Friday, June 12, 2009

Cool Insane Rap: GETTOVETTS

"Rammell/ Shockdell/
from the depths of hell!"

GETTOVETTS are the craziest secret in hiphop history. Led by a certifiable lunatic/ genius (?), they made one glorious album in 1988 no one ever bought.

RAMMELLZEE was a pioneer in the original Rap explosion, known for such classic 12" rants as "Beat Bop" with K Rob (1983), which had a huge influence on The Beastie Boys. (See "B-Boys Makin' With the Freak Freak") Ram also had cameos in the quintessential hiphop documentary Style Wars (1983), and Jim Jarmusch's film Stranger Than Paradise (1984). He began wearing impossibly layered costumes that put George Clinton and Afrika Bambaataa to shame, and spewed denser lyrics more convoluted than a William Burroughs cut-up.

Bill Laswell produced the radical Gettovetts album, "Missionaries Moving" (1988), featuring Ram's deadly duets with rapper Shockdell. At the time the mass public was just getting used to spartan samples and rhyming, with Run-DMC and LL Cool J's success. The first inklings of Public Enemy and the Native Tongues groups were only just starting. So no one was prepared for the 'art rap' of Gettovetts! Graffiti, performance art, 'afrofuturist' costumes, galactic and conspiratorial rhymes, industrial rock and phat funky beats, 8 minute noize barrages.​.​.​these guys made everyone else look tepid. Bootsy Collins even plays magnificent fuzz bass on the epic "Death Command". They were the true heirs of P-Funk and nobody had a clue.


Here's an ultra-rare glimpse of Rammellzee's human face, performing (at 2:39) in the very first HipHop film, WILD STYLE (1982).

In the classic epic "Beat Box", K-Rob rolls in smooth and sharp for a minute, and then Rammellzee just takes it completely the hell OFF into another level, beyond anything that anyone would do for years.

K-Rob + Rammellzee -"Beat Bop" (​1983)​


But nothing prepared anyone for the sonic onslaught of the GETTOVETTS.

GETTOVETTS -"Gangster Lean" (1988)

GETTOVETTS -"Battle Call" (1988)

GETTOVETTS -"Lecture" (1988)


Material, w/ Rammellzee -"No Guts No Galaxy" (1999)

The Rammellzee -"I Be Ramm-Ell-Zee-Zee" (2003)


Beastie Boys -"B Boys Makin' With The Freak Freak"

"Putting Songs Together Ain't No Puzzle Like Yahtzee/
Sending This Out To K-Rob And Rammellzee..."

Besides The Beastie Boys, you can hear the fevered and fierce influence of Gettovetts on Kool Keith, Cypress Hill, Divine Styler, Deltron 3030, Anti-Pop Consortium, Nephlim Modulation Systems, The Gift Of Gab, Shabazz Palaces, and Flying Lotus.

Rammellzee passed from this plane of existence in 2010.

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

1 comment:

Stylophone 350s said...

The album was produced by Bill Laswell & Nicky Skopelitis