Paying Tribute to Three Pioneers Rammellzee, Mr Fantastik and Gary ‘Starchile’ Shider-RIP

Got word yesterday that legendary graf writer and emcees Rammellzee passed away… Not sure why or how, but for Hip Hop folks it was the second death in two weeks. People in the Bay Area are still mourning the death of pioneering B-Boy Mr Fantastic aka Melvin.. of the Royal Rockers He died of a sudden heart attack at age 41  in the arms of his oldest daughter  His wake was yesterday as we got word of Rammellzee passing..

Longtime B-Boy Bas-1 sent this out about Mr Fantastik

Melvin McCullough aka Mr.Fantastik of Berkeley, CA whom was head of the crew ROYAL ROCKERS passed away Saturday June 12th.

He was a hiphop icon and pioneer here in the bay area of northern california. Partner’s with the Incredible Rubberman Damon Frost and definitely influenced the early bay area hiphop scene especially through dance (mainly poppin or wutever u wanna call the robitic dance movement that includes waving tuting and slides). Please find it in your hearts as another fellow dancer of our culture has fallen and the family needs assistance in arrangements.

please send donations via paypal to:
mrcm9@sbcglobal.net

We also lost Gary Shider aka Starchile a couple of weeks ago. He was a long time fixture in George Clinton‘s Parliament/ Funkadelic. Shider was the brother who wore the diapers who got down on the guitar. He was recently inducted into the hall of fame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27oJkTiEp34&feature=related

As for Rammellzee here’s what was written about him in wikipedia

Rammellzee (or RAMMΣLLZΣΣ, pronounced “Ram: Ell: Zee”, born 1960 in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York), was a graffiti writer, performance artist, rap/hip-hop musician and sculptor from New York. His death was announced on 29th June 2010.

Rammellzee’s graffiti and art work are based on his theory of Gothic Futurism, which describes the battle between letters and their symbolic warfare against any standardizations enforced by the rules of the alphabet; his treatise, “Iconic Panzerisms”, details an anarchic plan by which to revise the role and deployment of language in society. Rammellzee is often identified as an artist apart of the Afrofuturism canon; Afrofuturism is identified discourse concerned with revisioning racial identity through the tropes of science fiction and fantasy narrative or aesthetics.

He was also instrumental as one of the original hip hop artists from the New York area who introduced specific vocal styles which date back to the early 1980s.[citation needed] His influence can still be heard in contemporary artists such as The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill. His song “Beat Bop” was featured in the film Style Wars.

Discovered by a larger audience through the 1982 cult movie Wild Style by Charlie Ahearn, his fame in graffiti circles was established when he painted New York subway trains with Dondi, OU3, and Ink 76, and doctor Revolt. Rammellzee was also a member of the Death Comet Crew, with Stewart Albright and Michael Diekmann. In 1988, he and his band Gettovetts recorded the album “Missionaries Moving.” In 2003, Rammellzee performed at the Knitting Factory in New York with the newly reformed Death Comet Crew; subsequently, Troubleman Unlimited re-released recordings made by DCC between 1982 and 1984; additionally, their single for “Exterior St.” was featured on the compilation, Anti-NY, with contemporaries, Ike Yard, Sexual Harassment, and Vivian Goldmann, among others. In 2004, he released his debut album Bi-Conicals of the Rammellzee, produced by Gomma Records. Rammellzee also performed at Knitting Factory with guitarist Buckethead several times.

His artistic work has been shown in art galleries throughout the US and Europe. Currently, Rammellzee’s Letter Racers, and other Noise includes artistic works by individuals mostly identified with their musical contributions.

In a recent interview, he stated that his name is derived from “RAM” plus “‘M’ for ‘Magnitude’, ‘Sigma’ (Σ) the first summation operator, first ‘L’ – ‘longitude’, second ‘L’ – ‘latitude’, ‘Z’ – ‘z-bar’, Σ, Σ – ‘summation’.” He now performs in self-designed masks and costumes of different characters, which, as he states, represent the “mathematical equation” that is Rammellzee. On the basis of his “Gothic Futurism” approach, he sometimes describes his current artistic work as the logical extension into a new phase which he calls “Ikonoklast Panzerism.”

Rammellzee makes a cameo appearance near the end of Jim Jarmusch‘s 1984 film Stranger Than Paradise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPnmyLaNvvw&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz24D-UyZwE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFFMzSRhmP8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lElss5eCR2s&feature=related

Good Bye Mr Fantastik, Gary Shider and Rammellzee May you all rest in power..

