Artist Spotlight: RAMIREZ
The rap scene evolves more than an Eevee. It seems like every year, the conventions are completely changed by a new style or aesthetic that is quickly adopted by others eager to show they are still relevant. To most, this is not idiosyncratic of rap or hip hop but rather a trend in nearly every genre, as change is commonplace in all artistic expression. Without evolutions in trends, the genre is prone to becoming stagnant and derivative (something that many people argue is true of modern country music, though this is a discussion for a different article entirely).
One of the best underground rappers in the game is RAMIREZ (he can also be found under the moniker RVMIRXZ), a San Francisco-based member of the G*59 Records Collective. G*59 stands for Grey 59, which was formed by RAMIREZ and the Louisiana-based rap duo $UICIDEBOY$ in 2014. The name RAMIREZ derives from the artist’s last name, and the other spelling is simply because he enjoys how it looks.
What makes RAMIREZ so amazing is the fact that his style differs so far from the popular conventions of the rap scene that have become so entrenched in the mainstream normative culture that rap has lost the counterculture rebelliousness that the genre exuded in the 90’s. Tupac has been replaced by the likes of Drake and J. Cole; Biggie, succeeded by Future and Gucci Mane. While a majority of rappers have jumped onto the hype train, selling out their artistic integrity for Supreme and Gucci products, RAMIREZ has remained true to his personal style.
RAMIREZ music videos are oftentimes AMVs (anime music videos). RAMIREZ and many other Bay Area rappers of late have been showing their 90’s kid roots by drawing from their childhood Toonami consumption and making references to shows like Dragon Ball Z, Cowboy Bebop, and YuYu Hakusho in their work. RAMIREZ makes references to anime, Internet memes, pornography, and video games. Yes, you did in fact read that right. One of RAMIREZ’s albums, entitled Lust and Sensations, displays the UI of the Playstation Internet Browsers, with PornHub in the address bar. Every one of the songs has a title in caps, with an addendum in parentheses that contains a trendy search from pornography sites (including Lisa Ann and Mia Khalifa).
The rhymes and flows of RAMIREZ are truly amazing. His rhymes are effective and catchy and he infrequently has songs that rely on rhyming the word “fuck” with “fuck.” RAMIREZ deals with violence and crime, and does so without glamorizing the acts. Rather, he treats them with the hardened aggression that the acts require in order to be committed. RAMIREZ revitalized the core themes and concepts of the rap game by including them in his songs.
- Blood In, Blood Out
- Price You Gotta Pay
- TWISTED METAL
- KINGDOM HEARTS (MIA KHALIFA)
- Android 18
- Cuban Links (Interlude)
- Is That a Leprechaun
- Hit the Gas
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