Friday, June 12, 2009


THE 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), which had a huge influence on The Beastie Boys. (See "B-Boys Makin' With the Freak Freak") Ram also had cameos in Jim Jarmusch's film "Stranger Than Paradise" (1984) and the quintessential hiphop documentary "Style Wars". 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", featuring Ram's deadly duets with rapper Shockdell ("Rammell/ Shockdell/ from the depths of hell!"). 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. No one was prepared for the 'art rap' of The 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.

The only example I have here is the more 'commercial' single, which is awesome but doesn't go as extreme as the best stuff on the album. But it rocks!



Rammellzee, in "Style Wars" (1983)


"Beat Bop" - K-Rob + Rammellzee (​1983)​
(K-Rob starts it off, but Ram' comes in at 1:25 and takes it to a whole other level...)


"No Guts No Galaxy" - Material, w/ Rammellzee


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 Rammallzee..."

Besides The Beastie Boys, you can hear the fevered influence of The Gettovetts on Kool Keith, X-Clan, Cypress Hill, and Nephlim Modulation Systems.

Decipher more at:

1 comment:

Stylophone 350s said...

The album was produced by Bill Laswell & Nicky Skopelitis