When Italo Disco Met Hip Hop

Historically, some disparate musical genres have crossed over with great success. Sadly that's not always the case, as this short-lived sub-genre shows...
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There are many cornerstones within the vast musical caverns that become nothing more than an etch; merely forgotten by the history books. And that feeble analogy can certainly be applied to old school hip hop’s influence on Italo disco, circa ’83-’85. Borrowing rather heavily from the sound of New York at that time, a few Italo artists employed rapping into their tunes, but rather than sticking to their native tongue, decided to widen their audience appeal by doing it in a sort of Google Translate-esque English.

Similar to their peers over in the Bronx, subject matter would usually revolve around ones ability at spitting rhymes or working a crowd with their incredible abilities on the wheels of steel. Generally, though, the ethos was on having a ball. Such was their confidence behind the mic, that the lyrical wunderkinds of this sub-sub genre would often attempt to throw in a few more syllables than what the beats-per-bar would permit them - the overall vocal style seems rather Hasselhoffian at times.

Boomerang Club Band – Dee Jay Superstar

Flavio Pozzobon clearly had no qualms with divulging about his talents, as it’s the only thing he raps about throughout the whole tune. Bragging rights approved, as this one’s an absolute gem.

Florio Time DJ – Time Out

A doped out fantastical anthem here about the land of Time Out: where attractive people live in slow motion beneath the stars, and regularly unite for good old sun drenched jolly. The beady-eyed chorus sounds like it’s being sung by puppets, rather than sexy Italian divas. Then there’s the occasional ‘it’s a mystery’-style synth stabs and harmonious wet fart bass; all of which is vaguely reminiscent of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.

Tommy Kelvin - Jungle Bow Wow

Unlike Flavio and Florio, Tommy Kelvin manages to not trip over his sentences, but instead opts to impersonate a game show host; at one point even spitting “Rolling down with the jam all over the town, so wake up! We’re gonna start countdown.”

This originally appeared on Waxwerk