Tedua, Vita Vera Mixtape (2020)

Italian rapper Tedua’s 2020 album Vita Vera Mixtape features a Doré-inspired cover. The track “Mare Mosso” (featuring Bresh, produced by Garelli) opens with a reference the first canto:

“Mi ritrovai in una selva oscura, scura
E non sapevo più nulla, nulla
Perdonerai chi in amore ti trascura, scusa
Ma infondo già lo sai
Restar da solo può fare più paura
Vorrei prendermi del tempo per me
Vorrei metterti nel letto perché
Vorrei chiederti se ancora provi le emozioni
Di quei giorni e come autori
Mi racconti le tue storie o vuoi tenerle per te?”

In an interview in Corriere della Sera, Tedua had this to say about his relationship to Dante: “Il concetto sarà chiaro con l’album, il terzo della mia carriera. Questo è uno spoiler per tenere alta l’attenzione del pubblico. Non sarà però una tesina su Dante: non ho la competenza culturale dei classicisti, sarà il mio racconto.” Il Sommo Poeta sarà la terza incarnazione del rapper, nei panni di DanTedua. “Amo metafore e allegorie: aiutano molto a dare una linea a tutto il progetto.”

[. . .]

“Con Dante affronterò il percorso all’interno della società borghese per analizzarne pregi e difetti, ipocrisie e contraddizioni. L’artista quando diventa famoso entra in contatto con i borghesi ma per non perdersi nella selva oscura e tornare a vedere le stelle deve rimanere se stesso, purezza e verità.”   –Tedua with Andrea Laffranchi, “Tedua, rap vincente: «Musica di strada pensando a Dante»,” Corriere della sera (June 25, 2020)

Contributed by Alex Basili (MA, Florida State University ’22)

“The Roommate from Hell” by MC Lars

In MC Lars’ 2006 album The Graduate, the song “The Roommate from Hell” contains lyric “when did room 56 become Dante’s Inferno?” (MC Lars, Horris Records, March 21, 2006)

Contributed by Victoria Nicholls (The Bolles School, ’22)

Dante’s Inferno the Hip Hop Artist

Dante’s Inferno is a hip hop artist who released their first EP Hot N’ Cold on December 25th, 2017. Their particular brand of rap/hip hop is a mix of personal, sometimes funny lyrics backed by a chill, sometimes lo-fi hip hop sound. The song “Deep Freezin'” from Hot N’ Cold is a great representation of his hip hop sound, which you can listen to here on Soundcloud. Dante’s Inferno distinguishes himself from other artists by taking on the persona of a demon in his music, with frequent references to Hell in his lyrics and a generally dark, gothic vibe.

You can check out the Hot N’ Cold EP on Apple Music, and you can visit the Dante’s Inferno Soundcloud to listen to his singles as well.

“La sedia di Dante” [Dante’s Chair]

 “La sedia di Dante”: A rap by high school students about Dante, poetry, life.  Directed by Ian Giovanni Soscara, Forlì, Italy, 2017.

Contributed by Francesco Ciabbatoni and Anna Cafaro

“Rap God” Video by Eminem

A few Dante-related images flash through the music video for Eminem’s song “Rap God.” The video shows several of Gustave Doré’s illustrations of Purgatorio and Paradiso, as well as a quick shot of the spine of a book that reads Inferno:

Eminem-Rap-God-Inferno-Book-Spine

Contributor Hunter Sherry writes, “As this image is shown the lyrics in the song are ‘I want to make sure somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle enough rhymes, to maybe try to get some people through tough times’ and I think this is a reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy rhyming in its original Italian version. The song is also about the divinity of Eminem with respect to rap and hip hop so a Dante reference would make sense in the context of the song.”

Watch the full video on YouTube here.

Contributed by Hunter Sherry (University of Delaware)

Caparezza, “Argenti Vive” (2015)

Argenti ViveItalian rap-rock icon Caparezza‘s new song, “Argenti Vive” (“Argenti Lives”), opens with a recitation of part of Canto 8 of the Inferno, when Dante is crossing the river of Styx and has an encounter with Filippo Argenti. This is followed by a vengeful rap in the voice of Argenti.

Watch the full music video here.

Contributed by Sam Gaglio (University of Texas at Austin)

Jovanotti, “Serenata Rap” (1994)

Serenata RapItalian singer-songwriter Lorenzo “Jovanotti” Cherubini‘s 1994 song “Serenata Rap” contains a famous line from Inferno V: “Amor ch’a nullo amato amar perdona”.

 

To watch the music video, click here.

To view the song’s lyrics, click here.

 

 

Inferno Rap Translation by Hugo (2013)

Hugo_InfernoRap_coverIn July 2013, Melbourne-based hip hop artist Hugo released a rap translation of the first six cantos of Inferno.  Here is Hugo’s description of the project:

“Immortal innovators of the artform such as Rakim, Talib Kweli, Eminem, KRS One, Mos Def, Nas, Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur and Pharoahe Monch, took this rap rhyming to incredible depths, exploring all angles of their own vernacular, spitting intricate multi-syllable rhymed verses over irresistible hip hop beats and delivering their version of the Dolce Stil Novo to an insatiable world, and in the process proving, like Dante, that their Vulgar vernacular could have global relevance in its eloquence.

“So, to this project. The basic agenda being simply to retranslate the Inferno using some of the forms of Rap – Multi-syllabic rhyme patterns, driving beats – to reengage with this epic medieval poem, and maybe contribute to garnering it a new audience. [ . . . ]” — YouTube

See the videos with lyrics here.

To listen to the full album, click here.

Contributed by Janet Gomez (PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2015)

GM Grimm aka Superstar Jet Jaguar, “Digital Tears: Email from Purgatory” (2004)

gm-grimm-digital-tears-email-from-purgatory“A study in blatant subtlety? Maybe, just maybe? GM Grimm gives us “Digital Tears,” the first album since his release from prison last year. Featuring production from J-Zone, X-Ray, Zero Point and Mas this album will probably be one of the most diverse and heavy sets released this year. With Grimm’s ill rhyme flow and incisive lyrics you better buckle up and hold tight as Jet Jaguar the robot is gonna take you on a dark musical journey into the mind of Percy Carey.”    –Eric Goldwyn

See Also:
http://www.wallysemons.com/ProdDtl.cfm?lid=24&cid=32&id=1074
http://www.daybydayent.com/releases/digital_tears.shtml
Essay by Eric Goldwyn

Contributed by Eric Goldwyn (Bowdoin, ’04)

Eternal Cool Project, “Inferno: The Rap” (2005)

eternal-cool-project-inferno-the-rap-2005“This is a unique, never before done approach to Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. Lyrics written in the 14th Century, as translated in the mid 1800s by H Cary, are rapped by MicPwr, over a music track composed by Mr Moe. It is a powerful depiction of a medieval Hell, performed by uban artists.”    —CD Baby