Salome MC, Iran’s First Female Rapper, on Breaking New Ground and Keeping Home in Her Heart

To see more of Salome’s photos from her travels, check out @salomemcee on Instagram. For more music stories, head to Instagram @music.

Salome MC (@salomemcee) was living in Iran and leading a double life. During the day she went to school and had a part-time job. But after hours, she would retreat into her artistic cocoon where she wrote rhymes and rapped. Doing anything outwardly creative in the country is considered risky – the government bristles at the provocative and dangerous. Salome was therefore confined to the shadows, forced to share her work with a small group of collaborators and fans.

“For a long time I really didn’t tell a lot of people,” says the 31-year-old emcee about her music. “I had this whole life with my rapper friends.”

At the time, Iran’s hip-hop scene was non-existent, restricted to Salome and her crew. Today, they’re considered pioneers – the first ever Iranian rappers. But they never set out to make history or change the musical landscape of their country. They were, simply put, just fans of a genre, looking to express their art in new and exciting ways.

“We wanted to see how Persian language worked on [hip-hop],” says Salome. “But we weren’t really thinking it was going to be that [popular] though. We were just people who liked doing it and put it online. Then it really took off. I think people, young people especially, were really thirsty for it. Obviously there was a lot of music in Iran – pop music, traditional music, folk music – but the language we had in hip-hop was a little bit more raw and urban and I think the youth really wanted that.”

Salome first heard rap in 1995. The song was by a Turkish immigrant group from Germany. Soon after, she expanded into the American rap scene, listening to Tupac, Notorious B.I.G. and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, among others. By then, she was already attempting to write rhymes on her own.

A common misconception about Middle Eastern rappers is that they have to rap about geopolitical conflict in their region. Salome opts for something more, though, choosing instead to focus on issues that are less defined by borders than by species and customs. A lot of that comes from her upbringing. The daughter of two journalists, Salome moved around a lot as a kid, making her feel less attached to lands than particular individuals and cultures.

“I try to show that in each country everywhere, people have the same concerns, the same life. I address that a lot,” she says. “Because I traveled a lot, it’s so easy once you get out of that box to see that. People think they are so different – they have this completely different culture, religion and language. It’s easy to demonize them.”

That’s why Salome brings a bit of history with her wherever she goes. Though she currently lives in Japan – she moved there in 2010 on a scholarship – she always makes time for her favorite tea (lemon balm herb) and some kefir cheese (“It’s so good for health”), all the while plotting her next creative project. In addition to her work as a rapper, she is also a video artist, making her own music videos and additional experimental projects.

But the music is what drives her – and as a pioneer and early adopter of hip-hop in her home country, she wants to get her songs out to the people who need them. For Salome carries the additional charge of being known as Iran’s first female emcee, a title she initially avoided: it was nothing more than a label, and didn’t speak to the quality of her work nor the types of things she was interested in. However, she eventually changed her tune.

“For a long time I resisted it, but then I embraced it,” she says. “Right now, no one is really writing down what’s happening. I didn’t want that story to go away because people forget so easily, so I kind of started to use [the label] too.”

But being the first doesn’t always mean being the best. Things move fast. New generations come in and take up the ground broken by previous ones. And while Salome may have much more to accomplish as an artist, she knows how far she’s come and how much she’s already achieved.

“It’s funny because Iranian hip-hop is so young, it’s like 10, 12, 15 years old tops. But already we are the old-school ones.”

– Instagram @music

boyfriend michael would include:
  • sneaking out while he’s asleep and taking his denim jacket with you
  • whining to you every minute of every day
  • gaming competitions
  • gaming together and then screaming at each other when one of you does something wrong
  • “if i do it will you blow me?”
  • helping him dye his hair
  • pizza nights every friday
  • watching horror movies with him and making fun of each other when one of you gets scared
  • aggressive pillow fights
  • so many pranks oh my god
  • singing along to something and then michael coming home and finishing the lyric for you
  • “do you think it’s a good time to tweet ‘ball’ or should i wait a while?”
  • cuddly michael
  • “michael you have an interview in 20 minutes” “wake me in 19 minutes then”
  • him giving you piggyback rides around the house and then pretending to drop you
  • distracting you from school and other important things
  • him telling everyone that one of the tattoos he has is for you
  • sending memes back and forth to each other as a token of your love
  • him trying to teach you how to play the guitar and you purposely messing up so he has to put his hands over yours to guide you
  • arguing over whose favorite all time low song is better
  • “michael stop screaming” “michael why are you always so loud” “michAEL”
  • the casual pantsless days
The Policeman: Stripper!5SOS - CALUM SMUT

Stripper!Michael - Stripper!Luke - Stripper!Ashtonmasterlist

disclaimer: i dont actually think all strippers feel like this towards sex, its just the character in this particular piece of writing

also creds to the owner of this photo - well done -

Music pulsed through the club, strobe lights casting shapes over your body as you moved in time to the thumping sound. You turned slowly when you heard a chorus of screams coming from the stage.

