Sunday, April 12, 2009

AYCE Presents: 20 questions with Frank Ramz

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Welcome boys and girls to another edition of AYCE Presents: 20 Questions. So this time around we’re gonna take it back to the birth place of hip-hop and talk with MR. Frank Ramz. Every time I would log onto to the MyspAYCE or Twitter, there was Frank Ramz…tweeting and posting bulletins like a man possessed. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am and ignorant sonofabitch…I read a few of the posts but never listed to any of the songs. C’mon, anybody that says they listen to everything that come through is a damn liar.

Well, Frank is a persistent dude and sent us a promotional packet and shonuff, after a couple listens I was hooked.We exchanged a few emails, some more songs and tapes, a post with links to his mixtapes, and here we are. So…(in best ringleader voice) Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…AYCE is proud to introduce, and present to you without further ado…20 questions with Frank Ramz!

1. So you have gone by a few names Ramzy, Frank Ramz, and Franklin Rambert. Tell the folks out in the world who you really are and where you come from…

Frank Ramz: Franklin Rambert is the government name which iShortened into Frank Ramz. But I’m a regular dude. iLaugh, iCry, iStruggle, iDo alot of thinking. iAm music and Music = M.E. (M.y E.verything).

2. You mention West Farms, The Bronx briefly in one of your tracks…is that where you grew up?

FR: Yes. Born & raised in West Farms, The Bronx. Learned alot from the good old almost projects. haha

3. Growing up in The Bronx, what does “The Bridge Is Over”, and Boogie Down as a whole, mean to you?

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FR: First, let me say iJust recently saw KRS perform that song in NY, woooo! An experience..great show! But the Boogie Down means alot to me. Shaped me into the man iAm today. Being the birthplace of hip hop, that played a big part in me rapping at the age of 10.

4. Do you feel pressure to represent The Bronx?

FR: iThink alot of others in Bronx feel pressure, but iDon’t at all. Because with my music, iRepresent wwaaayyy more than just the Bronx. My music comes from my heart so iDnt feel any pressure at all.

5. Despite growing up in one of the poorest, drug riddled communities in the country (no joke, I looked it up), West Farms, let alone the Bronx, West Farms, you don’t drink or smoke ANYTHING and you seem to be a pretty down to earth dude. When it’s so easy to go the low route, who/what kept you on the straight and narrow?

FR: First, it was my moms and anybody else that told me smoking and drinking was bad. Also, iHave asthma. Then, as iGot older, as damn near everyone does, iExperimented. They both are dead wack to me. iUnderstand why people smoke/drink, but iCant get down with it..and my girl better not touch either or! iAlso don’t like having those toxins in my body.

6. On the same token, there are a lot of lines in your songs that talk about drinking and smokin blunts, is this a contradiction or just your everyday surroundings?

FR: Haha..people ask me about this alot because of “Sober Thoughts”. iHad to explain that song on my blog and to couple people. It’s like this; iGo thru ish that other people would get thru by smoking and drinking. And iGet thru it sober. Now, mainly all of my friends smoke and drink, so they relate to the song. But there are times where iWould love to have that escape that they say smoking and drinking offer, but that’s not my shit. My escape is the music. So ima allow the people who smoke and drink an even deeper escape with that song. Also, on ‘Dr. Scholl’s Soul’ iMention grabbing a blunt, but notice the line after.

7. Speaking of Mrs, Ramzy, you got your lady involved in the Frank Ramz project, how is it having wifey, or Nas Ramzy as you sometimes refer to her, involved in the artistic process of each tape?

FR: She basically handles the album artwork. A graphic designer is one thing she aspires to be, so iAllow her to work on her skills and leak out her creative juices by creating album artwork for my projects. Now she has a few people interested in her designing covers for them.

secondflyers.jpg8. You said you started rapping at age 10, shouldn’t you have been playin with Transformers, G.I. Joe’s, and watching Saturday morning cartoons like the rest of us? What influenced you to start and such a young age?

FR: iWas doing all of that also. But me & my friend, G.P., would re-do a Mase verse and recite for kids in our class. They would love it and we kept going. The rest became history…

9. Mase…man I remember jammin to “Harlem World” back in the day. He never came back the same after becoming Reverend/Preacher/Father Mase and movin over to 50’s label. Man, how disappointed were you when he became a man of the cloth?

FR: iActually wasn’t so disappointed when he stopped rapping to become a pastor. He said it on “Start From Scratch” on *Double Up*; “..If I Could Do It All Again I’d Do It All For Christ!”.

10. You have said that you would call your music as “reality rap”…define that for us.

FR: Basically, my songs are like a mirror reflection of what I’m going thru or been thru. And it’s all relatable. Like, music used to help me get thru certain moods that iWas in, so iWant to basically return that favor. People can seek comfort in listening to my music like, ”Oh damn..I’m going thru the same thing!”. And your days become a little brighter knowing that you aren’t alone or that someone has been thru the same thing and made it out.

11. Saturating the airwaves and internet with music, a-la Soulja Boy and Charles Hamilton, is definitely a way to get your music heard and your name out there. Are you at all concerned that with the amount of music, and the rate at which you are putting it out, that you may run into some of the negativity that Charles and Soulja Boy have run into? When is too much really too much?

