Hailing from the province of Avellino in Italy’s southern Campania region and signed to Universal Music, Clementino is a highly esteemed kingpin of the Italian Hip-Hop landscape who cites such names as MF DOOM, The Notorious B.I.G. and Pharoahe Monch as some of his musical inspirations. The Neapolitan lyricist, born Clemente Maccaro, initially etched a name for himself in the Italian Hip-Hop scene for his freestyle prowess in Hip-Hop outfits Trema Crew and TCK, going on to win a number of battles and ensuring his name was known well beyond his local region. The award winning rapper has shared the stage with many internationals touring Europe, from Kurtis Blow to Snoop Dogg.
Having established himself as one of Italy’s premiere battle rappers, Clementino (who also goes under the alter-ego Iena White) featured on the compilation Napolizm: A Fresh Collection Of Neapolitan Rap in 2005 before unleashing his debut album Napoli Manicomio the following year. The unveiling of the I.E.N.A. album in 2011, featuring guest appearances from R.A. The Rugged Man and Ill Bill further developed his internationalized reach. This release set the tone for the catalogue that was to soon follow, rapping in both his local Neapolitan dialect and the more accessible modern Italian vernacular. As with fellow Neapolitan Hip-Hop artists such as Co’Sang and Fuossera, Clementino offers listeners a unique and balanced insight into daily life in one of Europe’s oldest and most vibrant, and arguably dangerous, cities.
In 2012 Clementino teamed up with one of the most influential figures in Italian Hip-Hop, Fabri Fibra, to form the duo Rapstar, releasing Non è Gratis on Universal Records, an album which in turn extended Clementino’s reach far beyond Europe and earned him numerous accolades including nominations from MTV in the fields of best freestyler, best collaboration and best video. This collaborative project was followed by another two solo albums (Mea Culpa and Miracolo) as well as the Armageddon mixtape that he put out collaboratively with Dope One and O’Luwong.
In 2017 Clementino returns to release his fifth solo release, the explosive Vulcano album, exhibiting his well-honed lyricism combined with his ability to break into song, harmonising in his distinctive Neapolitan drawl, comparable to American counterparts such as Z-Ro and Chamillionaire in their trademark southern style. Vulcano showcases Clementino’s range, playing host to tracks such as “Tutti Scienziati,” a light-hearted parody on modern society where thanks to social media everyone is an expert on everything, the weed smokers anthem “Joint” that sees Clementino rhyme over a funky beat that transports listeners to the streets of Morocco before then taking them back home to the streets of Naples for the ode to his football club SSC Napoli ‘Un Giorno all’Improviso.’ Clementino’s priority to lyricism is unwavering, as is his desire to entertain listeners both musically and visually. Owing to his love of film and theatre, Clementino’s music videos are sure to entertain as much as they are assured to earn the respect of fans of those he pays homage to.