Rammelzee passed away last night. News about his death is still scarce but the fact that “Ram: Ell: Zee” was a true Hip-Hop pioneer remains without a doubt. It’s safe to assume he paved the way for guys like Kool Keith, DOOM and Quasimoto. He was a B-Boy, a MC and a graffiti artist in the 80s and can be seen in both the iconic movies Style Wars and Wild Style. Not content with being boxed in with any description he later on in his life wore samurai-like garments and masks made from discarded toys, looking like a graffiti piece come to life, and became an artist pretty much defying definition. Matter of fact, defying definition was a big part of ‘Gothic Futurism‘, a style that he created which evolved out of his graffiti work and is the described by Wikipedia as follows:
Rammellzee’s graffiti and art work are based on his theory of Gothic Futurism, which describes the battle between letters and their symbolic warfare against any standardizations enforced by the rules of the alphabet; his treatise, “Iconic Panzerisms”, details an anarchic plan by which to revise the role and deployment of language in society.
I have nothing to add to that besides: Rammelzee, Rest In Peace.
Photo by Shawn Mortensen