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Music / Caparezza

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"He was once Mikimix, insignificant singer, from whose self-disgust today's himself was born"
Caparezza on himself

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 afro. Influenced by Frank Zappa, Caparezza is also known for genre blending concept albums.

He began his musical career in 1995 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.



  • Diego Perrone – second lead vocals, backing vocals
  • Alfredo Ferrero – chitarra, synthesizer, backing vocals
  • Giovanni Astorino – bass, cello, backing vocals
  • Gaetano Camporeale – keyboard, synthesizer, backing vocals
  • Rino Corrieri – drums


Studio albums:

  • as Mikimix:
    • Tengo duronote  (1996)
    • La mia buona stellanote  (1997)
  • as Caparezza, demos:
    • Ricomincio da Capanote  (1998)
    • Zappa (1999)
  • as Caparezza:
    • ?! (2000)
    • Verità Suppostenote  (2003)
    • Habemus Capa (2006)
    • Le dimensioni del mio caosnote  (2008)
    • Il sogno ereticonote  (2011)
    • Museicanote  (2014)
    • Prisoner 709 (2017)
    • EXUVIA (2021)

Live albums:

  • Esecuzione pubblicanote  (2012)
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  • Prisoner 709 Live (2018)

Tropes related to the artist:

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: Intentional example in "Goodbye Malinconia". "Malinconia" (melancholy) should be pronounced with the accent on the last 'i' (maleenkoNEEa), but the song moves it over the 'o' (maleenKOnya) making it sound somewhat like the name of a place. This is because "Malincònia" is Italy, the land of melancholy.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: "Non siete Stato voi" means both "it wasn't you" and "you are not the State". Since "Stato" is written with a capital 'S' and it's an Hail to the Thief song, it's very likely that the second meaning is the intended one.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: All three members of the Russian family getting exposed to Caparezza on the TV in "Avrai ragione tu" turn into Caparezzas at the end.
  • 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).
  • Artistic License – History: Deliberately invoked in one song. "Pimpami la storia" ("Pimp My History") is all about this, being sung by the perspective of schoolboys who only care about modes and having fun. More broadly it's about how history is being over-simplified for the masses, or even totally distorted to please ideologies. One example: they think the "Marshall Plan" was made by Eminem's grandfather...
  • The Backwards Я: The video for "Avrai ragione tu", being in part a gentle spoof of Communist iconography, naturally features many of these. It also features V's in place of U's, which is more a Latin type of thing...
  • 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 at the end of "Vieni a ballare in Puglia", when a judge calls him "Mr. Rezza Capa".
  • The Cameo:
    • "Vieni a ballare in Puglia" has an intro featuring famous easy-listening singer (and fellow Apulian) Albano Carrisi AKA Al Bano, who also appears in the video.
    • In the video for "Avrai ragione tu (Ritratto)", Giovanni Allevi (pianist, composer and orchestra director, with an iconic afro of his own) briefly appears when he gets name-dropped in the lyrics.
  • Close-Up on Head: The cover of Verità Supposte, a close up on the left side of Caparezza's face.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He self-admits to being one in "Jodellavitanonhocapitouncazzo".
  • Comics Rule Everything Around Me: The man gives Shout Outs to everything from the Smurfs to Commodore 64. See Reference Overdosed below.
  • Concept Album: Quite a few of his albums. For example, Le dimensioni del mio caos is a Rock Opera involving time-traveling hippies, aliens, and pre-evolution Bonobos. Habemus Capa is a concept abum about the idea that dead artists sell better, and Il sogno eretico has to do with the nature of dreams. His 2014 album Museica can be seen as an equivalent to Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Pictures At An Exhibition: every track was inspired by a work of art (not only paintings, but graffiti and statues as well) and the album is structured as if it was a visit in an art museum. Prisoner 709 is more introspective and tackles themes of identity, depression and the contrast between his stage persona and his private self.
  • Conscious Rap: Even more in his latest albums.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • His album "Il sogno eretico", a concept album 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.
    • Compared to Museica, which was more varied and objective in subject matter, Prisoner 709 is deeply introspective, personal and painful. Apparent in the respective cover arts.
  • 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.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The cover of Museica.
  • 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
  • Either/Or Title: Up to Eleven across Prisoner 709. First, every song title has a subtitle in brackets. Second, every subtitle has two parts. Third, that second part is a pair of words of seven and nine letters respectively. For example, the full name of the title track is "Prisoner 709 (The Sentence - Compact or Streaming)".
  • Hail to the Thief: "Non siete Stato voi" is a scathing attack against corrupt politicians.
  • 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.
  • Homoerotic Subtext:
    • In "Vengo dalla luna":
    I'm willing to remain under only when I fuck.
