Since his early 80s Bronx classic "Beat Bop", artist, rapper and Gothic Futurist Rammellzee has been engaged in a literal war of words against the forces of authority and capital. In this rare interview, he introduces his stunning array of self-made armoured combat outfits, outlines the medieval origins of his complex philosophy of animated letters and looks back at his youth spent paintbombing the subway. This article originally appeared in The Wire 242 (April 2004).
Rammellzee is hiphop's mech-warrior, waging covert war on cultural racism with the aid of a bizarre personal mythology that includes graffiti paint-bombs, linguistic tank battles and 14th century vocoders. Confused? That's the idea. Story by Peter Shapiro. This article originally appeared in The Wire 158 (April 1997).