Geolier in university: "I want to bring work to Naples"

Geolier in university: “I want to bring work to Naples”

There was a lot of anticipation today in the great hall of the Federico II University of Naples, home of Scampìa, in anticipation of the students' meeting with the rapper Geolier, an event as long awaited as it is controversial. The announcement of the event had sparked a heated debate on the nature and intent of this initiative, arousing curiosity and interest, but also some criticism. A roar accompanied the entrance of the young Neapolitan artist, around 4.30 pm, with lots of good wishes for his 24th birthday, which was celebrated two days ago.

Emanuele Palumbo, aka Geolier, introduced by the Rector of the Federico II University, Matteo Lotito, listened to the introduction in silence, and then blurted out a genuine “But when am I speaking?”.

Many reflections were stimulated by the moderator Pierluigi Razzano, coordinator of F2 Radio Lab. “If I could go back – commented Geolier – I wouldn't change anything; perhaps education, because if I had studied more I would have been able to communicate my thoughts better, more fluidly. I would have liked to choose something that had to do with music, for example the Conservatory” And on the evident change that concerns his lyrics from the beginning to today: “It is a responsibility that I have taken on, in the last two years, that to be careful about what I write, but it's my choice. Art has no educational responsibilities, those belong to others, art must only entertain.”

The invitation to young people who are approaching music, however, is “to be inspired and not to emulate, because whoever created that genre does it better than you, it will always be a losing war”. On artificial intelligence: “It scares me, but it lacks feelings, pain, happiness, the true matrix of creation. That's just math.” On the periphery, she concluded, “They are afraid of us, because we are hungry, because we have strong motivations to succeed in life.”

In recent days many have wondered about the appropriateness of inviting an artist from the contemporary music scene in an academic context, others have wondered whether Geolier would have addressed profound and current issues, such as dignity, marginalization and redemption, often present in his lyrics. “The important thing in life – the rapper was keen to specify – is to go straight on your own path, follow your goals and get up if you fall. The second attempt is the most important one because it requires effort, but it gives a lot of satisfaction.” And again: “My goal is to bring work to Naples, there is a lot of talent here and I don't think it's right that the center of music is only in Milan.”

The event, billed as an opportunity for students to ask direct questions to the singer, attracted such interest that it sold out within minutes – although several seats remained empty.

However, there was no shortage of controversy. The prosecutor of Naples Nicola Gratteri raised doubts about the educational value of this meeting, arguing that the university should only host excellence and positive models for the education of young people. While not directly quoting Geolier, Gratteri highlighted the potential negative influences that some forms of pop culture, including rap lyrics, can have on young people.

In response to the criticism, the rector of Federico II, Matteo Lorito, defended the validity of the meeting, underlining the importance of dialogue and mutual understanding between different cultural worlds. Lorito praised the courage and maturity shown by Geolier in accepting the invitation and reiterated the university's desire to give voice to young people and their questions.

The invitation to participate, extended to Gratteri and declined, highlighted the university's desire to promote an open and constructive discussion on issues of great social relevance. The meeting proved to be a moment of dialogue and discussion between Geolier, the students and the various instances represented, offering food for thought on important issues such as the role of music in contemporary society and the responsibilities of the university in educating and training students young.