Hichkas aka Soroush Lashkary was born on 9th May 1985 in Tehran. Hichkas has always referred to himself as the “Godfather” of Persian HipHop, he has always maintained that he was the one who accepted the responsibility of taking care of Persian HipHop.
Hichkas began by recording raps on his home computer over downloaded HipHop instrumentals and posting them online. While the word is often overused, Hichkas is one who can truly be classified as a trendsetter, originator and major influence in not only bringing HipHop to the attention of the general public in Iran but also as one who worked with a large number of up and coming rappers, ghostwriting for some and providing advice and guidance to others. Hichkas was the first rapper to coin the phrase “021” as a slang word for the city of Tehran pertaining to its phone code.
Hichkas continued to release music such as “Maste Mastam” through the Internet and at a time when other emerging Persian rappers were concerned with imitating their Western counterparts, Hichkas’ work always remained staunchly Iranian as Soroush presented a whole new identity through his music, that of a young modern Persian who is proud of his cultural heritage. His poetic and thoughtful words were a stark contrast to his rugged, gravelly voice. Hichkas set up a site entitled 021-music that was a portal through which Iranian rappers could release their songs online. Hichkas continued to release songs recorded over instrumentals of popular foreign songs His 2004 collaboration with Reveal entitled “Tirippe Ma” along with its low budget, grainy black and white video which was an instant Internet hit, did much to cement his position as the self proclaimed guardian of Persian HipHop. The song was also the first time a Persian rap song had been entirely produced, written and recorded in Iran, the track also featured a live Setar. The release of the video did a lot to spread the word about the HipHop being produced in Iran to the rest of the Persian diaspora worldwide.
Hichkas continued to work and release music and after coming into contact with Mahdyar Aghajani, his work elevated to a whole other level as he now had the necessary musical back up to be able to deliver truly classic work. This was exemplified by his 2005 release, a full length LP entitled “Jangal Asfalt”, a collaboration with Mahdyar. the work was seminal in that it was the first professional Persian HipHop LP to be released from Iran. The work was groundbreaking in its lyrical composition, it provided a unique snapshot of Tehran and the LP has now risen to an artistic status where it can be considered a fine example of Iranian art and culture and stands alone in its depth.
It was during the period of the recording of the LP that Hichkas first ran into trouble with the Iranian authorities. The authorities had ordered that the selling of the album should be stopped and a number of rappers were arrested. During their interrogations they were threatened with prison, beaten and forced to give information about Hichkas who had gone on the run. Hichkas remained on the run for a number of weeks, staying at the houses of friends and contacts in the areas surrounding Tehran. Eventually he realized that he could not stay on the run forever and turned himself in to the authorities. After a few days of interrogation and after paying bail, he was released but forced to later appear in court and sign a statement saying that he would not work anymore as a rapper. However he did not stay quiet for long and soon released a single entitled “Ye Mosht Sarbaz” accompanied with a video produced with help from the United Nations as part of their “Music Not War” program. Hichkas was by now a household name in Iran and was also establishing a quite impressive international media presence, being regularly interviewed and featured in reports for programs such as the BBC’s Panorama, the Arte channel, HBO and CNN amongst others. Pressure from the authorities once again increased. Hichkas travelled to the Arab Emirates for a holiday but when he returned his passport was seized and he was told that he was no longer allowed to leave the
country. He was eventually given his passport back on the condition that he would agree, once again, to not put out any new music. This time Hichkas decided to leave Iran temporarily before releasing his new song “Ye Rooze Khoob Miad” a comment on the recent political unrest in Iran. The decision was made to use the opportunity to embark on a number of shows around the world in what was later to be named the Tour of Duty.
In May 2010 Hichkas performed alongside Reveal at the Dragonfly nightclub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at what was his first public performance.