwork for the group&rsquo;s disdain of the men in blue. (<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/04/straight-outta-compton-fact-check-how-true-is-the-explosive-n-w-a-biopic.html?via=mobile&amp;source=email">The Daily Beast has a useful fact-check</a> on the realities of N.W.A&rsquo;s interactions with the police, though it only scratches the surface of the film&rsquo;s many distortions and pure fictions.)</p><p>Niggaz With Attitude&rsquo;s attitude toward women was, disgustingly and infamously, not confined to the lyrics. But we don&rsquo;t see Dre&rsquo;s vicious 1991 attack on journalist Dee Barnes, or learn that Eazy-E fathered seven children with six different women. Nor is there any examination of how Eric Wright caught AIDS, which would claim his life at age 31, aside from a fleeting mention that you can contract it from heterosexual sex. (We don&rsquo;t even see much of that with his character; in fact, Neil Brown Jr.&rsquo;s DJ Yella is portrayed as the horndog of the crew in the many scenes with gratuitously naked and nameless groupies.)</p><p>Instead, Eazy (Jason Mitchell), Dre (Corey Hawkins), Cube (the real rapper&rsquo;s son O&rsquo;Shea Jackson Jr.), and Ren (Aldis Hodge of TV&rsquo;s <em>Leverage</em>) emerge as relatively cute and cuddly, as well as utterly guileless as they are preyed upon by the film&rsquo;s three cartoonish villains: manager Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti), Priority Records chief Bryan Turner (Tate Ellington), and the notorious Suge Knight (R. Marcos Taylor). The bounds of credulity are stretched past the breaking point when we&rsquo;re asked to accept that these whip-smart and streetwise hustlers were so easily duped by bullying music-biz bad guys, whose caricatures are even more simplistic and one-dimensional than those in Spike Lee&rsquo;s harshly criticized <em>Mo&rsquo; Better Blues.</em></p><p>Nor is there a hint of the cold calculation at the heart of the group&rsquo;s art. Its depictions of drug deals and gang killings are merely &ldquo;reality rap,&rdquo; as if the artists just walked down the street and told us what they saw. But it always was much harder to accept N.W.A as &ldquo;the CNN of the streets&rdquo; than it was Public Enemy. The West Coast rappers distorted, exaggerated, and championed the harshest realities of a small sliver of the black community to sell as violent comic books to a mass audience eagerly waiting to lap up the Nihilistic clichés and one-dimensional stereotypes. Like skilled pornographers, they knew what would sell and they enthusiastically sold it, moral qualms and any devotion to accuracy be damned.</p><p>And here they are selling it again, in an even shinier package aimed at an even bigger audience and designed to make it all seem safe and even noble.</p><p>N.W.A <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/60479-nwa-planning-reunion-tour-with-eminem/">may or may not</a> be planning to capitalize on this rewriting of history with a reunion tour that may or may not find Eminem filling the role of Eazy-E. Either way, that&rsquo;s only the short-term scam, and these artists always have played the long game. In the end, despite a few merits&mdash;those performances by Jackson and Mitchell, a handful of hearty belly laughs, and a nice scene depicting the young Dre lost in a pile of vinyl that stands with the similar one in <em>Almost Famous </em>as a classic depiction of the ineffable seduction of music&mdash;<em>Straight Outta Compton </em>peddles a simplistic myth that has as much in common with complicated realities as Disneyland has with Compton.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/NWA2.jpg" title="N.W.A real and fictional: Top row: DJ Yella, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Dr. Dre; bottom: Neil Brown Jr., O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell, Aldis Hodge and Corey Hawkins. (Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Picures)" /></div><blockquote><p align="center">&nbsp;</p><p align="center"><strong>FLASHBACK REVIEW:</strong><strong> N.W.A, <em>Niggaz4Life</em></strong></p><p align="center"><strong><em>City Pages,</em> July 3, 1991</strong></p><p>This is an album of hate-filled songs that glorify gang rape and beating women to death, an album so nihilistic that its lyrics brag about making money from these topics. It&rsquo;s the most vile, rancid, festering pile of crap I&rsquo;ve heard in my life. It is also one of the top-selling albums in America for the third week in a row.</p><p>That alone is enough to make me consider booking one-way passage on a freighter to New Zealand, but two weeks ago, I also heard rock critic and anti-censorship zealot Dave Marsh tell a crowd at the Hungry Mind bookstore in St. Paul that <em>Niggaz4Life </em>is &ldquo;great vulgar art.