May peace be onto to their families..

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Coundown to the Oscar Grant Vedict/ Why Are Police beating Our Kids?

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Breaking News Update Wed June 30 2010:

Judge has taken 1st degree murder off the table. Jury will choose from 2nd degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter… Closing arguments will start tomorrow…Mehserle’s lawyer wanted jury to choose either murder 1 or acquital. Many speculated getting murder1 would be difficult.

As the historic Oscar Grant trial comes to a close in Los Angeles we wanted to share a crucial update as to what is going on in the trial. For those who are unaware, for the first time in the history of the state of California, a police officer (Johannes Mehserle) was brought to trail and charged with murder after shooting and killing someone while on duty.

An unarmed, completely subdued Grant was shot in the back as he lay face down on New Year’s morning ’09 in front of hundreds of people on a BART subway station in Oakland. Mehserle claims he thought he reached for his taser instead of his gun. It’s a story the community wasn’t and has never brought especially when it was revealed that Mehserle was heard shouting “I thought he had a gun’.

If he had a gun, then why reach for your taser?

The community became even more enraged when it was discovered that moments before Grant was killed, Mehserle’s  partner Tony Pirone who was recently fired had called Grant a ‘bitch ass nigger’ before he was shot.

The community was even more enraged when it was discovered that Mehserle just six weeks earlier in an unprovoked attacked had severely beaten a 41-year-old Black man named Kenneth Carrethers after he was overheard complaining about how inefficient the police were at stopping crime…

We caught up with Minister of Information-JR who is the associate editor of the SF Bayview and heads up the Block Report Radio. He’s been down in LA covering the trial even after he and several other Black men under 40 were kicked out of court for a variety of un-related reasons. In our podcast JR explains why this has been going on in what many are saying is a highly biased court.

Expert witness Greg Meyers said there was no excessive use of force during the Rodney King trail. Of course he is defending Johannes Mehserle

In this interview JR talks about some of the ‘expert’ witness that have come forward in defense of Mehserle including a former LA police captain Greg Meyer who claimed that Grant when shot was resisting arrest. It’s an outlandish conclusion considering Grant was shown completely restrained with the larger Mehserle sitting on his back. however one should not be surprised, considering it was Meyer who sat on the witness stand during the Rodney King trail and claimed there was no excessive use of force.  I guess the estimated 30 thousand dollars paid to Meyer didn’t hurt when giving his testimony.

We also spoke to JR about the media blackout on the case especially in the LA area and offer up some reasons why this is happening.

In the latest update another expert witness is claiming that Mehserle was so stressed out that he became temporarily blind which is why he shot Grant. What’s taking place at this trial is unbelievable.

Today June 30th the judge will be meeting with lawyers to discuss what the options are for jurors. Mehserle’s high-priced lawyer Michael Rain is pushing for an all or nothing ruling. In short either convict him of murder or acquit him. The prosecutor wants the jury to have options so Mehserle doesn’t walk.

Sadly the judge on the trial Robert Perry has history of siding with the police as was evidence during the infamous Rampart Scandal in LA when he let the cops off the hook.

Also as we speak Oakland police have been planting seeds of fear in the community by warning people of impending riots. Last night KRON 4 reported that as much as 21 thousand national guards are on alert and ready to move in on Oakland. All off vacationing officers have been called back into the city with police as far away as Oregon ready to join in.

Why Are Police Beating Our Kids-What Should We be Doing?

In pt 2 of our podcast we sat down with community activist and former Seattle mayoral candidate Wyking Allah and  Paradise Gray of X-Clan and One Hood out in Pittsburgh to talk about the recent rash of police brutality incidents where children as young as 7 have been the victims.

Wyking does an excellent job putting things in historical context and offering solid solution for communities to follow. He noted that much of what he suggested were key tenets on his platform for mayor.

Paradise Gray updates us on two key cases in Pittsburgh. One involves the beatings that took place last fall when officers stormed the University of Pittsburgh campaus looking for anarchists. Unsuspecting students were tear-gased, beaten and arrested. There was major investigation with the police being found in the wrong.. The other incident involves honor student Jordan Miles who was beaten and had his dread locks ripped out his head by a rogue group of martial art expert police dubbed the ‘Jump Out Boys‘.

Gray also speaks about the incident of Pamela Lawton who had a police officer stick his gun in the face of her crying 7 year old after she was pulled over for a traffic violation.

Like Wyking, Paradise lays out a number of solutions for us and our communities to follow.

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