You might associate Rome with many things, but hip-hop probably isn’t one of them. So it’ll probably come as something of a surprise to hear that the Eternal City actually has a relatively well-developed rap and hip-hop scene.
Beginning around the early 80s, hip-hop and rap styles from African American culture crossed the borders across to Italy, where they found home in the left-wing “Centri Sociali”, or Social Centres, and were appropriated towards largely socialist ends.
The hip-hop style that finally emerged in Rome has tended to be softer than styles found further south, although the city has spawned hardcore hip-hop artist Colle der Fomento. Other hip-hop artists from Rome include Piotta, famous for his parody of the Italian “Coatto” (or chav).
Today, with Rome holding events such as the RHHP festival of hip-hop culture, the capital has become one of the main centres of hip-hop in Europe. This festival is one of Rome’s top events, and features everything from music to breakdancing and street art. It’s held in various locations throughout the city in September.
Hip-hop clubs in Rome
Clubs known for their hip-hop nights in Rome include:
Saponeria (Via degli Argonauti 20, Saturday nights) – one of the city’s classic hip-hop venues.
Gilda (Piazza di Spagna, Fridays) – a large club, that originated in the late 80s.
La Maison (Via del Governo Vecchio 46-47, nights vary: please check website) – an elegant venue that plays more downbeat hip-hop and lounge music.
Caruso Caffè de Oriente (Via di Monte Testaccio 36, Saturdays) – packed full of people dancing, offers salsa on other nights.