&rdquo; Marsh, the man who excluded the Rolling Stones&rsquo; &ldquo;Brown Sugar&rdquo; from <em>The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1,001 Greatest Singles Ever Made </em>because he considers it racist and sexist, went on to compare <em>Niggaz4Life </em>to Henry Miller&rsquo;s <em>Tropic of Capricorn, </em>a great book mistaken for pornography.</p><p>The fact is <em>Niggaz4Life </em>is a pathetic con designed to cash in on its transparent controversy. The most sensible response would be to ignore it, but the fact is it&rsquo;s impossible to avoid, sitting on top of the charts, flaunting its PARENTAL ADVISORY, EXPLICIT LYRICS sticker. Its debut at No. 2 was the highest since Michael Jackson&rsquo;s <em>Bad </em>in 1987; it rose to No. 1 the next week and is now at No. 3. This success flies in the face of a complete lack of play on radio or MTV and comes in the midst of <em>Billboard </em>magazine&rsquo;s much-ballyhooed revamping of the charts to reflect actual sales in the Musiclands and Kmarts of heartland America.</p><p>This means fifteen-year-old white kids in [Minneapolis suburbs] Edina and Eden Prairie, Chanhassen and Chaska are buying <em>Niggaz4Life, </em>and that&rsquo;s why it&rsquo;s the center of a renewed attack by the labeling and censorship crowd; last week, Florida attorney Jack Thompson announced plans to sue Musicland for selling the album, so the battle will be fought right in our backyard. No doubt kids are buying it simply because it&rsquo;s the most vile shit available; as our culture gets more and more jaded in the wake of Freddie Krueger and the Terminator and <em>American Psycho </em>and the beautiful fireworks over Baghdad, it gets harder and harder to shock the folks. Thompson&rsquo;s crew says kids need to be protected from this stuff, just like they need to be protected from the Anoka-Hennepin school district&rsquo;s sex and AIDS curriculum. What they always fail to realize is that the kids are rejecting <em>them.</em></p><p>Marsh and the other critics defending <em>Niggaz4Life </em>could see the war clouds on the horizon, and that may be why they&rsquo;re so dogmatic: If you&rsquo;re not for &rsquo;em, you&rsquo;re agin &rsquo;em. They ask us to excuse N.W.A&rsquo;s hate as fantasy and accept the group as the &ldquo;underground reporters&rdquo; they boast about being on their 1-900-2-COMPTON phone line (a dollar forty-nine per minute). But why can&rsquo;t you be for the First Amendment and against misogyny? I despise any attempt to limit free expression in music and believe N.W.A had every right to make the album they wanted to make. But this is a record review, not an editorial, and I&rsquo;d be betraying everything I believe is implicit in the reader-critic relationship if I didn&rsquo;t say you&rsquo;re a fool if you buy it and more than a little bit warped if you like it.</p><p>Musically the album is wack, all ultra-familiar grooves powered by whining, repetitive four- and five-note Casio rifts. It&rsquo;s not half as effective as Public Enemy&rsquo;s white-noise assaults or De La Soul&rsquo;s psychedelic sampling. Of course it&rsquo;s the words that set N.W.A apart.</p><p>The group struck a nerve even before Rodney King with &ldquo;F--- Tha Police&rdquo; on its platinum-selling debut, <em>Straight Outta Compton. </em>Since then, the Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew have upped the ante on outrageous rap lyrics, and like grammar school kids at a lunchroom table, N.W.A is determined to out-gross and gross-out all comers. They even own up to the scam: &ldquo;Why do I call myself a nigger you ask me?/Because my mouth is so mother----ing nasty/Bitch this, bitch that, nigger this, nigger that/In the meanwhile my pockets are getting fat/I&rsquo;m getting paid to say the s--- here/Making more in a week than a doctor makes in a year.&rdquo;</p><p>To drive the point home the album concludes with the line, &ldquo;Ha, another album. The joke&rsquo;s on you, jack.&rdquo; (I wonder if they meant Thompson or Musicland&rsquo;s Jack Eugster?) The album&rsquo;s first half offers more of N.W.A&rsquo;s muddled politics (remember, Eazy-E&rsquo;s the guy who paid to attend a Republican fundraiser). Between threats to f--- former collaborator-turned-rival Ice Cube up the ass with a broomstick and skits such as N.W.A gunning down picketers outside one of its shows, the songs &ldquo;Real Niggaz Don&rsquo;t Die,&rdquo; &ldquo;Niggaz 4 Life,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Real Niggaz&rdquo; set a record for repetitive use of a word that&rsquo;s still despised by much of the African-American community. N.W.A could almost be seen as adopting Lenny Bruce&rsquo;s tactics on co-opting racial slurs: Claim the word as your own and it ceases to hurt (it&rsquo;s hard not to laugh when the group croons jingle-style, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a nigger/You&rsquo;re a nigger/He&rsquo;s a nigger/We&rsquo;s some niggers/Wouldn&rsquo;t you like to be a nigger, too?&rdquo;).