What social or cultural changes have occurred in Iran that has made underground music more popular in recent years?
Semati – Among the cultural reasons an important one would have to be the acceptance of “pop” music by the officials and the government. To the extent that permits have been issued and one can hear pop music of various kinds freely on radio and purchase it on the street corner, pop music has lost its “subversive” character or its legitimacy as a credible voice of the youth culture. [Raz-e-shab is an example of permission issued]. This is why rock and especially rap have become the preferred cultural forms for the youth as underground music. Rap is more important in this context because rapping as a form of “poetry” might require less familiarity with classical forms of poetry in the Persian tradition. As for the socio-political reasons we could briefly mention a few changes. One is the availability of Internet and other forms of digital communication technologies that allow access and sharing of information, music files, and interests within and across borders. Internet has also facili