Calum was on.

The podium you were assigned gave you a perfect view of his muscular body as he completed his routine on stage, covered in only a policeman’s vest and very, very tight black shorts. You caught his eye and he winked up at you as you ran your fingers through your hair, twisting your hips to tease him a little. He turned his attention back to the hoard of giggling women at the foot of stage and threw his hat out to the crowd, pointing and rolling his body in a way that made your stomach clench. You silently thanked the manager for turning the music up to deafening volume as you whimpered loudly, not allowing yourself to be distracted from Calum’s performance.

Lately your schedules clashed badly, meaning you hadn’t had any “alone time” for a while and - apart from today - probably wouldn’t cross paths again until later that week.

Calum was your fuckbuddy. Doing what you do, neither of you wanted to sustain a full on relationship but Calum was the first boy to make you feel something during sex. When you started stripping, the intimacy and preciousness of sex had disappeared for you, no-one could make you tingle like you did before, no-one could make you feel holy. No-one else but Calum.

You watched his set religiously, cherishing the few minutes you got to see him before he would disappear behind the ruby red curtain again. You were stuck dancing on a raised podium in the middle of the crowd, and although you got the best seat in the house for the shows, you also had to dance solidly for 2 hours, or at least make an effort to move.

You were thanking the heavens when your shift ended and you moved backstage to your dressing room, ridding yourself of your scarce outfit before welcoming a cold shower with a loud sigh. You let the water run over you, careful not to wet your styled hair, but still relaxing as the shower washed your overwhelming feeling of ickiness down the drain.

Stepping out your en suite, you jumped and let out a squeak at the sight of Calum milling around your room.

“Oh hey.” He said casually, chuckling a bit at your surprise.

“You could have knocked.” His smile was infectious, and you had to bite back a grin as you held your towel to your chest.

“Yeah I could have…” Calum trailed off, ignoring his maddening tendencies, “You were hot as fuck up on the podiums today.”

You blushed, and caught yourself wondering how he always managed to make you act like a giggling schoolgirl.

“All for you Mr Policeman.” You flirted obviously.

“Oh yeah?” His voice lowered an octave and he cocked his eyebrow at you, eyes openly wandering down to your breasts which were almost spilling over the top of your short towel - whether it was intentional on your part was irrelevant.

“Stop staring and get your ass over here.” You smirked, a smirk appearing on Calum’s face as he slowly moved towards you.

The anticipation was too much for you. You launched yourself into his arms, kissing him roughly and moaning as his grip tightened around your back, holding your body securely against his. Calum mumbled something against your lips and you drew back, fluttering your eyes open to look up at him.

“What? What is it?”

“You’re all wet.” He held you at arm’s length and let a small chuckle escape his lips.

“Is that a problem?” You bit your lip as you struggled not to laugh at his choice of wording.

Calum pondered your question for a moment and then shook his head, “Nope.” He spoke before grabbing your thighs and wrapping them around his waist, making you squeal.

His lips attached themselves to your neck, kissing all over your delicate skin. He felt your breath hitch as his mouth brushed over your sweet spot and he began sucking, hard.

“If you leave a hickey I’ll kill you.” You gasped, only slightly concerned with having to cover it up for work, however still making no effort to push him away from you.

Calum peppered kisses up your neck and over your jawline, finally capturing your eager lips in his. He pressed you back up against your waist-high dresser, making you squeak as your hot skin met the cool surface. You dropped your towel, stopping Calum in his tracks and feeling yourself grow hot all over as he could barely tear his eyes from your glistening body.

He moved slowly, his hands caressed down the exposed skin on your hips, his thumbs rubbing small circles before dropping to his knees in front of you, his head now level with your crotch. His pink lips kissed your stomach, his golden eyes flickering up to meet yours. His breath fanned over your skin, setting a kaleidoscope of butterflies loose in your stomach.

Your legs buckled as you felt his warm tongue on your clit, Calum’s strong arms catching you and keeping you upright, one leg thrown over his shoulder as you rested against your dresser. You arched your back and your fingers found themselves wound in Calum’s thick dark hair.

