She’s Afghanistan’s first female rapper and, in the tradition of many Western female rappers, she’s also a voice for women’s empowerment and political activism in a country torn by decades of war and religious extremism. Yet, despite the difficult conditions around her, she’s demure, sweet and soft-spoken.
“Rap does not have to be angry,” says Soosan Firooz. She uses it to express painful childhood memories of being a civil war refugee and sees rap as a medium through which she can defy the repression of women.
In her first music video recently released on YouTube, Firooz appears in Western style clothing and jewelry – headscarf notably absent.
But pushing the envelope and breaking from Afghanistan’s conservative cultural norms and music censorship has a price. Members of her family have disowned her and she has received many death threats. But her father quit his job so that he can protect her around the clock.
Read more about Ms. Firooz here and check out an NBC news report on her below.