Five years later, they found one. After rapidly and relatively assimilating into U.S. culture, the duo discovered Persian rap in 2006. Soon, Nima T and Arash, aka The Wriders, were born. Now with more than half a decade of music under their belt, the cousins have been working relentlessly to make it in America, through their weapon of choice: hip-hop.
It just got me. It was finally a way to express all these things Id been feeling, Nima T said. I couldnt sing and couldnt paint, but rap was a way of expressing our thoughts coming to America and learning to speak English.
The guys opt to rap in both English and Farsi, the primary language of several countries, including Iran and Afghanistan. Rather than rebel against the current state of the world, The Wriders hope to break down barriers and stereotypes with music inspired by the likes of Tech N9ne.
We are talking about the urban truth and the urban reality of the modern Iranian. Thats something the world hasnt been exposed to, Arash said. It feels like a big responsibility, rapping in English and Farsi, and trying to blend those worlds. We definitely try to project a more positive image of our people.
Added Nima T, Were trying to change peoples perspectives of Iranians. Especially now, with us always being displayed on the news in this negative light. Were trying to show that we are just like everybody else. Our music is positive. We dont like to degrade anybody else or their culture.
Sure enough, The Wriders proper debut album, Local 2 Global, released last fall, was more about building bridges than burning them, maybe even making a little history in the process.
I think its the first album that contains both English and Persian songs in there, Nima T said.
Added Arash, We wanted a CD for everybody. We wanted to expose both sides to each other bringing it together rather than separating it.
Its been a decidedly underground effort for The Wriders, but the buzz of Local 2 Global is helping build a larger local following, while the documentary Road 2 Success is chronicling their rise.
We arent looking for one big show, Arash said. We are in this for the long haul. This is going to be a long career.