You’d be forgiven for believing that Pavarotti is Italy’s only musician. Sadly, the late opera singer is the only artist to achieve household name status outside the country since the 1970s. Press any further, and even amongst the cognoscenti, their knowledge will be limited to film composers such as Ennio Morricone. Or, on a good day, Italo Disco. Once popular punk bands, like Raw Power? Few will recognize them.

Nothing epitomizes how ignored Italian music is than its thriving hip hop scene. Boasting a number of legendary bands, such as Naples’ long-running 99 Posse, Rome’s incendiary Assalti Frontali,  and younger artists such as Milanese MCs Marracash and Karkadan, Italian hip hop is every bit as memorable as other international versions of the idiom, such as baile funk from Brazil, and and better-known acts, like France’s MC Solaar, and the UK’s Dizzee Rascal.

Hard at work on his second album, the brilliantly-titled Arabic Alert, Karkadan’s latest MP3 is a great case in point. Initially recorded in 2008, the Tunisian-born rapper leaked the newly extended version of his hilarious “Ganja” rap last month to his Facebook group. Rhyming largely in Arabic over a classic reggae loop, the track’s gruff, druggy cosmopolitanism is the stuff legends are made of. Yellowman would be proud.