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Yo! Turkmen Rappers Flip The Script On Repression

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/turkmen_rappers_flip_script_on_repression/…;

"Open your eyes, look in the mirror/Look at your surroundings/Do not stop, wake up/Enough is enough."

These rap lyrics might not jump out as "gangsta" -- that is, if you're expecting profanity-laced rants and explicit calls for social and political change.

But in Turkmenistan, one of the world's most closed and oppressive societies, even such carefully couched words appealing for change can be seen as a direct threat to the country's authoritarian regime that can lead to time in the joint.

The threat of prison, however, has not slowed the rising number and popularity of Turkmen rap groups defying government restrictions in Turkmenistan.

Production and distribution of rap music is not officially banned. But as evidenced by punishments handed down against those who crossed the line, it is clear that rappers have to watch their step.

Many rap groups are finding new ways of spreading their message, with many opting to record their music in secret and share their music through YouTube and mobile-phone applications.

To read the full story

RFE/RL's Turkmen Service contributed to this story

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/turkmen_rappers_flip_script_on_repression/…;

Yo! Turkmen Rappers Flip The Script On Repression

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