Rammellzee, Hip Hop pioneer passes

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By Lady Chinita, Hip Hop Forever

Rammellzee was a graffiti writer, performance artist, rap/hip-hop musician and sculptor from New York. His death was announced on 29th June 2010. 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. He was also instrumental as one of the original hip hop artists from the New York area who introduced specific vocal styles which date back to the early 1980s. His influence can still be heard in contemporary artists such as The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill. His song “Beat Bop” was featured in the film Style Wars.

Discovered by a larger audience through the 1982 cult movie Wild Style by Charlie Ahearn, his fame in graffiti circles was established when he painted New York subway trains with Dondi, OU3, and Ink 76, and doctor Revolt.

Rammellzee was also a member of the Death Comet Crew, with Stewart Albright and Michael Diekmann. In 1988, he and his band Gettovetts recorded the album “Missionaries Moving.” In 2003, Rammellzee performed at the Knitting Factory in New York with the newly reformed Death Comet Crew.

His artistic work has been shown in art galleries throughout the US and Europe. Currently, Rammellzee’s Letter Racers, and other Noise includes artistic works by individuals mostly identified with their musical contributions.

Rammellzee passed away on 29th June. Cause of death is as of yet still unknown.