</p><p>If this was the intention it&rsquo;s ruined when Eazy-E, M.C. Ren, D.J. Yella, and Dr. Dre trot out more racial stereotypes than you&rsquo;d hear at a KKK rally. In their world, a &ldquo;real nigger&rdquo; is not a black human being but someone who lives by the trigger, prefers cocaine to wine or weed, and knows how to handle the bitches (&ldquo;Hop in the pickup/And suck my d--- up &rsquo;til you hiccup&rdquo;).</p><p>In their zeal to fight the good fight censorship&rsquo;s foes are too quick to put aside N.W.A&rsquo;s misogyny, which is overwhelming and sickening throughout the second half of the album. In the songs &ldquo;To Kill a Hooker,&rdquo; &ldquo;One Less Bitch,&rdquo; &ldquo;Findum, F---um &amp; Flee,&rdquo; and &ldquo;She Swallowed It,&rdquo; the group makes its opinion of women clear: &ldquo;To me all bitches are the same: money-hungry scammers, groupies, whores that&rsquo;s always riding on a nigger&rsquo;s d---, always in the nigger&rsquo;s pocket, and when the nigger runs out of money the bitch is gone in the wind. To me all bitches ain&rsquo;t shit.&rdquo;</p><p>When N.W.A picks up a woman and beats her to death because she&rsquo;s a prostitute it&rsquo;s one of the most stomach-churning sound collages in the history of pop music. Marsh can dismiss this as fantasy and <em>Cashbox </em>can contend that &ldquo;portrayal must not be confused with advocacy. &ldquo; But &ldquo;To Kill a Hooker&rdquo; ends with an evil laugh that&rsquo;s too real for comfort. It makes me want to puke, while N.W.A is laughing all the way to the bank.</p></blockquote><p><strong><em>Straight Outta Compton</em></strong><strong> (Universal/Legendary Pictures; 147 minutes, rated R)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 1 star.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/straight-outta-compton-lamest-kind-gloss-over-musical-biopic-112628 The Sandwitches, Viet Cong and Fraser Gorman http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/sandwitches-viet-cong-and-fraser-gorman-112616 <p><p>Gearing up for this week&rsquo;s &ldquo;Buried Treasures&rdquo; episode of <a href="http://soundopinions.org/"><em>Sound Opinions</em></a>, here are two recent favorites flying under the radar but well worth a listen.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sandwitches.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>&ldquo;Stay on the sunny side of life,&rdquo; the San Francisco folk-pop trio Sandwitches sing on the opening track of their third album, but that optimism stands in stark contrast to the languid, world-weary nature of their gorgeous, dusky ballads and the sad fact that this album is their last, a farewell from the group as it calls it quits. Since coming together in 2008, Heidi Alexander, Roxy Brodeur and Grace Cooper have stood out amid their more raucous garage-rock peers in the Bay Area scene, where the sound is most notably typified by thee Oh-Sees. Think of a much smarter and cooler Haim, with roots that go much deeper than Fleetwood Mac and Laurel Canyon, produced with much less polish (as if the Shaggs could actually play and write). Perpetually lovelorn and melancholy, though never a bummer thanks to those beautiful harmony vocals and minimalist but fetching guitar lines, this is primo music from after the gold rush. And we all need a great soundtrack to wind down and wallow from time to time.</p><p><strong>Sandwitches, <em>Our Toast </em>(Empty Cellar Records)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 3 stars.</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Viet%20Cong.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>A much more upbeat affair, the self-titled introductory album by Canadian art-rockers Viet Cong builds on a strong pedigree (two of its members were in indie-rockers Women) to create one of the most fetching mixtures of pop melodies, burbling electronics, and guitar noise since Wolf Parade, though heavier on the &rsquo;80s bubblegum psychedelia of bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes (gotta love those &ldquo;lost in a cloud of reverb&rdquo; vocals). The album more than delivers on the promise of the debut EP <em>&ldquo;Cassette,&rdquo;</em> overshadowed only by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-04/courtney-barnett-voice-you-need-hear-111811">Courtney Barnett</a> as the most striking debut of 2015.</p><p><strong>Viet Cong, <em>Viet Cong </em>(Jagjaguwar)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 3.5 stars.</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Fraser%20Gorman.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>And speaking of Courtney Barnett, curly-haired, 23-year-old singer-songwriter Fraser Gorman is an Aussie pal who&rsquo;s been championed by that powerhouse, and who makes his debut as her label mate. But rather than taking the &rsquo;90s alternative explosion as his starting point, he bases his refreshingly sincere and non-clichéd musings on heartbreak and the search for identity on a bedrock of Americana; he&rsquo;s said his life was changed forever by seeing Justin Townes Earle (ah, youth!). &nbsp;Emotional but never emo, sonically or attitudinally, and with deft use of steel guitar perfectly underscoring Gorman&rsquo;s similarly fluid vocals, <em>Slow Gum </em>introduces a promising new voice. Oh, if only he could have shared a stage with Sandwitches.