by Anya Baglioni
Vangelo MMXVIII narrates a thriving period of Rome, when many things had already happened in the music world and others were developing. Among these, Truceklan defined that era and Paolo Cenciarelli documented it, both its transformations and its raw character. Gel, one of the members of Truceklan, describes Vangelo, the personal vision of 1998 to 2015, which “is the period in which we moved from playing to doing things more seriously, for some even more – look at Noyz . The ’98 is the real writer period for me, in 2001 we did the first EP Truceboys and in 2003 Blood, so at that time I moved from being a writer to seriously doing music“. Gel, who is now known as Geloso, describes himself while simultaneously portraying the creative aspect of rap.
“I was obsessed with music, I wanted to make a name for myself and for the group – but above all for my name. For me the period wasn’t all roses, but it was precisely those thorns that allowed me to become the man I am today “.
A point on which Gel replies: “the man I am today“. Rome was the gym that prepared him for the beatings that battered him but also taught him how to defend himself, to know how to manage what surrounded him.
In particular Gel remembers 2006 to 2011: “Those were intense years that still allowed me to become the man I am today”.
As for the relationship between Paolo Cenciarelli and Gel, the latter considers him “a professional”. For a while, during the phase of the I’m Not Good album: “I hated him a bit, because looking for him was like looking for the Pope, then I realised he had many commitments both for work and for teaching. He took the photos for that album. As for the Truce period – there, under the Lungotevere – my memories are a bit monochrome, like those [photos] of that period. “
Looking at the photos below the Tiber, Gel describes how Paolo Cenciarelli immortalized “a color that defined a passage: I came from the Sony speech, which gave me so much, but that made me collide with dynamics I wasn’t ready for; but even those served to become the man I am today. A lively period “.
Observing the Rome of today and comparing it with Cenciarelli’s black-and-white version, Gel agrees that “it’s changed. Now, get yourself 2000 euros and you have a video Trending on Youtube; if it goes well you also get in the charts – that brings a little more money. There was an evolution in that, like the writers: when we did it – in prehistory – we had carpets and lighters, with the needle of the syringe, those with the the oil from their skates and now there are billions of caps, permanent markers … there’s everything. Now, the boys find everything already done. We have found ourselves all ‘already done’ thanks to groups like Colle Der Fomento or Cor Veleno, while nowadays guys are focusing more on image, on the views, on the iTunes or Spotify charts “. He takes up the last consideration and focuses more deeply on it, commenting that “all the artists actually aspire to us: they might not say so, but that’s just to give off the impression that they’re not interested.” However, the pros and cons remain and he has to admit that the scene has evolved: “for some it is easier to record, make beats … more or less everyone can do everything, but on the other hand it has become more difficult because there is it’s a lot more competition “.
If Gel knows the wrinkles of the city well, the future is more opaque: “I do not know how it will change. I’m not the type to say ‘it was better when it was worse’ and all that shit … therefore the change that comes will always be of a higher level thanks to/because of the interest surrounding this music. I say ‘because of’ because it leads people go straight for the end result rather than quality. Obviously, it is a human dynamic that I have had and still have“.
Another member of Truceklan of the same period of Vangelo MMXVIII by Paolo Cenciarelli is 1Zuckero, who, reflecting on that period, recalls that “my friends and I were making music. We wanted to differentiate ourselves a little from what had been the rap up until then – which was the music we had always listened to“. A movement, Hip Hop, which is absorbed and reworked to bring it closer to the cultural background in which that crew moved. The difference was not only with respect to what went on in the box, on stage in the Italian cities, but also looking at aborad, at the father of that culture that had to acquire a facet appropriate to a different identity, similar and distant from that of the ghetto. With their music they wanted to involve “a wider and diversified audience“.
1Zuckero met Paolo Cenciarelli for the Fiji De Na Lupa release. They needed a photographer for the record: it was Paolo and 1Zuckero pictures it again, as if watching a movie; on that occasion he “struggled a bit for the photos” and adds, “I’m not able to let them do it“.
The photo of 1Zuckero dates back to “ten years ago – if not more. We were at Louchano’s house for the photos of the album” and remembering that time, the reflection on change is a must, of music, in the first place.
“Rap has changed musical trends, but above all the audience has expanded and diversified: it’s what we wanted to happen.” The negative side of musical evolution concerns those who “approach now, ignoring all the previous steps and – fortunately – is detached from political realities. “It’s a bit scary that maybe neighbourkids, instead of having Gigi D’Alessio as a soundtrack, have one that speaks of brutality because they might try to imitate that.”
But at the end he concludes: “Nothing serious“.