ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A group of Kurdish rappers in the Kurdistan of Turkey are on a mission to preserve the Kurdish language through their music.
Rappers Xam, Runyartin, Reqso, Kurdo, Adar, and Slogan performed their rhymes in Kurdish in front of a sold-out crowd at an event on Friday night in the Turkish capital of Istanbul.
Kurdistan 24 spoke to the rappers after the concert who said the organizing of such events would help raise the awareness of the Kurdish language and push forward the Kurdish rap genre in the Kurdistan of Turkey among Kurds and non-Kurds alike.
One of the rappers, Reqso, noted that the Kurdish language is already a prominent one around the world, but he and his colleagues want to ensure it remains that way.
“The Kurdish language is a prominent language. All Kurds have a responsibility to ensure this language is preserved and spread across the globe,” he told Kurdistan 24.
Reqso also said they want to expand the genre of rap among the many other different styles of Kurdish music.
Another one of the artists, Xam, believes Kurdish rap is on the rise not only among the younger generation of Kurds but the older generation as well.
Xam said he and his colleagues hope to one day perform at concerts in the Kurdistan Region and across Kurdish cities in Turkey.
“This is our second rap concert in Istanbul. We are six dedicated rappers, and we work hard to produce quality content for our fans,” he told Kurdistan 24.
“We hope to visit the Kurdistan Region to perform in Sulaimani, Erbil, and Duhok and even across other cities in the Kurdistan of Turkey.”
Rapper Runyartin, meanwhile, underlined that one of their primary goals as musicians is to spread the genre of Kurdish rap around the world.
“Rap is a music genre well-known across different cultures around the globe,” he stated. “The purpose of Kurdish rap is to highlight our struggles and push forward the recognition of our language.”
Runyartin pointed to the systematic process of music, adding that if the listeners increase then those who heed the messages in the content would naturally increase as well.
“They [the listeners] will have more of a desire for the language if they continue to listen to the music,” the Kurdish artist explained. “They will want to learn the language and preserve it. One of our primary goals is to expose the Kurdish language to our people and help them understand it.”
The Turkish government has often cracked down on Kurds who speak Kurdish or are involved in any pro-Kurdish movements.
Artists and musicians are not the only ones targeted by the Ankara government. There are many politicians, journalists, and academics who have also been detained or charged because of their Kurdish identity.
(Additional reporting by Diyar Bayram)