</p><p><strong>Fraser Gorman, <em>Slow Gum </em>(House Anxiety/Marathon Artists)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 3 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Tue, 11 Aug 2015 09:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-08/sandwitches-viet-cong-and-fraser-gorman-112616 Radio M: August 7, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-08-06/radio-m-august-7-2015-112578 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Los Van Van ( courtesy of timba.com).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Cuban music is rich in styles - from the slow 2/4 meter of the habanera and improvised poetic sounds of the punto guajiro to the African influenced rhumba and the dance oriented son.</p><p>There&#39;s also a tradition of mixing genres from outside Cuba like rock and roll, r&amp;b and jazz with some of the popular Cuban music. This particular style is known as timba and of the legendary practitioners of this approach is Los Van Van; a post Cuba revolution group that was started in 1969 by Juan Formell; a bass player who came from a a musical family.&nbsp;</p><p>Founder Juan Formell passed away 2014 but the band lives on and after a 15 year absence from Chicago, Los Van Van is back for a show that will no doubt have people their feet to the music. We&#39;ll play a few choice cuts by the band.</p><p>We&#39;re also going to hear reggae influenced music from Nigerian born London based artist Nneka, psychedelic pop music from Estonia, the latest from Israeli singer-songwriter Asaf Avidan and much more from around the globe.</p><p>Playlist</p><p>9PM</p><p>Los Van Van- Sollo Hay un Van Van- The Best of Los Van Van</p><p>Sabu Martinez &amp; Sahib Shihab- The Distorted Sioux Indian- Wind &amp; Skins: The Swedish Radio Recordings 1978</p><p>Ravi Shankar- Fire Night- Improvisations</p><p>Isabella Ianetti- Un Amore Inutile- Ciao Bella: Italian Girl Groups of the 60&#39;s</p><p>Mashrou Leila- Habibi- El Hal Romancy</p><p>King Ayisoba ft. Batman Samini- Champion No Easy- Africa Club: Hip Hop, Dancehall &amp; Kwaito</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>9:30PM</p><p>Shen Dong ( A Moving Sound)- Harvest- A Moving Sound</p><p>Gil Scott Heron &amp; Brian Jackson- Ain&#39;t No Such Thing As Superman- Midnight Band: The First Minute of a New Day</p><p>Orchestre Super Rail Band- Djiguiya- Djelimady Tounkara &amp; l&#39;Orchestre Super Rail Band</p><p>The track above features the great organ player Cheick Tidiane Seck. Here he is playing live with Malian vocalist Fatoumata Diawara lending her talents</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5_4vKTCrTMg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Orchestre Super Rail Band- Marigoundo- Djelimady Tounkara &amp; l&#39;Orchestre Super Rail Band</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>10PM</p><p>Los Van Van- Eso Que Anda- Juan Formell &amp; Los Van Van: Coleccion Vol. XI</p><p>Alfonso Lovo- Firebird Feathers- La Gigantuna</p><p>Omar Souleyman- Bahdeni Nami- Bahdeni Nami</p><p>Fauve- Tallulah- Vieux Freres : Partie 2</p><p>Emiliani Torrini- Heard It All Before- Me &amp; Armini</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>10:30 PM</p><p>Tartu Popi Ja Roki Instituut- Live on WBEZ&#39;s Morning Shift</p><p>Atlantihda- Na Calma du Teu Olhos- Beginners Guide to Fado</p><p>Asaf Avidan- Over My Head- Gold Shadow</p><p>Joey Pastrano- Sincerely- We Got Latin Soul Vol. 3: Young, Gifted &amp; Brown</p><p>Los Van Van- Llegue Llegue- Juan Formell &amp; Los Van Van: Coleccion Vol. III</p><p>Grace Jones- Sunset Sunrise- Hurricane</p><p>Bola Sete- Working on a Groovy Thing- Working on a Groovy Thing</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I failed to get to a cut from London based Nigerian artist Nneka, so here&#39;s a video of Book of Job from her latest release, &quot;My Fairy Tales&quot;.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/o13RCkeoaQA" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 06 Aug 2015 08:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-08-06/radio-m-august-7-2015-112578 Iranian rappers speak about hip-hop and its future in Iran http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/iranian-rappers-speak-about-hip-hop-and-its-future-iran-112571 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Zedbazi_Doc.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&quot;Our group was the first group that used what they call explicit language in Iranian music.&quot;</p><p>So says Alireza Jazayeri, a rapper whose stage name is Alireza JJ, who originally gained fame as a member of a hip-hop group called Zedbazi, &quot;Even before the revolution there was no explicit language or curse words in art. We were the first who actually brought it to mainstream, like they did in American hip-hop in the late 80s.