Murubutu: “Getting into Dante’s language is only good for rap”

IMarch 25, 1300, is the date which, crossing the clues sown by Dante in his greatest work, would mark the beginning of the journey beyond the world narrated in Comedy. In the absence of precise historical data about the date of birth, and death, of the great exile, the Council of Ministers established on this date, from 2020, the annual Dante celebration: the Monday. Tomorrow’s anniversary will be increasingly significant, since it falls in the year of the seven hundredth anniversary of the death of Alighieri. On March 25 last year, Murubutu, a voice known to the young audience in the scene of the so-called storytelling rap, with his colleague Claver Gold, released the single “Paolo and Francesca”, with the guest of Giuliano Palma, who anticipated an entire album inspired by the first Dante canticle, “hell», An actualizing reinterpretation of his most famous places and figures. Murubutu, who is also a history and philosophy teacher, will discuss on Thursday 25 March from the Piccinni theater in Bari (at 10.30 in streaming) with hundreds of students via videoconference, the themes and ideas that led to this acclaimed concept album, which marked a new way of Italian rap, in reprint right now. We reached him to anticipate some questions.
How and when the project was born “hell”?
“The project was born at least two years ago from the meeting with Claver Gold and mutual artistic esteem: we immediately thought of making a record together and we found ourselves in various ways on the Comedy Dante. The idea of ​​focusing onInferno it was from Claver Gold. The work that was to be done was impressive. We began to deepen the reading of the original text and then to develop rewritings relating to the characters and to discuss some suggestions. We both worked on the basics as much as on the lyrics. I focused on a more didactic treatment of the characters, while Claver pushed towards more actualizing adaptations ».
The rewriting of Dante’s characters and places enhances the storytelling and other techniques of your medium: how much innovative and how much derived from Dante’s origins of poetry do we find in this operation?
«Obviously there are enormous differences with respect to Dante’s text: starting with the elision of the religious theme and the abandonment of the original metric choices, the note tercet chained with hendecasyllables. But there are also analogies, especially with secular poetry and with the centrality that is assigned to man, with his defects and resources, and with the will to give hope to those who listen to us ».
Today, with rap, spoken word, poetry slam, the worlds of hip-hop and poetry intersect: how do you think this can help bring a younger audience closer to poetry?
“It’s true, these forms of expression have increasingly crossed over in recent years, giving the opportunity to enjoy poetry in a less conventional and certainly more cross-media way, thus reaching a wider range of users. There is a component in rap, which is that conscious, which is closer to poetry, and more and more rappers are approaching the world of slams, bringing children closer to a world that is no longer just that of music but also of poetic discourse ».
We are at Dante’s celebrations: what does Dante’s example represent for you?
“Dante is a great example, both for his intention to give centrality and hope to man, as I said, but also for his ability to put the eternal evils of man under the lens, with all his weaknesses. And then certainly for the linguistic work: in a period like that of the current rap, in which we are witnessing a progressive deconstruction of the verbal language, the return to Dante, father of our language, is important to recover its richness and breadth ».
When a Purgatory, perhaps taking a cue from the quarantines of the pandemic?
“As we have stated on other occasions, there will be no Purgatory. If, on the other hand, Claver Gold and I were to find ourselves collaborating on a similar project, it would rather concern the Decamerone, which notoriously had to do with another dramatic pandemic! ».

March 24, 2021 | 11:31

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