RIP : Rammellzee
I learned last evening that the legendary Rammellzee died yesterday, from various twitter accounts. The cause of death is unclear but I would love to share with you my first encounter with the force that was Rammellzee (or RAMMΣLLZΣΣ). It was 1989 and he was having one of his infamous art shows; which included performance, painting and original music at his then art studio, a huge storage space on Laight Street in Tribeca (before that neighborhood was trendy). He came out in full futuristic samurai meets Transformer regalia, on a skateboard, seemingly because his costume was to cumbersome to walk in. There were flashing lights, basic pyrotechnics, beats mixed with strange sound bites and of course, all eyes were on him. Rammellzee was many things to many people. First off he was an amazing artist who invented “iconoclast panzerism” and “gothic futurism” two terms he coined to describe his alphabetic letter style. This meant that the letters all were at war with each other, shooting deadly arrows of style (More on the definition here).
Also he was an early hip hop pioneer, staring and recording most of the soundtrack for the classic NYC graffiti film “Wild Style”. And, of course he was an absolute style icon, using wardrobe in the name of art and spectacle, long before Lady Gaga and Andre 3000.
His contributions to our culture are limitless and he will be deeply missed. Take a look at all things Rammellzee below.