&quot;</p><p>The Iranian rap scene blew up in the mid 2000s in Tehran. Zedbazi formed in 2002, in the middle of this boom, and steadily gained popularity through the 2000s with their controversial language and lyrics.</p><p>&quot;Now rap is undoubtedly the most popular genre of music among 18-25 year old Iranians. Even 13-17 rap is like the main thing teenagers like to listen to,&quot; said Jazayeri.</p><p>If you listen to Iranian rap and hip-hop you&#39;ll hear frequent references to 021, the area code for Tehran and calling card for Iranian rap as a whole. &quot;I want you to throw your hands up high, higher/ throw 021 up forever&quot; raps Hichkas, lauded as the godfather of Iranian rap, in his 2008 song Bunch of Soldiers.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QU1NNAH6b_g" width="620"></iframe></p><p>But not all Iranian rappers live in the 021. Jazayeri and his group are currently based in France: &quot;I don&#39;t think in the near future we&#39;re going to be legal musicians in Iran,&quot; he said.</p><p>All musicians in Iran must have their music approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to legally produce or perform music. The rules are strict and the stamp of approval is hard to come by. In 2010 the deputy of the ministry stated that only 20 percent of music reviewed receives approval.</p><p>Inside the country Iranian rappers have formed a lively underground music scene. Djs mix beats in their bedrooms, rappers record in basements, and everything is shared for free online.</p><p>&quot;I would say inside of Iran 99 percent of rappers are working underground. They&#39;re not exactly being arrested but they can&#39;t legally perform or sell their music,&quot; explained Jazayeri. Some musicians have faced difficulties: Hichkas currently lives outside Iran after an arrest and trouble with authorities. Rapper Shahin Najafi fled to Germany after a fatwa was issued against him for rapping about a revered imam.</p><p>&quot;Iranian Hip-hop is at a very interesting stage of its life. But in the process of it becoming the most popular genre of music among the Iranian youth it went through a lot of transformation,&quot; commented rapper Salome MC, hailed as Iran&#39;s first female rapper, who now lives in Japan. &quot;It started from one website and few people that put their songs in it. Then it turned into something bigger that none of us could probably foresee back then.&quot;</p><p>Those who identify themselves as part of the 021 or Iranian hip-hop have formed an international musical community: collaborating on music, performing at &quot;virtual shows&quot; projected on computer screens, and promoting each others&#39; work from Paris to London to Tehran.</p><p>&quot;Because we record outside of Iran and we don&#39;t do any political stuff, they just consider us foreign artists who use the Persian language,&quot; said Jazayeri, &quot;We are not Iranian artists in the eyes of the government because Iranian artists have to have permissions to sell records and give concerts in Iran, and I don&#39;t see us getting that anytime soon.&quot;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UdlL5nQ3W3k" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Jazayeri says his hope for the future of Iranian rap is that it becomes legal, and that his music will become legal.</p><p>And with the recent Iranian nuclear deal, things may soon be changing. Trade will increase between the US and Iran, and travel between the two countries may become easier.</p><p>&quot;I doubt there will be a grand culture shock, at least for the middle to upper class,&quot; Said Salome MC, &quot;but the changes in economy as the key element of a social structure will effect everything, and hip hop will be one for sure. Will we have live hip-hop shows? I doubt it will happen in the near future, but I do think that once we have a bigger middle class and less people in poverty line, the demand for a more free public domain will increase, more people will start to realize the lack of human rights and make an issue off of it.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t know what will happen,&quot; concludes Jazayeri, &quot;I think when Iran&#39;s doors begin to open to the west there are some things that are going to change for sure. I think they&#39;re going to be more relaxed in some areas especially with a lot of foreign investors and people coming in and tourists. But that&#39;s going to take time. A country doesn&#39;t do a 180 in just a few years time so we&#39;ll see. But I&#39;m optimistic. It was a good deal, and it was great for Iran I think.&quot;</p><p>Listen to more Iranian rap here:</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/111594044&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/iranian-rappers-speak-about-hip-hop-and-its-future-iran-112571