Hi Louis Dee, we thank you for your willingness to have a talk with us and to dedicate your time to us. On Friday 15 July, you released a new single with Coez, which, according to what you said on social media, represents “the beginning of a new journey”… What is it about? Simply a new upcoming album and / or a new “experimental” artistic path?
This is a new artistic journey. In this last period I have worked hard, after a series of events that happened in my life, I had to rebuild myself humanly and spiritually with the consequence of new music and even if I cannot yet reveal exactly what it is, I can tell you that Juicy music factory and all the artists and people who are working with me are fully satisfied following the vision we have and thinking with the same mentality…
Nothing experimental: it is clear that my taste could be in contrast with what the market in Italy offers today, but I am looking for another audience, perhaps more adult people or in any case more culturally and intellectually experienced.
My imagery, my sound and lyrics lead you to reflect on other topics that are often not covered by those who have greater visibility and in the end the largest audience continues to be made up of kids who base their lives on petty things… But then they grow up, they live, they have experiences … And it seems that they stop listening to rap… The cause is evident precisely: they no longer want to hear the bullshit for kids because they are not anymore, I would like this to be my audience today… However, this is a factor that the music industry does not evaluate and sooner or later the market will be so saturated that it will lose value, above all the qualitative one.
How was this song born? And when and how did your relationship with Coez begin?
I met Silvano (COEZ ed.) one night a few years ago in Palermo, we are both people passionate about music and it was easy for me to find the right feeling right away … we stayed in touch, about a year later I wrote “Fidarti di Me” and the same night I sent him the song, he wrote those fiery bars straight away and two hours later I had the complete track! The energy was incredible and the fact that an artist of his caliber enjoyed working on my music gave me the right energy to continue doing better .. The rest will be history
Tell us also about the new Juicy Music Factory “project” / label you are part of…
Juicy music factory is our mentality, our taste, our practice, our way of implementing a vision… On our side, we are aware that we are doing our things and keep repeating it in every project. ENSI believes in my music as much as I do, if not even more than me and in record terms it is an adventure that requires considerable efforts precisely because today the quality of the music is overshadowed, but for us it remains the most important thing, that’s what I mean when I speak of the same mentality and the same vision
In fact, in the last couple of years you have continued to release a series of “singles”, or tracks with a more freestyle attitude, entitled “Flow sui Gradini” (Flow on the steps) again produced by your longtime partner Big Joe and with some featurings, including Creep Giuliano, Ensi and Nerone. What is the idea or the “story” behind this series of songs and their title?
FLOWSUIGRADINI it was my way to re-emerge on what I had necessarily had to put aside after the release of my first album “Sto Bene all’Inferno” in 2015. I was stopped by choice, but even if the music did not come out, those four years of silence were still personally prolific, I noticed that my writing changed, the topics as well. I studied my voice technically more than I had ever done before, because I think I cared more and later I became aware that I could and would like to grow more than I had previously. The title is the truth, that’s all …
As kids my friends and I started rapping on the steps, freestyling, collecting the money to buy the batteries for the radio with the cd player and some cds with the greatest instrumental of those years… We did it in a genuine, innocent and unassuming way and just to have fun and disconnect from our realities so that the music itself became our true reality in everything… We were flowing and spent whole days on the steps. This is the truth.
Before your comeback with the series of singles “Flow Sui Gradini” we wondered, in fact, why for a few years, after your beautiful first official album “Sto Bene All’Inferno” (“I’m Good in Hell”) in 2015, you wanted to eclipse yourself from Italian Hip-Hop scene. Was it just our impression or were you actually no longer motivated to do Rap? Did you perhaps lose interest in the scene or were you mainly influenced by other more important reasons, including the responsibility of raising a son? And, if so, what gave you the strength and the desire to get back into the game?
After the tour of “Sto Bene all’Inferno” between 2016 and 2017 I had to deal with everything in my private life that I had unintentionally put aside and releasing another album immediately could not be a priority, also considering that from Southern Italy you have to work twice as much and even more to be able to give continuity to the artistic life you want to lead…
So, despite never having stopped writing, I focused on myself to be present in my son’s life and to make it happen I had to work hard on who I am. More or less with that album I finally tried what I wanted as a kid. When you start to approach a passion that you would like to become your job, you keep your goal in mind every day and try to do the best you can, I understood that I was going to succeed long last…
So I would get up in the morning, check in which city I would play the same evening, in the meantime on the day offs I wrote new songs, I planned the possible future moves, I managed my resources and everything but naively I did not realize what I was missing in the life off the stage and outside the studio.