FR: iAm well aware of the amount of music I’m putting out. After *Falling Up* iHave one more project that I’m going to put out, then after that I’m going to chill as far as mixtapes go. iWill still be making music out the ass, but Ima focus on networking, building up a buzz and what not. My manager and I are working on various ways of getting me out there. After the 5th project, the next will be an actual album that will be for sale. It’s all about foward progress!

12. Everybody is a rapper AND producer these days. If you had to choose one or the other, which would it be?

FR: Above all I’d rather be a ghost writer. iHave been writing for this female R&B singer named Ashley Tacora. iWould also like to do some writing for hip hop artists. But if iHad to choose between those two, I’d have to stick with rapping. I’d definately love to venture off into production one day in the future, but rapping is it for me. iLove making music.

13. You and I know that it’s hard out there, especially with the way the economy is today, everybody’s gotta have a day job. I heard that you just got yourself a new job last month?americaneaglelogo.jpgHow’s that going…working, recording, and school too, right?

FR: Minus the school. But um, iActually quit that job. haha..people who know me will laugh at that! iHave a problem with being talked down to or talked at. But having a job and doing music usually ends up conflicting anyway. Because iWould have to close out the store and do a show around the same time, and iPut music before anything.

14. Damn, that must have been record time for leaving a job…(laughing), can’t blame you though. I probably wouldn’t have lasted long at that job either. So your first tape and blog are titled, “Welcome To Medusaville”…What/where is Medusaville?

FR: Medusaville is my reality. My world. Everybody has their own world, which is their mind. Basically, iHave Versaci glasses (my eye sight sucks) and the logo is Medusa. So iSimply added the ville to make it my world. On the mixtape, iAllowed ppl to see life thru my glasses. I’m not the type of person to talk about my problems all the time and be stressed out constantly, so people thought iWasn’t going thru anything. After they heard Medusaville, iWas getting hit up like, “Damn..is that true? why you never said anything about it?” iDon’t need to. I’m a strong dude!
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I was checkin out your blog the other day and noticed the “Sir Ramz-A-Lot” moniker. You know that we here at AYCE are from Seattle, right? You know, the home of the original Mr. A-Lot…Sir Mix-A-Lot. How do you think you can be an innovator in the game like Mix was?

FR: That moniker came from my homie Score. Its not really something iRun with seriously. But he actually said it as calling himself Sir Lance Alot to my King Ramzy. Then he ended up adding the A Lot to my name simply because it sounds better (in his opinion..Score A Lot sounds cool to me). But that was like, 2 years ago. More recently, my homie Elus brought the name back in effect, still not something iRun with seriously. BUT, my sound combines so many elements of music, not just hip hop. I’m bringing back actual lyrical skills with realness and having fun at the same time. iLove switching up my flows and harmonizing from time to time. However the beat makes me feel, and sometimes, iSay what the beat tells me to say. iAlso experiment with beats of different genres, not completely leaving the lane of hip hop, but bringing something refreshingly different to the table!

16. So you went to Herbert H. Lehman High School (2005) in the Bronx…If I’m not mistaken Asia Nitollano, former “almost” a Pussycat Doll, went to Lehman…know her or got any good dirt for us?

FR: Negative. (laughing) Ya’ll did some research. iNever heard of her. One thing about me, iWas never a school oriented dude. iWas trying to pass the classes and get the hell out of there!

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17. In previous interviews and bios you have said that “hip-hop is dead”, which has become a reoccuring theme these days…My question is what does that mean to you? How do you plan to resurrect it?

FR: If iSaid hip hop was dead, it was most likely out of anger. Or maybe iWas thinking of one specific artist or song when iSaid it. Ultimately, iDont think its dead, but its definately unconscious. Needs someone to wake it up! iDont believe that hip hop will ever die!! By continuously being me. Making good music, bridging gaps between different styles, bringing originality and creativity. Having fun with the music and still keeping my lyrical skills in tact.

18. Given the opportunity to choose, who would you want to tour with?

FR: Give me Timbaland, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Redman & Method Man. I’ll be good!!!

19. No disrespect but I gotta ask, cause people are gonna ask me, what with the “iPhone/iPod” writing?

FR: It was something iStarted doing just because and got accustomed to real quick. I’m honestly trying to shake the habit now, so expect to NOT be seeing it soon. Of course sometime after this interview.

20. You have the stage, any last departing words for the people reading this?

FR: Simply thanks to everybody who has ever supported me and my music. If you’re new to me be sure to check out the music. Don’t listen if you’re not going to listen. Nothing is being forced down your throat. & *Falling Up* drops April 30th!! AYCE, thanks for the opportunity!!

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Frank Ramz it has been cool getting to know you a little more and a big thanks from all of us here at AYCE (ok there's only 3 but I like to make it seem like more). Looking forward to Falling Up dropping...uhhh..today. Got a twitter from the man himself sayin "Why wait?". So here it is folks. Peace!

Frank Ramz - Falling Up


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