You moaned loudly as his lips worked skillfully at your core, moving your hips so you were practically grinding on Calum’s tongue. He must have known you were close, as you heard him murmur against you,

“Hold on for me Princess.”

You whimpered at the petname, making the knot in your stomach twist ever more euphorically.

“I…I can’t!” You managed to breathe out, your thighs shaking and locking around the dark head between them as you came hard.

Calum didn’t ease up, his tongue still lapping at your core and now easily adding two fingers to the mix, making your back arch up against the cold mirror.

“Calum!” You moaned, your jaw going slack as your sensitivity meant you were going to come again… very soon.

“Come on baby, one more for me.” You heard his low voice grumble, his long fingers curling and hitting a spot that made you spasm.

“I…I’m!” You couldn’t finish your sentence as you released over Calum’s fingers, shuddering blissfully as you felt his tongue clean you up gently.

He rose from your thighs, wiping his mouth with the cockiest smirk you’d ever seen.

“Ass.” You panted, slightly exhausted from the consecutive orgasms.

“Do you want me to leave?” He joked, pointing towards the door, only to have you grab his arm and pull him between your legs, spread wide as they dangled off the edge of the dresser.

“Don’t you dare.” You said so sensually you actually surprised yourself.

Calum didn’t need telling twice, he connected his soft lips to yours again, and you pulled him closer to you, tangling your fingers in the locks of his curly hair. You wrapped your legs around his waist, securing him near you. It seemed as if Calum could not keep his hands off you as they travelled over your arms, cupping your breasts before cheekily tweaking your nipples, then up your body again and one hand settled tightly around your neck.

His lips left yours for a moment, only to purr in your ear, “Do you want it?” to which you could only reply with a furious nod and a symphony of whimpers.

Your hands flew to his tiny shorts, which were struggling to conceal his hard on. Calum let out a whine of relief as you yanked them down his legs, and he quickly kicked them off his ankles, leaving you to rip off his policeman vest, and slide it down his toned arms.

“I need you now.” You both became frantic, desperate for a final release.

You groaned and leaned back against the mirror as Calum lined up and entered you slowly, his own body slouching over yours, just savouring the feeling of being inside of you before moving. He picked up a rhythm quickly, both of you moaning as he slid in and out of you with ease, every time hitting your sweet spot and sending sparks through your whole body.

You heard a door slam outside your room, and both of you froze. No-one was meant to be back here now, you usually timed these sessions perfectly.

“Someone’s out there.” You whispered with wide eyes to Calum, whose own were glued to the door.

“We’ve got to be quick then.” The voices outside almost leaving him unfazed.

You squealed as he thrusted harder, only to have a hand cover your mouth, and Calum’s lips leaning down to peck your cheek.

“We’ve also got to be quiet.” His forehead almost touched yours, and you were undeniably turned on by the thought of people catching you two.

Calum became more animalistic as his thrusts got rougher, and sweat began to stick his shaggy hair to his flushed face. He took his hand away from your mouth and replaced it with his lips to swallow your small whines. He drew back and leant his forehead on yours, looking into your eyes directly, thrusting even faster now that the voices outside seemed to grow louder.

“Cum, cum, cum.“ He almost chanted, slamming into you and grinning as you struggled to form coherent words, overcome with pleasure, the risk of getting caught making you even more desperate, "Can you hear them coming down the hall? Do you think they can hear us? Hear your moans?” He silenced your groan with his lips, then paused and looked into your silently begging eyes and he sussed you out, “Dirty girl, you like the risk don’t you?”

“Ah!” You gasped as Calum bucked his hips deep into you, sweat forming on your skin, “Calum I can’t…” You managed to choke out.

“None of that now.” He wasn’t about to give up when both of you were so close, he reached between your pulsing bodies and rubbed your clit in small circles, pushing you to the brink and you came, biting back a scream and your entire body shuddering as Calum followed suit painting striped of cum onto your stomach.

“Shower. Now.” Calum gathered his thoughts before you could.

If someone decided to walk in now you would both be fired on the spot. You could barely walk however, and Calum resorted to carrying you bridal style and somehow managing to squish you both in the shower and turn on the water, creating a situation that no-one would disturb.

“I’ve never cum so hard in my whole damn life.” You breathed, still a bit shaky on your legs as you leant against the tiled wall.

“You’re welcome.” Calum wore a shit-eating grin and you lightly hit his arm, unable to keep in your giggles as he began to rub you down with a loofah.


michael’s laugh on loop, you’re welcome