From crew to crew: ‘The New Genoese School’ brings together songwriters and rappers

There was a moment, about ten years ago, when Marracash had it in his head to make a remake of I’m fallen in love with you by Luigi Tenco. He had listened to the song since he was a child on long car journeys with his family, and it seemed to him that it could be reread in a contemporary perspective, to tell about the boredom and the characteristic hatred / love relationship of the customer in the perennial. search for a pusher .. “However, the Tenco family did not want anything to do with this makeover, so in the end we gave up” he explains in the documentary The new Genoese schoolwhere he is present as a super-foreign guest.

The feature film conceived and written by Claudio Cabona (music journalist specializing in hip hop) and directed by Yuri Dellacasa and Paolo Fossati arrives at the cinema on May 2 in a Genoese premiere and on May 3 and 4 throughout Italy. The main theme is the relationship, at times contradictory, but certainly symbiotic, between the legendary Genoese songwriting school and the city’s rap scene. In recent years, many well-known names from the Ligurian capital have actually landed: Tedua, Izi, Bresh, just to name the three most famous. All present in the cast of the documentary along with the song’s big names like Gino Paoli, Cristiano De André, Ivano Fossati, Vittorio De Scalzi, Dori Ghezzi and many others. Many of them are combined in surrealistic but enlightening two-way dialogues: memorable, such as the one between Tedua and Gino Paoli, where the first argues that the Genoese school was like a crew, and to the question “do you know the term” crew “, maestro ? ” triggers the search for a synonym. Eventually, they agree on the word crew.

Today, the absolute value of rap is recognized a bit by everyone, first and foremost by the artists who preceded them: “If De André was twenty today, he would definitely be a rapper”, says singer-songwriter Gian Piero Alloisio, who in his long career working with Gaber, Jannacci and Guccini. “Fabrizio would be the first to understand you,” Dori Ghezzi confirms in a talk with Izi. However, this has not always been the case: this harmony, as demonstrated by Marracash’s history, comes after years of generational misunderstanding and lack of communication, which fortunately is disappearing as hip hop enters the common language and becomes more and more pervasive. custom clearance.

A bit like what happened in the 60s with Genoese artists like De André, Bindi, Tenco, Lauzi and many others, today celebrated as geniuses and poets, but in its time much less outraged than one might expect. To tell the story is one of them, Gino Paoli, who remembers how the boys who were in the Foce district to write, sing and play were basically half-runners, in stark contrast to the hypocritical and respectable language of the time. “When the song was a hypnotic medium, it should not have made us think,” he recalls in the documentary. “One could only talk about mothers and virgins: we talked about whores and free women.”

Tedua and Gino Paoli. Photo: Matteo Bosonetto

The word Genoa comes from Latin ianua, or “door”: a door to the sea in the commercial, but also and above all cultural sense. In such a city, all rappers agree that it is impossible to write banal lyrics. Also for the social substance that makes it up. “I had a good time in my family, we lived in a small town not far from the city. However, my father worked at the port of Genoa, and it was impossible not to notice that I lived in a bubble and that many of my peers, a few kilometers from me, led a completely different life, ”Bresh reflects. The same bitter contrasts that have hit so many other big names in the song before them, in short.

But the beauty of this documentary is that it makes it clear that what we know, both from the songwriting school and the local rap scene, is only the tip of the iceberg: There are dozens of other names, unknown but equally valid, both in the underground and among the new ones, which continue to draw inspiration from the same contrasts. Among the names that participated should definitely be mentioned Giua, singer-songwriter, and Gorka, rapper who accompanies himself on guitar. In short, the story does not end here: The city of lights and its surroundings will probably continue to give us great surprises in the musical field.

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