Rammellzee was an important player in the initial crossover of hip-hop culture to the mainstream. He participated in hip-hop's earliest phases, though the bizarre edge his aggressively fanciful inventions brought to the original hip-hop style has been somewhat blunted by the dominance of the gangsta pose and its supposed "reality." Dynamite D, a conductor who rhymed boasts of the superior condition of his super clean D-train over the train's intercom, is named by Rammellzee as an early rap inspiration. Partnered with MCs Shock Dell and Jamal, Rammellzee participated in early hip-hop sound system battles, where he developed the "W.C. Fields" and "Gangsta Duck" voices originated by Jamal. Rammellzee employed the "Gangsta Duck" on "Beat Bop," a dense dialogue with K Rob, nominally produced by the late painter Jean Michel Basquiat and released on Profile Records. "Beat Bop" was the result of some improvised role playing, with Rammellzee playing a pimp and K Rob in the character of a schoolboy. The resulting rap is the best and most sustained example on record of Rammellzee's flights of wordplay, fantasy, and street surrealism.
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