Sanremo 2024, Amadeus: "Why I said yes to Geolier"

Rap is (still) under attack

The presentation of the Netflix show “New Scene”, with Fabri Fibra, Rose Villain and Geolier, took place in a surreal atmosphere, as if we were living in two distinct countries: on the one hand, one of the most important streaming platforms in the world imports a successful show in Italy dedicated to rapa show made with a high production budget and designed to generate impressive numbers on a popular level, in the wake of the mainstream success of the genre in recent years, on the other hand, a part of the country attacks that genre, calls for censorship, daspo and creates surreal television reports in which some of its protagonists, one above all Geolier himself, the “scapegoat” of the moment, are described as “bad teachers who incite the use of weapons and drugs”.

It all happens in TV lounges with cosplayers of rappers and imitators of Baby Gang and Simba La Rue. No, it is not Samuel Beckett’s theater of the absurd, that was of a high cultural level, this is reality. “Let’s hope it’s always like this (that there is someone who wants ‘bad’ rap), if this isn’t the case there will be no reason to rap anymore”, said Fabri Fibra, at the presentation of “New Scene”, remembering and claiming the corrosive nature of this genre, which must not be accommodating at all costs. But what Italian rap is (once again) under attack, it is clear. And instead of just adulating in an adolescent way the advertisements of listening party by Kanye Westperhaps it would be time for those who love hip hop culture to take note of it.

Geolier’s real “fault” for his detractors? The success. Success is never forgiven to those who are not aligned with a certain accepted profile of a winner. It is also true that if you play in the Sanremo championship (in which rap becomes a sort of “big scam”, to use the harsh and agreeable words of my colleague Damir Ivic), you know that anything can happen: it is the reason why artists like Marracash and Fibra itself stay away from it. But this cannot and must not be a justification. Geolierwith great clarity and maturity, is dribbling away every attempt to weaken him in this post Sanremo full of controversy. A few years ago, any Junior Cally was crushed by the controversies unleashed in the City of Flowers. In this round the most loved new generation rapper has ended up in the crosshairs, a potential reverse goal for those who build the monster of sensationalism in the laboratory: his old 2019 video “Narcos” has been recovered in which he shows himself armed with a toy Kalashnikov, a video that Geolier himself, upon returning from a Festival played at very high levels, he explained that today he would no longer make it. A clip which however does not represent his life, but is an extreme narration of some street dynamics. In short, a story with the filters of rap, too questionable if we want, we agree, but that must be contextualised. Why aren’t Geolier’s more recent songs played, such as “I am” or “Non ci tornipiù”, beautiful pieces in which the rapper talks about how a criminal life leads to ruin? The answer is obvious.

Let’s not forget that Italy is the country where, in 2018, after the Corinaldo tragedy, for part of the information and public opinion, the problem seemed to be what Sfera Ebbasta sings in his songs, almost as if he were the cause of all that pain, and not the safety conditions that caused six people to die. A part of this country rejects rap on a cultural and social level, it demystifies it a priori and takes no steps towards understanding it. For some, what emerged from the Milan Music Week, during which the Undersecretary of Culture Gianmarco Mazzi asked for a sort of censorship for rap lyrics, might have seemed just a joke, but in reality the level of debate in the country, as demonstrated by these hectic days, has gone to become sour, becoming more and more barbarous.

After the positions taken by Ghali and Dargen D’Amico on the Ariston stagewho denounced the tragic nature of the war in the Middle East, the undersecretary Alessandro Morelli proposed a daspo for artistswho like puppets, on TV, should only sing and not expose themselves, as if music and vision of life/personal ideas were separate worlds. The truth is that rap, despite these frontal attacks, is a moving machine that can no longer be stopped. This is demonstrated by the live and listening numbers, but above all by how much it has entered the daily lives of the new generations. He entered, breaking down the door, into the culture of boys and girls, who use it as a means to see each other again or talk about themselves. The feeling is that this clash with rap is purely functional, simply allows you to shift the spotlight to what is easy to attack, hiding the country’s real problems. There have been those who have long called them “weapons of mass distraction”.