Monday, May 6, 2013

Nerys's Guide to Italian Music - Fabri Fibra

Fabri Fibra was born Fabrizio Tarducci on the 17th of October 1976, in Senigallia in the province of Ancona, on the Adriatic Coast. He's one of the biggest names in Italian rap.

His debut under the name Fabri Fibra was in 2002 with his Turbe giovanili album, but it wasn't until two years later and the release of his Mr. Simpatia album that the mainstream started to notice him. In 2006 he was signed to Universal, and his third album, Tradimento was released in May. The first single taken from it was Applausi per Fibra, which preceeded the release of the album. It peaked at number 6 on the singles chart.

Not long after arriving in Milan I heard his single In Italia, which features singer Gianna Nannini. I was struck by the grittyness of the song, which deals with life in Italy and themes such as crime and corruption, and all of the contradictions which make up contemporary society. The chorus features the line "You were born in the country of half-truths." (Nato nel Paese delle mezze verità)

I fell about laughing the first time I heard Speak English in 2009, with its chorus "Do you speak English?", and the part of the song which pokes fun of the phrase "Alright, mate?" which according to Fibra can be used for just about everything. The song makes comparisions between British and Italian society from Fabri's point of view, who deals with drug use and discrimination amongst other themes.

The first single from his 2010 album Controcultura was Vip in trip which was released in July of that year. The video is clearly inspired by The Clash's Rock the Casbah, and it also features lookalikes of two Italian politicians...

Tranne te is Fabri's most well-known single, with its repetitive chorus and house-inspired beat. The song ridicules commercial rap, and also fans who follow artists purely because they're popular. The video also features some statistics about the Italian music industry, such as the difference in album sales in the last 10 years before the release of the single.

His latest album, Guerra e pace, was released in February this year. The first track to be taken from it was Pronti! Partenza! Via! which reached number 9 in the charts. The song deals with what was the political situation in Italy at the time of its release, with a not so subtle play on the words in the line 'si va per mari e monti via!' - we go to the coast and mountains - 'Monti via!' being repeated several times, which literally means "mountains, away", but as Monti was also the surname of the now ex-Prime Minister of Italy, it also means "Monti, away!".

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