Rheteric Rhamirez is far more than what you see on the surface: a gruff Dominican rapper with Dodger affiliations. Sure, he is those things as well (although not nearly as gruff as he appears), but he’s also a Washington Heights to Los Angeles transplant who began rapping in the 90’s and found influence in the community uprising at the time. Now, he’s settled with a serious girlfriend and focused on much more “grown grown folks things” as he puts it.
NCS: When people hear Rheteric what do they know they’re gonna hear?
Rheteric: They know they’re going to hear my feelings about everything that’s going on, personal stuff, funny shit, it’s really just a barrage of different feelings. I’m like The Beatles, well I’m not like The Beatles, but I feel that you can convey a range of emotions and subjects in your music. Even though I grew up in the ghetto, I don’t just rap about growing up in the ghetto, you know? I’ve lived in the suburbs too.
So when did you come to Los Angeles and how was that transition?
I was born in New York I came out here when I was 10 and I was raised out here. Basically, I’ve been rapping in the LA scene a long time. The early 90’s were a fun, dangerous time for us people in the scene. I was taking the bus all over the place, participated in Project Blowed, just saw a lot of fights and madness and criminality, but a lot of fun and positive stuff too. It’s different now, but it’s still fun.
A lot of times Latino musicians aren’t given the same exposure or recognition as their counterparts, why do you the industry is so segregated?
The industry no longer exists as it used to, everything is more independent. I really feel that people do it to themselves. There are Latin artists that don’t really venture beyond their hood and you have these genres that limit things, like Chicano Rap that a lot of people wouldn’t hear unless they’re in El Paso or somewhere similar. I blame niches for the separation, not racism. No one ever labeled Cypress Hill as Latino because they didn’t advertise themselves as a Latino band, but they were Cuban.
I come from a Dominican background and we have a history of slavery and I have Spanish and Native American ancestry, so I’m all of that as well and I represent that in my music. I’ve found that my problem is not being stereotypical enough, people try to put me in boxes and I don’t fit because I’ve had too many different experiences and lived too many places. I just do me. I don’t make an effort to embrace my culture, I AM my culture.
Any projects coming out that fans should know about? How can fans keep up with you?
‘The Dear Diary’ EP is coming out soon and you can check out my YouTube page too.
Creative direction: Phenom
Art direction: Zack Hirst
Photography: Chad Knutsen