This Is An Azerbaijani “National Rap” Battle

05.17.12 Marina Galperina

Immerse yourself in Meykhana — Azerbaijan’s rhythmic, rhyming literary and folk tradition, or the controversial, frequently censored “national rap.” These dudes. These dudes right here.

This one’s a mix of Azerbaijani and Russian, so I’m not sure what exactly they’re passing the mike about, but it revolves around particularly witty “Dosvidanye” good-bye send-offs and something about Russian cops. It’s a combination of pre-written rhymes and topical freestyles that’s perhaps more of a rap jam than a battle, but it does get agressive there, doesn’t it?

Meykhana is always rapped to music, not to be confused with Azerbaijani spoken word. Synthesizers/live bands, drum circles/drum machines and crowds are customary. Swanky silky curtain backdrops are optional.