Thursday, July 1, 2010

Graffiti Artist Rammellzee Dies at 49

Rammellzee, an early graffiti artist and hip-hop pioneer has passed away in New York City “after a long illness”, reports the New York Times. He was 49.

He was known for his graffiti work in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and counts painter Jean-Michel Basquiat and film director Jim Jarmusch as two of his many collaborators.

Rammellzee’s art is based on his theory of ‘Gothic Futurism’, which also functions as his personal philosophy. ‘Gothic Futurism’ is a theory describing the battle between individual letters and their placement within a standardised alphabet.

In addition to his graffiti work, he was known in hip-hop circles as an influential pioneer of the genre, helping to spawn Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill with his unique delivery and style.

Watch Rammellzee speak about his work here: