Without even saying “ciao”, he tells me he has been pretty busy recently. More than 7 days in a row working at the clinic, and when the shift’s over he runs to the studio to refine the master or to work on a fanzine; he seems to have a lot on his plate.
I can feel his rush, but I was expecting that. That’s why I decided to not add heaviness to his afternoon; I skipped direct questions about rap and his latest record. We just chit-chatted, like friends seated at the bar: it’s like being seated at the sports bar, sipping a ‘bianchino’ and cursing at the TV signal.
Andrea: I would like to start in a Nostalgic way, as you did at the beginning of ‘Accesso all’Oblio’ videos: with the images of you and your family in Sicily at the beginning of the Nineties; or as you usually do in your sounds and aesthetics. Where were you on July 4th 2006? What do you remember?
It was the night of the World Cup semi-finals, Italia-Germania 2-0 with two goals in the second overtime, Grosso at 119’ and Del Piero, a minute later.
And what about July 9th, when we won the final?
Pufu: I remember it very well, we were at the big screen near the river in Saarbrücken, I was with a couple of guys from my first clique. I was the only one to root for Italy and more than once I took threats. I also remember saying it sounded like a practice game. Then, I saw the final in another city in our region; we did two laps in the car, well 'nchiummati', and then we went home.
However, I was impressed by that world championship: here the Italians are 'Gastarbeiter', guest workers; we have always been welcome, considered as an integral part of German society without any particular problems.
I already belong to the third generation.
After that game, however, there were some stupid episodes: cracked pizzerias, some racist actions, comments like we are just "pizza makers", "cowards and traitors"... I have not suffered anything except threats during the semifinals but it is also my fault. I’m always very provocative, but I remember a big mess around here and I was surprised by this reaction of hatred.
That World Cup was too important for the Germans, there was a crazy euphoria, one that had not been there either before 2006 or after. I think that for the Italians immigrants in Germany winning the semi-final against Germany was more important than the final.
Andrea: Did you used to play FIFA? And who did you choose?
Pufu: I didn’t play at FIFA... I used to play at FIFA, but after... At the beginning we always played at Pro Evolution Soccer. The way Pro Evo was played... there was no comparison with Fifa. Fifa didn’t get me so excited; instead, in PES, Christian Vieri seemed like a granddad, the players didn’t have the faces like in FIFA, they didn’t have licenses. I used to like taking the Serie B teams, and then I remember we used to have tournaments with my friends.
We used to make bets when we started smoking pot: if I beat you, you give me 2g!
I was not bad at playing and I always ended up leaving the guys without smoke ahahahah.
I told him: “I put 30 euros and you give me 10 euros of that shi*ty smoke you took, but I was sure to win. In the end, I gave him a small piece of smoke that I had just won and I told him ‘Have a nice evening!’”.
Now it’s coming to my mind, then you could edit the players! Once I edited the whole team and I made them all big and muscular, like all Taribo West, the ball never went out and I scored all the overturns!
By the way, I played football for two or three years when I was a kid!
Before, I was near the capital Saarbrücken, then we moved to a smaller country.
When we moved in, I told a huge lie, which was that I played for the city team, so everybody looked up to me. In the first training we did one on one, I didn’t even have football shoes and I was the smallest of stature, but I was technically one of the best.
I remember that this thing generated so much jealousy, I was the foreign shoeless Italian that beat you easily. Then at 13, 14 years old when I started to do something else, I didn’t go to training because, despite everything, the coach wouldn’t let me play if I didn’t go to practice and let his son play instead of me!
Then I continued to follow football, for years, but only the Italian Serie A. The Bundesliga never attracted me, nor aesthetically, but it doesn’t have that energy either.
Even now I follow it when I have the time. My father and my grandfather are Inter fans and I grew up with the classic Inter, Recoba, Cordoba, these players here.
All my uncles support Juventus and Milan; and they told me ‘you can not suffer all your life, change team!’.
They succeded with my cousin, he used to root for Inter and then he became a Juventus supporter!
