Caparezza (born Michele Salvemini on October 9, 1973) is an Italian rapper known for his often political lyrics, serious statements expressed with unusual and ironic metaphors, nasal voice and his Funny Afro. He says to be inspired by Frank Zappa.
He began his musical career in 1997 under the name Mikimix, writing melodic rap/hip hop songs with little success; since 2000 he underwent a total change of appearance and style, rejecting his past and openly mocking it.
- Alternative Hip Hop / Rap Rock
- Animated Music Video: For the songs Jodellavitanonhocapitouncazzo (All CGI Cartoon), The Auditels Family (Python-esque animated cutouts) and Cacca nello spazio (an interesting use of stop-motion).
- Call Back: The third album begins with a snippet of a song from the second album that says "mamma quanti dischi venderanno se mi spengo" (Oh my, they'll sell a lot of records if I pass away). Indeed the album satirizes, among other things, the concept of Dead Artists Are Better (see below).
- CamelCase: The album covers render his stage name as "CapaRezza", however this way of writing is used almost only on That Other Wiki (the Italian version). Possibly referenced in one of his songs, when someone calls him "Mr. Rezza Capa".
- Comics Rule Everything Around Me: The man gives Shout Outs to everything from the Smurfs to Commodore 64. See Reference Overdosed below.
- Completely Missing the Point: Not Caparezza himself, but many listeners. He wrote a catchy song called "Fuori dal tunnel", about how the system is trying to uniform people's free time too... which immediately became a huge summer hit in discos and mainstream radio channels, the expressions of that "fun factory" he derided. He spoofed this in one song of his next album, when someone listens to "Fuori dal tunnel" and thinks that it's about drugs.
- His song "Vieni a ballare in Puglia" ("Come dance in Apulia", the region where Capa was born) suffered the same fate. It is actually about work and work-related deaths (the metaphors at the beginning make clear that "dance" really means "die"), but many people mistook it for Caparezza professing his love to Apulia. The fact that the catchy refrain is an Ear Worm doesn't help matters.
- One of his latest songs, which mocks catastrophism and conspiracies, has been mis-interpreted as well. If Youtube comments are an indication, many people praise Caparezza for "telling the truth", taking seriously his statements about Reptilians and chem trails.
- Darker and Edgier: His latest album to date (2011), a concept album about heresy whose lyrics are more pessimistic and disilluded, and that contains a very political protest track sung in his "real" voice, to signify that he's dead serious about what's singing.
- Dead Artists Are Better: Caparezza viciously mocks this concept. He calls his third album "a posthumous album of a still living singer", and actually the first track spoofs people's typical reactions to artists dying (imagining himself as the dead artist). The album as a whole is a concept about him being dead and his spirit still living on until he "resurrects" at the end.
- Determinator: The titular character of Eroe, Storia di Luigi Delle Bicocche (Hero, Story Of Luigi Delle Bicocche), who continues to work even though he's retired to earn a living for his family
- Funny Afro: His stage name Caparezza means "Curly head" in the dialect of his hometown.
- Homage: His music video for "Abiura di me" (a song apparently about videogames) is a glowing homage to TRON, a couple years before Tron: Legacy hit the theaters.
- "I Want" Song: His early track "Tutto ciò che c'è" is this plus a ton of name-dropping. The lyrics are about him wanting various musicians and celebrities to do absurd and out-of-character things, and contain the line "Michael Jackson dice: Capa sei un genio!" (Michael Jackson says: Capa, you're a genius!).
- Music Is Politics: Referenced in his song "Chi se ne frega della musica" (Who gives a damn about music). He implies that videos, song charts, producers, talk shows are all that is important in the music business, and nobody gives a damn about the music itself.
- One of Us: See Reference Overdosed below. Let's face it, how many rappers can reference Silent Hill and Mouseton in the same verse? He often references toys from his youth, comic books, anime, videogames and so on, and is almost always seen with a Fun T-Shirt in videos and concerts.
- He himself sings in one track: "I'm not from the street, I'm too much of a nerd"!
- Pun-Based Title: Absolutely everywhere. Caparezza is very fond of puns and wordplay, and almost every title of his songs reflect this. Case in point: his latest album, Il sogno eretico ("Heretic Dream"), a pun on "Erotic dream".
- Reference Overdosed: He applies a metaphor to his lyrics and takes it Up to Eleven, for example the songs Abiura di me (about his will to improve as an artist) and La marchetta di Popolino (about narrow-minded people) are disguised as huge amounts of videogame and Walt Disney references.
- Sampling: Caparezza seldom uses samples, but one notable exception is his early track "La fitta sassaiola dell'ingiuria", based on a few lyrics of a song by Italian folksinger Angelo Branduardi. Funny thing is, the sampled lyrics at one point refer to the singer's hairdo - both Capa and Branduardi have, or used to have, a huge afro.
- Self-Deprecation: He sometimes mocks his Mikimix persona in a few songs. Also, he says things such as he's not an artist, he comes from the gutter and so on.
- Once, during a concert, he tried to give a speech, but was constantly interrupted by the doorbell. The video feed (in daylight - "What kind of time zone do they have?") showed him with an annoyed expression, keeping ringing.
Caparezza: [beat, then whispering] Pretend I'm not here, I know him, he never shuts up...
- The Unpronounceable: His first album is called "!?".
- Viral Marketing: The spoken part at the end of one song from his latest album mentions a site, staperarrivarelafinedelmondo.com ("the end of the world is near.com"). It's a (fake) blog of a conspiracy theorist that talks about catastrophes, reptilians and backmasked messages in Capa's songs... the latter one, however, really was inserted into one song!
- Harsher in Hindsight: The first entry of the blog is about catastrophes such as earthquakes and eruptions that will destroy Earth one day. A couple weeks after the album was released, a massive quake hit Japan causing thousands of deaths and a nuclear meltdown.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Tony Hadley driving a truck at the end of Goodbye Malinconia's video.
- Zombie Apocalypse: In the video for "Vieni a ballare in Puglia". As always, there's a second meaning: the pollution and chemicals from factories are what turned people into zombies.