    • In the video for "Avrai ragione tu" he tries to make out with a (male) scientist. This happens when the lyrics mention kissing on the lips like t.A.T.u. did.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The subtitles of the songs in Prisoner 709: the first part is a term relating to imprisonment ("The Crime", "The Letter", "The Guard" and so on); the second is a pair of opposite words of seven and nine letters respectively, starting with the singer's two identities at war with each other: Michele (seven letters) or Caparezza (nine letters).
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": "China Town" is sung with a hard "k" sound at the beginning because it's a reference to India ink, "china" (pronounced keena) in Italian.
  • "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!).
  • Last Note Nightmare: The song "Limiti" from his second album ends with a few seconds of silence... followed by Capa screaming "AIUTO!" ("Help!") in a distorted, screechy voice.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Vieni a ballare in Puglia" ("Come Dance in Apulia") is a cheerful, lively song...about work-related deaths, devastating fires, deadly industrial pollution and the exploitation of migrant workers, problems that plague Capa's native Apulia. As noted earlier, the ironically uplifting music made several people misunderstand the song's painful message.
    • "Giotto Beat" from the 2014 album as well: as the title says, it sounds like a happy beat song from The '60s, but the actual lyrics are pretty pessimistic.
  • Mistaken Identity: In "Avrai ragione tu (Ritratto)":
    I see visions when I'm at the piano
    Like you coming closer and asking "Allevi, are you playing?"
  • Most Writers Are Writers: "China Town" is, as he put it, a love letter to the art of writing.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Tony Hadley driving a truck at the end of "Goodbye Malinconia"'s video.
  • 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.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: A recurring theme, most notably in "Vieni a ballare in Puglia" (about his home region of Apulia specifically) or "Goodbye Malinconia".
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Caparezza's music has elements of various genres, including Alternative Hip Hop, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal and, in the case of "Argenti vive", Dubstep elements. Not only do his albums use live instrumentation (and not just rock instrumentation, but also horn and string sections), but he also writes sheet music for many of his songs.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: His first, last and probably only film part was in Checco Zalone's "Che bella giornata" (which incidentally was the highest-grossing Italian film of all time) where he and his band played parodies of themselves; however he really didn't care much about it and went on to his music career.
  • No OSHA Compliance: "Vieni A Ballare In Puglia", as explained in Lyrical Dissonance above.
  • 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 album Il sogno eretico ("Heretic Dream"), a pun on "Erotic dream".
    • His 2014 album Museica takes the cake: the songs therein are inspired by works of art, and the title is a pun on "museo" (museum), "musica" (music) and "sei" (six, as this is his sixth album).
    • Since "otto" means "eight" in Italian, the song "Giotto Beat" may be another great example: as a reference to Giotto the artist (the lyrics talk about "perspective"), as a play on words to "8-bit" (Donkey Kong is mentioned), and a reference to the G8 summit (G-otto), especially the one that took place in Italy in 2001 where several protesters were brutally beaten by police officers. And it's also a throwback to the beat songs from The '60s.
  • 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.
    • "Cover", the first single of his 2014 album, is a long list of references to notorious album covers, which mirror his personal growth as a man and an artist.
    • The video for "Avrai ragione tu" contains several references to Russian and Communist-style iconography. The funniest one is a segment that replicates exactly the famous video of Eduard Khil (AKA the Trololo Guy).
  • Rock Opera: Le dimensioni del mio caos. A time traveling hippie ends up conforming to modern society, and the album ends with an alternate history where prehistoric Bonobos surpass humans on the evolutionary scale.
  • Sampling: Various examples. A notable one 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 out there?") showed himself, with an annoyed expression, still ringing.
    CapaRezza: [Beat] Pretend that I'm not here, I know that guy, he never shuts up...
  • Sophomore Slump:invoked The hook of "Il secondo secondo me":
    The second album is always the most difficult in an artist's career.
  • Spoken Word in Music:
    • "Vieni a ballare in Puglia" ends with a judge accusing Caparezza of slander. Capa answers that he's busy playing video games.
    • "Non me lo posso permettere" has a brief intro in which Caparezza dismisses his orchestra because "he can't afford it".
  • Testosterone Poisoning: "Un vero uomo dovrebbe lavare i piatti" mocks the concept, sarcastically listing things that only "real men" do (like being violent, treating women like objects, being sexually promiscuous, never showing emotion) and then saying that what a real man should actually do is to wash the dishes.
  • The Unpronounceable: His first album is called ?!, although its cover results in "Caparezza?!".
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Dancing" in "Vieni a ballare in Puglia". It becomes clear if you pay attention to Al Bano's intro. It means "dying".
  • 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.


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