You know those dudes that are super elusive and every story you hear about them is just kinda crazy? Rammellzee was one of those dudes. I met him once, I think at the big auction that was at the puck building or at Deitch. That was sort of nothing really.

Rammellzee’s oeuvre started to form in my mind when I got ahold of a copy of the Ionic Treatise Gothic Futurism. It was pure poetry. It didn’t make any sense, but it had styyyyyle (said in your best Case2 voice) by the pound. If nothing else you have to admire someone that wrote about style and made an effort to school the uninitiated.

Around that time I saw Rammellzee’s amazing costumes and heard about his performances. I never got a chance to see them, but he was onto something. It was clear that writing was only part of his overall steez and he had lots to share with the world.

After that initial introduction in the early/mid-90s I didn’t really hear about him for awhile. I later heard that around that time that he was living in the same building as some other friends and he wasn’t the most social and had some life issues. They had some crazy stories about him, but nothing quite like the following.

A dude I’ve known for years used to be boys with Rammellzee. He would crash at his place when he was in town. One night they drank a number of 40s and maybe did some other things and my boy passed out on the couch. He woke up in the middle of the night with Rammellzee sitting in a chair in front of the couch with a knife and fork in his hand. He’s like, “You ok, Rammell?” Rammell said something about how he was going to eat my friend.

I have no idea of the authenticity of that story, or if I have the facts exactly straight, but what graffiti related story isn’t like that?

Respect to the one and only RAM:ELL:ZEE

NY Times obituarary for Rammellzee
RIP from Impose with some great photos
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