Yeah. I mean I lived through it. I remember listening to the intro on Nas’s Illmatic and hearing the train sample from Wild Style for the first time. It’s part of me and millions of others who were raised on the golden era hip-hop.
Well, It wasn’t seen at that time as a culture which it is acknowledged as now. I think it was later that it reinvested itself, as a culture.
Now it’s not just a culture, it’s a driving force in our popular culture.
And I think people felt that watching Wild Style helped put them in touch with what that was.
Yeah. I think that’s 100% accurate. Especially for me growing up, I was probably 13 or 14 years old, when ‘Illmatic’ and ‘Check your head’ came out and I can tell you, that’s exactly what it was. So, I was your prime demographic at that point for what I guess, was a first renaissance for the film.
That’s true. And very much for people like yourself and of all ages, what I’m going to be doing on Saturday is, there is a silk screen workshop in Mana and I’m going to be presenting a number of painting projects that I’ve done that tell these stories about hip-hop and specifically, about Rammellzee. There’s a theater there where the event will take place Saturday the 21st. I’m going to do a presentation at the theatre which involves a combination of a live talk along with playing a radio show that I did in 2005 with Rammellzee, and images and films that are related to that and related to the culture of hip-hop.
So, when did you meet Rammellzee? How did you guys begin working together?
He was on the set in a couple of scenes in Wild Style and the most pronounced thing was when Fred brought him on at the amphitheater at the end of the movie. I make it sound like it was filmed at the end. I mean that’s the way it’s edited, but there was a scene that we shot at the amphitheater and Rammellzee was on stage with Rock Steady, which is how he was seen by many people at that time as a kind of live MC for their shows. And of course, Rammellzee was many other things, but that’s how he was seen in Wild Style and it’s very radical because he’s swinging a shotgun at the audience and his whole style of dress and MCing is very different from anything that was going on in the Bronx at that time.
I mean his style of fashion is still ahead of its time forty years later.
So, he passed away a little while ago and you obviously knew him very personally and spent a lot of time together.
He passed away in 2010. And I had been actually living right next to him. I had moved near his place in Tribeca in 1993. So, I was with him for a very long time sharing this neighborhood with him and visiting him, his studio which he called, The Battle Station.