As always, holding out hope this proves to be a rumour. The only semi-official word we have so far is from Fab 5 Freddy, which, sadly, is likely to be accurate. If he is gone, then I start to seriously reconsider, Hip-Hop is dying.

update: His death has been confirmed by various associates. A day of silence in his honor.

previously:
Dave Tompkins Q&A On His New Book: “Someone like Rammellzee is such a vocoder polymath in a way–having all these theories, how it’s such a core part of him and his personality, and the fact that he really put himself in physical harm to use it”

“Someone told me, I don’t know if it’s true, that Rammellzee is the originator of the use of the word “word”, in hip hop slang…” – Jim Jarmusch

Post Graffiti

Why Are You Like This? I Just Told You I’m An Insect – Rammellzee

Rammellzee Live @ Afro Punk Festival ’09

Nah, There’s No Story Of Hip-Hop, Just Culture – RAMMELLZEE

Rammellzee – Alpha’s Bet, An Incoming Transmission From Gothic Futures

Death Comet Crew w/ Rammellzee

“Rammellzee Is A Very Recluse Thinker, If He’s Alive At All”

Rammellzee, Toxic C1, And Basquiat At The Rhythm Lounge 1983

more:

Hour long episode of Uncommon Radio (mp3) with special guest Rammellzee. Interview and freestyle at the end are notable for those already familiar with his catalogue. Also, the host’s personal account of the day. Peace to Nasa for the look.

Semi-obituary from NYTimes: Rammellzee, Graffiti Artist, Dies at 49

The Wire (Issue #242 Apr 04): Rammellzee: The Ikonoklast Samurai by Greg Tate

CX KIDTRONIK & RAMM:ELL:ZEE – Tricky Dick (Courtesy of Sound-Ink, via Stones Throw)

mare139’s commemoration:

Comment #1 posted on June 29, 2010 at 10:00 PM – Sad news to hear about an old friend who was a truly innovative artist and MC. Ram was the brain and soul of the Iconoclast Panzerism graffiti movement during the early 80’s, a new language onto itself which he combined mathematics, mysticism, dynamicism and other unique ideas for the enhancement and armament of the wild style letter form. As a sculptor he was ahead of his time and was unlike any before or during his time. He would often tell me to arm my sculptures against the forces of the art world that they should be ready for an eminent war of words and ideas. His letter sculptures reflected this preparedness for war, each letter character had a history and agenda onto themselves. For those of us who would visit him in the studio and see the alphabet assault vehicles suspended from the ceiling it was nothing short of a marvel and what would follow would be the drinking and discussions which were a labyrinth of philosophies, theories, scripture translations. I hope history is kind to him and his legacy as there are few that can fill that void. He had a school of students that were closely associated to Panzerism, among them A-One- (RIP), Toxic, Koor, Bil Blast, Doze and others. He was a member of our crew CIA back in the mid 70s and was also known as EG3. Kel and I express our condolences to his famil and friends alike. Roc On Rammellzee. Mare139 Kel First CIA

Cocaineblunts interview from Apr 2008

Rammellzee chapter from Jennifer Clement’s ‘Widow Basquiat” (via TumblinErb)

NYTimes photo gallery of 2008 “Masks” exhibition from James Cohan Gallery:



  1. Awkward (Reply) on Jun 29, 2010

    ….so then we have to keep his spirit alive dont you think? …. continue the good work ;)

  2. Unxpekted (Reply) on Jun 29, 2010

    Hip hop has been dead. When heads start saying Asher Roth is the rawest lyrical emcee, you know times have changed.

  3. lurk on film (Reply) on Jun 30, 2010

    Holding out for it not to be true..

    RAMMELLZEE WAS THE TRUE SPIRIT OF HIP HOP

  4. Liz (Reply) on Jun 30, 2010

    R.I.P Rammellzee so sad to hear of the death of someone so talented. Was just watching you in Guerilla Art earlier today…

    http://www.babelgum.com/5006315/guerilla-art.html

  5. PAS (Reply) on Jun 30, 2010

    No not him!!!what the fuck is up with this shitty year?! Prophets are dying..

  6. chronwell (Reply) on Jun 30, 2010

    Thanx 4 helpin give birth to this billion dollar cash cow called hiphop music, now Rest, big brother!

  7. J.K (Reply) on Jun 30, 2010

    -RAMMΣLLZΣΣ- .he is an true Artist a true legend ..and Truly a Good person.
    please update more information soon. He created the culture and he is So REAL and TRULY for the ARTS and Culture. It is very rare to find one individual that can perfect so many different areas of talent.

    He knew what most of us will never know..maybe in the future the world can finally learn what he knew a long long time ago..the world of GOTHIC FUTURISM lives on forever until the world as we know it ends.

    His Legacy will be carried on through his followers and friends.

    Even though you are not physically here your Work your History will live forever.

    i myself was lucky enough to have met RAMMΣLLZΣΣ last year September , and i want to say that i have never been more inspired by his Art, his sound and his energy.

    True respect for a true legend.

    R.I.P
    – RAMMΣLLZΣΣ –

    J

  8. Devin KKenny (Reply) on Jul 2, 2010

    a double L in the middle for keeping it 100 before keeping it 100 changed to 300 no half-steppin’ or 50-50 grinding. Ikonoklast Panzerism speaking blinding brilliance, making glyphs into millions of weapons for those struggling “impoverishly”.

  9. kruzh'em (Reply) on Jul 2, 2010

    not many hip hop legends stay true to themselves..

    Rammellzee did.

    i thank him!

    rest in peace!

  10. beats headphones ebay (Reply) on Jan 20, 2012

    you’ve a amazing blogs in it all article! do you want to make a few invite posts on my sites?