Hip-Hop/Graffiti visionary Rammellzee who died Tuesday, according to a tweet by Fab 5 Freddy. No word on cause of death. He was 49 years old.
A native of Queens, N.Y., Rammellzee (aka Ramm:ell:zee or RAMMΣLLZΣΣ) was an influential graffiti artist during the early '80s who is best known for his 10-minute spaced-out jam "Beat Bop," which was produced by the late famed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. But Ramm's long and varied career spanned into music, art and films. The eccentric art-rapper appeared in three notable cult movies: Henry Chalfant's Style Wars, Charlie Ahearn's Wild Style and Jim Jarmusch's Stanger Than Paradise. "He's a genius," recalls Jarmusch. "The kind of guy you could talk to for twenty minutes and your whole life could change, if you could only understand him."
If you are not familiar with Rammellzee then read this DEFINITIVE 2004 Interview with Rammellzee by veteran hip-hop journalist Greg Tate. (Props to the UK music magazine the Wire)
Ayatollah is not resting on his production laurels. After dropping his stellar instrumental LP The Quixotic earlier this year, the New York producer is ready to drop another instrumental album called Cocoon on July 20 via Nature Sounds.
The set's first single is "Lonely Girl," which samples "Jessica" from Seals & Crofts's 1973 album Diamond Girl.
As to why 'Tollah would drop another instrumental album when he already released The Quixotic roughly three months ago, he responds, "I want to give more to the world, I've been sitting on a lot of material. I wanted to get it out at all costs."