I made choices like everyone else and in the meantime rap in Italy was changing, there were many more releases, even the work around an album was changing over time, sometimes almost diminishing, giving more room to work on singles, everything it was getting faster and faster and looking from afar did not allow me to keep up with productivity and above all the continuity of a path.
When you entered the scene with Love is Love 1 & 2 (2011-2013), for us it was a kind of “love at first sight” with your way of doing Rap: Your flow, the lyrics and the productions of Big Joe! In that period they represented a real breath of fresh air for Italian rap. What are the best memories you carry with you from that period? And in your opinion what were the main characteristics that allowed you Big Joe to create such a fresh and innovative style for the scene of that period, (along with other artists such as Johnny Marseille)?
The best memories are the days I shared with my friends in the studio, the laughter, the dreams and the nightmares all in those bedrooms that we turned into our base of operations … before the real recording studios and the industry bureaucracy , before awareness here. There are no real characteristics, Joe and I (BIG JOE ed) are eternal students of this genre, music has always represented everything in my life and it was a way out of the labyrinths I used to go to. to hunt, I could not help it even if I wanted to… This kind of happiness has some fucking symptoms but hahaha!
Palermo is a fantastic city with its “contradictions”. How has the city changed and how has the Palermo rap scene changed since you started compared to today? How does Palermo affect your music the most?
The city has changed in some respects but in many things it is always the same.Change the mentality of the people, luckily there are still those who grow up want to try to improve what is around them…
Here we have gold, they often notice it from the outside but those who live here in certain economic and social conditions are born almost resigned. Things don’t have to go one way, I would like the younger ones to understand.
The Palermo rap scene is alive, but full of mental cages! There is no union and the consequence is inevitable. When I was at the beginning of all this I had many friends, some remained, others did not but I still spent some moments of aggregation, I acquired culture even from those who did the opposite of what I tried to do.
Today there is no such feedback and I am trying to carry on my concept of union, the first two dates of “FLOW PER SEMPRE” with Elia Phoks, Big Joe, Dj Rage, Spika, Turi Moncada, went very well, I wanted them to realize how we had put up a real Rap show… All different artists from different realities, it was a show that hasn’t been seen for years in Palermo. I hope I have given my contribution and I will continue to do it… I imagine Palermo .. A different day.
“Nero d’Inferno” by Stokka and Mad Buddy, one of the classics par excellence of Italian Hip-Hop that talk about graffiti writing, comes from Palermo.Furthermore, just this year in your city the first edition of a big graffiti festival took place (Palermo FestiGraff) … On the pages of our magazine we also hosted the rosanero writer Mister Acker of the Skills Burners crew… It’s a pretty lively scene in the city as far as graffiti is concerned… Do you have any connection with the Palermo graffiti scene?
I am a fan of bombing, honestly I still prefer “illegality”, I grew up with the myth of TSF, The GoTaste fanzine was like a bible … I went around trains too with some of the strongest including Tordo ( r.i.p) Waka, Poldo and those who would later become brothers, CFK who contributed to the “Renaissance” of what was a scene of writers that was about to go out in Palermo …
Among these I also have a cousin with whom I started to take the first steps, another of them worked on all the covers of every episode of FLOWSUIGRADINI, another of them is one of my closest friends and today he is one of the strongest tattoo artists on the whole island.
“In short, this stuff has never left my life and has given me so much passion. Today I don’t see much movement, at least for what concerns illegal and a bit more hardcore stuff … It could all be reborn, who knows, maybe there is a need for stimulation, sometimes about old clips of Dirty Handz and stuff like that that still excite me as if it were the first day of a school I wish it would never end.
You have always said that your musical influences have always been mostly those from the American West Coast: today, however, what do you listen to most? And who are your favorite current West Coast rappers? And what’s your top 5 ever?
Yes it’s true, the Californian scene practically forged me, that kind of sound, the atmospheres… Growing up I also appreciated the East coast, I listen to all music in general, but my references remain there, 2Pac, Dpg, EastSidaz, Natedogg, Butch Cassidy… The new artists are crazy, Nipsey Hussle of all was exemplary, Yg, Natedogg’s son is called Nhale is crazy, even Doggystyleeee is a very strong one, I also really like Ty Dolla.
In my top five I put Jay Z, Nas, Nipsey Hussle, Kid Cudi, Isaiah Rashaad and all the TDE, none excluded among the most and least known
Who, on the other hand, among the new generation of Palermo deserves more attention in your opinion?
Everyone deserves attention because as previously said Palermo has gold and nobody knows it yet, among the favorites there is definitely Spika and Dirt Ò Malley, Jess Maestro, Kilo, Turi Moncada… You will listen to good music very soon!