BREAKING BOUNDARIES WITH HIP HOP IN AFGHANISTAN

Breaking all stereotypes and boundaries, Sosan Firooz has surprised many by gaining international attention as Afghanistan's first female rapper.

The 23 year old who spent parts of her childhood as a refugee in Iran and Pakistan before returning to her motherland, uses hip hop to tell stories of the suffering of her people due to the conflicts that have ravaged her native land for decades.

Her core message to her fellow Afghans is to stay in their country and try to rebuild it because abroad they will only be treated as second class humans. She spits in her native tongue Dari, about experiences in Iran as a child where they were called "Dirty Afghans" and asked to stand at the back of the line at bakeries. She also does not shy away from tackling issues others would rather avoids like women's rights in her homeland, terrorism and drug addiction.

Sosan's story is not just about lamenting. She braves the threat of acid attacks by people who have demanded that she stop performing as it is culturally unacceptable to them. An uncle even shunned with her family because of the "disgrace" that he thinks Susan brings them.

The femcee however has crucial support in her father, a former electrician who quit his job to become her manager. Although still living in a mud thatched house in the capital with his family, he is liberal in principles, stating that it is a parent's duty to support a child's pursuit of dreams whether boy or girl.

Sosan's career as a rapper is just about began, she is still not well known in her homeland, although she shows a lot of potential due to her talent and charisma. She has also been cast in small roles in local soaps, but clearly, her heart is in hip hop which she clearly understands is a great medium for channeling emotions and social messages.

Although her family can't afford footing studio bills in order to help her record an album, she has found a mentor in Afghan singer and composer Fared Rastagar who recently resettled in Kabul after spending years in exile in Germany. Fared has a fully equipped studio in the capital, and is also amazed by not just Sosan's talent, but the young generation of Afghans. He has helped her with compositions, and he thinks hip hop should be promoted among the youth in Afghanistan as it can be a powerful tool of social change.

She has one track "Our Neighbors" currently on Youtube, with visuals made of a collage of her pictures, and her biggest dream is to one day travel around the world performing and spreading the tales of her people's experiences.
Listen to Sosan's "Our Neighbors" below.

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