We had a chat with Inoki about his new album “Medioego”. Needless to tell you who he is, what he did or what he represents for the Italian scene, you should already know.
The intention is to leave not to arrive.
18 tracks, 4 feats, 9 producers. “Medioego” is his comeback six years after his previous work. A return in style for an artist “who comes from down below, from where he sweats every meal” and now he’s ready to go and take everything he’s entitled to.
“Medioego” doesn’t just represent a period in history, it represents our state of mind. It is the way we exist today. This record doesn’t present the solution, how could it? It does, however, try to point to the problem and invite everyone to work together, towards an improvement that we hope is still possible.
The intention is to have a 2023 not a 2021 sound that is new and cutting edge.
Fabiano Ballarin, born in 1979, did not start from the words but from those that fit on the beat and he did it in a shrewd way, with a structured and researched project.
A 55 minutes long journey that marks a departure but also a new discovery, that of an Inoki 3.0, willing to experiment, get his hands dirty and get out of this long silence lasted years.
An album that compares different generations, that puts everything in its place, where Inoki lays bare everything about himself.
Now let’s leave space to his words, in the interview he has released exclusively for Collater.al Mag.
Let’s start from the beginning, so to speak, Medioego, your new album marks your return to the music scene. A compound word, one with historical meaning and the other more personal, why did you choose this title?
At certain times, in this year, I felt I was living in the Middle Ages, so with this word I wanted to tell exactly what I’m living. Medioego instead is what we are becoming, in the desire to redeem ourselves individually but then in the end we find ourselves to be all the same in mental and cultural poverty.
Looking at all your discography one of your characteristics is undoubtedly to make an album with many tracks. Especially for the genre that you do, today we are used to different standards, few tracks, many feats, we can say that with this album you have always gone against the tide?
Yes yes absolutely, I have always gone against the tide, we do not make an album a year so it seems right to make it very very full. I had many more tracks and then something we obviously discarded. I haven’t been very productive so it seemed right to give a bit of fat to people who have been waiting for a long time for one of my records. Anyway, I’m a bit like Colle Der Fomento, I make a record every few years and I can’t just give you ten tracks, I always try to give as much as possible.
Just going back to your answer, you don’t usually release albums from year to year, it’s a bit of a comeback in the scene for you, in the middle, as we said, the music and the market have changed, but also you, your way of making music, what does this album mean for you?
It means putting everything back where it deserves to be, it means giving value to my name, to the work of many years. But in particular, it means being able to make a structured work, as it should be, discographically high level. It means coming back from the bottom to try to be where I need to be. It means the desire to be a “pro”, I always have been and I want to prove it.
In fact, with “Medioego” you take back a little bit, not what was taken from you, but what was missing in your absence. It’s a complete album, full of sharp rhymes, where no one is spared and as always you are able to have your say, no frills, no holds barred. In the track “Hype” in fact there is a controversial passage, a sort of dissing towards Carl Brave?
No but go (laughs ed), it is not a dissing towards anyone, it’s a troll, it’s more a mockery of those guys who go to a rave and then just come back and listen to that genre there. Actually, that track is very funny, more than anything else it’s a joke on people who use this American slang and all that stuff. I actually like Carl Brave, I appreciate his work, there is no dissing of anyone in this album. It’s an album that seeks peace with myself, with the universe, with music and with everything around it.
We’ve said and repeated that it’s a full album, from the first to the eighteenth track there seems to be a lot of you in it, is that right?
In this album, but in reality, as in all my pieces, there is all of me, my person, I find it hard to tell other people’s stories or to write things that do not belong to me or that I do not feel, both emotionally and in terms of feelings or images. What I see inside of me I always try to convey to my audience, so yes there is absolutely all of me inside as in my other works.
Inside Medioego we find 9 different producers, it’s as if I had made a trip up and down Italy. They are all important and heavy names without a doubt in today’s scene, but we ask you what is it like working with Salmo? We are certainly used to see him in a different guise, but also as a producer we say that he knows his stuff.
He is a phenomenon of multitasking, he is also a director, he does everything. He is undoubtedly a war machine on a creative level, in fact, I had a great time, lots of stimuli, I hope to work with him again. Among other things, his productions have managed to make me pull outflows that I’ve never been able to do, so the top of the range. I hope to work with him also in other branches since he makes 200 thousand things if he has time I would like to develop other collaborations with him.
Salmo’s productions in fact seem to be a bit more electronic, different from those we are used to hear. Did you look for this new dimension or was it him who instraded you towards this direction?
He sent me about ten tracks, I rapped about five. Then in the end we chose “Underground” and “Hype” because they were the ones that undoubtedly ran better. But I’ll tell you in general throughout the album apart from the track with Shocca (which is the one a bit more old school) I enjoy experimenting with things of the new school. I tried to have a sound “as new” as possible, “I was trying to have a sound of 2023, not 2021, that was the intention. In the end the old stuff, old school I did, just go listen to the old records, but the new one less. Actually, I want to experiment more, for me this must be a departure, not an arrival, to be able to experiment more and more and always work with different producers.
Speaking of 2023, it’s no coincidence that you chose Asian Fake, a label that is always ahead, always looking for a new sound that always brings something that wasn’t there before.
Yes absolutely, they are ahead of the curve always looking for newer, crazier things. The influence of Asian Fake was useful, then both I and they were looking for an Inoki 3.0 and the direction we went is that one and I think we succeeded quite well both visually and in terms of sound.
Among the four feats present in the album there is surely one that struck us more than all, the one with Noemi. In fact because you “live” in musical worlds that are not distant but different. But despite this you still managed to contaminate and merge into a single track, how was this atypical collaboration born?
The collaboration was born from mutual esteem, I actually did not know that she was a fan of mine. When I heard about it I started to listen too, she is a great talent absolutely and I needed this in the new album. With this track, I just wanted to open a window, with a kind of rap more mature, more pop. This is the beginning of a road that I absolutely want to travel and explore.
We are in the final stages, last question, just to close in beauty with a classic! What are the expectations and goals of this Inoki 3.0, as you called yourself, and especially in the future what will you do, can you tell us something?
The intention, since we’ve already started, is to move forward and project me immediately on another job and do it even better than this. As I said, the intention is to leave, not to arrive.
Cover: Andrea Carveni