Seeing how Milan has become a melting-pot of different cultures, it’s not strange to find that the most notable rapper in the city right now is of Tunisian origin. Reaching out from Baggio, a suburb in the western part of the city, Ghali Amdouni – simply known as Ghali – is quickly being recognized and respected in the whole peninsula.
Born in 1993, Ghali started getting into hip-hop at an early age, and by 2011 he had already formed his first hip hop group, Troupe D’Elite. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that he got the chance to grow out of the Milanese hip-hop niche by starting a collaboration with young producer Charlie Charles and establishing himself as one of the most interesting and experimental artists of the country. Dreamy trap beats, a wide use of autotune, and a certain overwhelming musicality are the defining features of his music.
While sometimes these traits seem to overshadow the lyrical work of the rapper, and old school flows are replaced by melodic tones that blend perfectly with the beats, Ghali still manages to bring his experiences to the listener in an endearing way. Occasionally mixing Italian and Arabic, he recounts tales of marginalization and prejudice while spitting rhymes about his life in the most sincere way possible, without hiding any detail or keeping any secrets.
Ghali hasn’t recorded a full album yet, choosing instead to issue a series of poignant singles. Tactically released with gaps of two-four months within each other, they’re all matched with impressive music videos. The imaginary he evokes is rarely a troubled one, in a ghetto-inspired manner. Instead, his videos are trippy, filled with childhood references and surreal settings, from the snowy landscape of Dende to the ethnically connoted desert of “Wily Wily,” one of his best tracks.
Writer and musician from Milan, Italy. Hardcore punk background, DIY enthusiast, Balkan culture scholar. Check him out on Twitter at @advaence