Maybe they had promised him a shirt, I don’t know, typical for Juventus people. Now I watch Inter or the matches like Sassuolo-Juventus, the good ones, but it’s not that I’m more stubborn, nor have I ever been. My uncles are, they go everywhere, but I haven’t, I’ve only been to San Siro once.
It's been a few years now since I’ve signed up for a club here in the region of the capital of Saarbrücken, Djk Olympia Burbach. There’s one of my best friends and then two or three more friends in the business.
I still couldn’t send the photo for the recording and I didn’t pay the fee, but I’m on the team. I’ve had two or three practice sessions, but we’ve been more stoned than trained. I can’t go because I’m always too busy with work, I do 180 hours a month and I don’t go back. But I go to the games in the countries nearby, Sunday at noon, I drink beer, I eat a nice German sausage and I watch the game with my friends.
Andrea: What role do you play?
Pufu: Striker, left wing.
Andrea: Like Leão!
Pufu: Ah yes, like Leão... that ball of Leao!
Andrea: Ahahah… I’m a Milanist, you can’t tell me things!
Pufu: Ah you are a Milanist, my cousin! I love you!
Andrea: Ahaha me too, brother.
Instead, I see that the Wednesday night soccer team is ready: Pufu, Youngmorpheus, Theravada, Jake GHNM, Schmutz and Altea with Wun Two and Zutera as coaches.
Do you think you can play well together? You are international like every top team today. And what role does Altea play? Neapolitan football “school” is respected all over the world.
Pufu: We have two from Los Angeles, Morph and Theravada, and I really like it because they are the very few that I follow even if I don’t listen to much rap. Kool Keith is my father btw.
With Theravada we simply got in touch; while Youngmorpheus was in the south of France with other producers and other rappers and Jan (Wun Two) made him listen to something of me, he got excited. Actually, I didn’t ask him for the lead, but Jan sent me this part of him and told me to do whatever the fu*k I wanted. Jake is from Florida but he grew up partly in Japan and he also lived in Germany, in Gelsenkirchen: where there is the American base I think, we met here through music. He writes similarly to me, he brings that language that you only understand if you talk with it first.
I’ve known Zutera for three years, he’s smaller. Imagine that the first rap vinyl he bought was mine! He’s in the generation after us, and he’s one of the ones that’s breaking up the most here in the region with his clique.
Instead, I saw Altea for the first time in Naples when I was invited by Thru Collected. We got sidetracked that night, but you know, there’s a lot of people at concerts, it’s not like we talked, and I didn’t even know what they were doing until then. Then there was Rainer, a guy among them, who made me feel some things about their group and also those of Altea. Crazy! So it went and the track is beautiful, born with a lot of intensity at night, is one of my favorites in the album. However Altea I would put her as a midfielder, the position in which it is adapted now Calhanoglu.
Andrea: But who are the opponents of this match on the field?
Pufu: I want to play against a team that makes me sick, like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid, or rather against one of the teams of Arabia!
Andrea: But, if that night, with your new superteam, you make an incredible game?!
Pufu poker, four goals! The first of a midfield reversal like Ibra, a powerful punishment like Roberto Carlos, a Brazilian-style high-heeled goal and a Totti penalty and; a sudden and rich offer from Saudi Arabia, would you accept? Would you do like Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and everyone else?
Pufu: I didn’t think about it and I never think about it, but now to play with it... who would say no to those millions? It’s clear that they are nice! But I am flag, flag like Zanetti, flag like Maldini, flag like Totti.
I’m not going, flag remains flag!
At least there must be one, today there are no more. I stay at Sassuolo! Of course there are those who go, in the end it attracts, but I always choose to stay in my range.
Ironically, we spend exactly 45 minutes between the talks, like the time of a football match. In the minute of recovery Pufu tells me that in this time he received three fu*king calls, to reiterate the frantic pace of these days: one was Richard of Usual, The other was the friend who would be my pharmacist and the last friend who’s been waiting for me for half an hour to eat Tom Yam soup.
I would never let the soup cool, triple whistle, time is up.
Perle ai porci will release on November 15th and is the third Pufulet's Album.
I haven’t heard it, but after this call, I’m really of the opinion that Pufu will never change the team, underground flag, king of the field.