Wednesday, June 30, 2010

RIP Rammellzee

RIP Rammellzee.

A few years ago, I queried at Pitchfork about the man's totemic 12" "Beat Bop": "If "Rapper's Delight" is the Odyssey of hip-hop, is "Beat Bop" its Ulysses?" To which the answer is an unequivocal yes. If you haven't picked up my friend Dave Tompkins's head-swimming How to Wreck a Nice Beach book, do yourself a solid, if only to get observations like this on Rammellzee:
Rapper, diver, sinister masked man, dentist, jeweler, letter defender, quantum engineer, painter. Toy encoder, toy assassin...His childhood distrust of the Catholic Church tops a list of aversions that includes mayonnaise and the word whatever. "He's a genius," says director Jim Jarmusch. "The kind of guy you could talk to for twenty minutes and your whole life could change, if you could only understand him."