The Prison Poetry of Ceschi Ramos

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Drawing by Ceschi Ramos

In December 2010, rapper, singer and multi-instrumentalist Ceschi Ramos was arrested when a vehicle carrying 100 pounds of marijuana wrapped up like Christmas presents parked outside of his New Haven home and an informant pinned Ceschi as its intended recipient. Police tackled Ceschi to the snow and drew guns to his head, refused to allow his 98-year-old grandfather to contact a lawyer, threatened to arrest his entire family and seize their home and ultimately coerced Ceschi into signing a confession. Following three years of legal battles, he accepted a plea deal for an 18-month sentence. There was no evidence suggesting he was anything more than a scapegoat aside from the signed confession and by the time his sentence began in September 2013, marijuana was no longer illegal in Connecticut.

To keep the record label he co-founded with his brother David in 2008 afloat, Ceschi and Fake Four, Inc. launched an indiegogo campaign in the fall. Their modest initial goal of $15,000 was met within 24 hours and the final tally sat north of 52 grand. Approximately four months into his sentence, Ceschi was released on parole over the holidays.

“We’re pretty confident that the noise everyone made helped put me on the fast track for release,” says Ceschi. “It was even hard for me to believe but the public nature of my case had every C.O. in prison pointing and talking about me, they seemed utterly annoyed by the amount of mail and books and visits and overall attention I was getting – and that really helped push me out into the program faster.”

One of the many perks offered by Fake Four’s indiegogo campaign included the opportunity to receive original poetry penned by the artist behind bars. My girlfriend, one of the 1,046 individuals who donated to the Free Ceschi campaign, received one of his pieces last week, entitled “Bori, Niantic”, which Artlux is proud to share with you below.

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Serengeti and Surprise Guest Sufjan Stevens Join Louis Logic for Release Show at Glasslands

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Less than two years ago, underground hip hop veteran Louis Logic considered quitting rap and trying his hand at indie pop. On Sunday night, in front of a packed hometown Brooklyn crowd of fans, friends and fellow emcees, Louis walked around Glasslands with a Mylar balloon tied to his wrist and an irrepressible grin on what was clearly one of the best nights of his life.

The show was a celebration of Louis Logic’s first solo LP in seven years, Look on the Blight Side, which comes out next week on Fake Four, Inc. It had also been seven years since underground contemporary J-Zone rapped on stage. After experiencing some marginal success in the early 00s with his comedic pimp raps, J got burned out, stopped recording, and penned a book on how to not make it in the music business. Motivated by positive press for the book, J recently dropped his 11th album, Peter Pan Syndrome. His brief Glasslands set consisted of new material such as “Gadget Ho” and “Trespasser”, songs about his disdain for smartphones and gentrification, respectively. “Jackin For Basquiats” continued the onslaught with a snarky jab at Jay Z and other rappers mindlessly referencing high art for style points. An audience member took note and called out, “What else do you hate, J?”

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