It took time, before Ceschi was able to propose Broken Bone Ballads, his latest album, he recorded with the help of Factor - now Factor Chandelier - another key and tireless activist from the post-indie rap scene. Five years happened, more exactly, since the rapper and multi-instrumentalist from New Haven had released his penultimate record; five years dedicated to the development of his label, Fake Four, but also to a short stay in prison, due to questionable drug dealing charges.
Being both singers and rappers, and able to play several kinds of instruments, the Ramos brothers can record anything that suits them. All over their careers, Ceschi and David experimented all genres of music, one could possibly think about: post-Project Blowed indie rap, of course, but also folk, Beatles-like pop, crossover hip-hop with Toca, some indie rock with Anonymous Inc., and even a bit of crunk, with the parodic and much entertaining Knuck Feast project, they released by 2007.
For Toca, serious matters had started in 2004, with one of these CD-Rs Cali's indie rap scene was fond of, by these times: a rock and rap crossover record named Dancing with Skeletons. Later on, the band had promised a real album, but it took months, and then years, before anything was released. The group's members, however, were still active. The Ramos brothers, for example, started releasing solo albums. In 2005, the quartet had even proposed one of their tracks to the Project Blowed 10th anniversary album. And in 2006, net31 was supposed to publish the album. Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, this small label had ceased to exist.
"I am one of the few remaining advocates and proponents of progressive hip-hop today". Thus says Ceschi Ramos, in our last interview with him. And he is perfectly right. Through the Fake Four label, he manages with his brother David, and through his multiple activities (and when not hampered by some legal problems...), the rapper is the one making the most today to maintain alive the indie rap scene, as it appeared in the 90's. It was logical, then, that he shares with us his vision about this subgenre, as part of our indie rap series.
Over the last few years, Ceschi has never stopped being a hyperactive man. He contributed to several records from others. He finally released Toca's album. He mocked the crunk subgenre, with his Knuck Feast parody. Also, even more importantly, he created a label, Fake Four, one of the last havens for the declining indie rap scene. And though, Ceschi never released any solo album since the underrated They Hate Francisco False, and the wait had started being a bit long.
First, I tried to contact Ceschi Ramos, whose Fake Flowers was one my favorite of last year. Or David, his brother, who’s just released a new album. But when I contacted them, all the members of Toca were available, them being the two Ramos brothers plus Tommy V. And Xololanxinxo. This was an opportunity for a joint interview with the four of them. Some of their answers got raving, particularly at the end of the interview, but some others provide us with key information about these artists’ forthcoming projects and releases.