Dreadbeat: Italian Rapper Luche’s “Chi Non Dimentica”

Ominous military snares sound a call to arms in which Italian rapper Luche takes position front and centre on “Chi Non Dimentica”, a track from his debut album L1. Barely containing the sense of panic and urgency that grows slowly over the course of the track, the minimalist beats march relentlessly forward as the rhymes find a spine-chilling calm in the hurricane’s eye of the song. Featuring rapper Franco Ricciardi, “Chi Non Dimentica”, seems to be a strange and disturbing rumination of religiosity and death, further expanding upon the inherent sense of dread in the song. Luche’s pained vocals resound like a distress call from the expanse of a vast ocean on the chorus and nearly get lost in the eerie, ethereal grind of the descending piano scales.

Things are a little different for Luche now, originally from Naples, who was once a far more aggressive fellow with a chip on his shoulder in his days with his previous hip-hop incarnation, Co’Sang. “Some people want me to stay the same as I was long ago but people don’t understand that human beings always change and that that’s a good thing,” he says. “I just can’t be the same angry little old ghetto boy yelling at everybody; that would be a shame and a failure for me. I have goals and I love the struggle, so my music is about my story.”

Of his musical and cultural identity, the rapper says: “I don’t think my album is very Italian at all and I don’t think I represent the usual Italian stereotype. My lifestyle is more eccentric; I live in London, I traveled the world, lived in New York for a while — and I don’t like Italy at all. Even the stories I tell are not typically Italian because I’m from Naples and Naples is a country within a country. We have our own slang and our lifestyle is so different. I guess the passion I put in my music and representing Naples to the fullest is what makes my music Italian.”