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  1. FAKE FOUR COMMUNITY SPEAKS ON CESCHI & THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

    1233507 10201520610364599 1116096710 n Fake Four Community Speaks on Ceschi and the Prison Industrial Complex #FREECESCHI

    In December 2010, Fake Four CEO/indie folk/rap hero Ceschi Ramos was trapped in a sting operation in New Haven, Connecticut and is currently serving 18 months in a state penitentiary. The headlines read, “Police Seize 100 lbs of pot wrapped up as Christmas gifts,” and it was a pseudo-viral fluff piece written by an embedded reporter to bolster New Haven’s image as “3rd most dangerous city in America”. With guns drawn on his mother, brother and grandfather, New Haven police refused to allow him lawyer access and after two hours of verbal and physical abuse towards Ceschi and his family (even repeatedly kicking his 11 lb dog Birdman), they finally forced a confession from him after citing that the police would arrest his entire family, including his 98 year old grandfather with a heart condition who had recently suffered the loss of his wife of 70 years, and seize their home if he did not acquiesce to a coached confession. This forced confession proved to be the only piece of hard evidence they had to prosecute Ramos with as they found nothing illegal in the house, and no marijuana from the “cooperating witness” was ever brought into the house or opened from the sealed boxes that remained in the man’s rented SUV.

    This is not just a story of the prison industrial complex taking another prisoner. It is a story of what type of tactics are being used by law enforcement in today’s current sociopolitical climate to coerce a citizen of this country into giving up their freedom in order to save their own family from harm and so allow the police force to have a quick scapegoat to hang their hat on for the news. This is about law enforcement seeking IMMEDIATE results and a subsequent news story without considering any of the ethical and legal issues that any branch of justice should be looking at before engaging in such activities as breaking into a home, guns drawn, and threatening public humiliation from an embedded reporter on scene (who shortly after quit reporting to become the spokesperson for a neighboring police department) if an immediate resolution is not made without any legal counsel. This decision made by New Haven law enforcement has now created ripples not just locally, but on a worldwide scale.

    Ramos’ label Fake Four, Inc. is home to many thriving indie artists: Astronautalis, Blue Sky Black Death, Grayskul, Busdriver, Dark Time Sunshine and Sister Crayon, to name a few of the most established acts on the label. Fake Four is considered by many to be the last of the great indie hip-hop labels and came into being during a turbulent time in the music industry when cd sales were dropping and interest in left-of-center, non-swag-centric hip-hop had long since waned from the public eye. Beyond the business and art considerations, Ramos is saintlike to many as he gave a helping hand to all friends who were in need. From advice on issues putting out a record to guesting on a track, he has always been a true friend to everyone. As a performer, whether he was playing for 20 or 2,000, Ramos always gave it his all and has earned a true cult following worldwide as a result of his intimate and dynamic live performances. 

    While this case has been bubbling over the past few years, Ramos has kept news of it out of the public eye, not wanting to seem to profit from his own misfortune. During the drawn out process of his legal case Ramos racked up over $50,000 in legal debt. Running out of funds and not wanting to get a 5-7 year sentence, which his lawyers advised him that he had an 80-90% chance of winning in court but could end up costing upwards of 100k along with the advice of “if it were my kid I would not risk it”, he finally accepted a plea deal of an 18 month sentence. This sentencing has now put his greatest art project, Fake Four, Inc., in peril. The artists behind the music and the small staff of Fake Four are looking to the public to help fund this year’s releases through a successful Indiegogo campaign. Although the minimum funding was reached within 24 hours, that was just to keep the roof from caving in. We hope to reach even higher so that when Ceschi gets out of jail, Fake Four will not only still be in existence, but thriving.

    Sole, Jeep Halo & David Ramos

    #FREECESCHI 

  2. TOMMY V - MOCKINGBIRD (FREE DOWNLOAD)

    Tommy V

    Tommy V first appeared on the Los Angles hip hop scene in 1998 when he was featured on Awol One’s classic cassette, Three Eyed Cowz. A few years later, Tommy released his first solo effort, Quarter Life Crisis, an epic 20 song album featuring the likes of WHY?, Doseone and the Shape Shifters. It was around the release of Quarter Life Crisis that Tommy linked up with Ceschi and David Ramos of Anonymous Inc. Tommy was featured on Anonymous Inc.’s self titled debut, and subsequently formed Toca with Ceschi, David Ramos, and Xololanxinxo. After the demise of Toca, Tommy also seemed to vanish from the music world. He would occasionally appear on other people’s songs (sometimes with verses recorded a decade earlier), but years passed with no new Tommy V album. In the six years since Toca broke up, Tommy would start college, become a dog walker for the LA elite, learn how to sing, and record between 50 and 100 never-completed songs.

    It seemed like Tommy V had become a footnote in the long and influential history of Los Angeles hip hop. However, Tommy decided otherwise, and here we are. More than a decade after his last solo effort, and more than six years after the break-up of Toca, Tommy V has returned with his Fake Four debut.

  3. Cars & Trains Releases Free 'We Are All Storms' EP

    cars  trains.4 Cars & Trains Releases We Are All Storms EP

    Portland-based Cars & Trains has just dropped a companion EP to his recently-released third full-length, We Are All Fire. Tom Filepp’s We Are All Storms, a 10-track effort of instrumentals and collaborations with Open Mike Eagle,Ceschi and David Ramos, is available for free download on bandcamp.

    We Are All Fire is out now on Fake Four, Inc.

  4. Ceschi, Gregory Pepper, Cars & Trains, David Ramos and Kirby Dominant @ Glasslands Gallery (Live Review)

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    09.02.12

    The dynamic artsy setting of Glasslands drew a diverse, enthusiastic crowd for a Sunday night showcase of the east coast’s premier indie rap label. Opening the gig was Bar Area emcee Kirby Dominant, a surprise last minute addition to Fake Four Inc.’s Brooklyn extravaganza. Sporting suspenders over a tucked-in white button-down, Kirby asked the Williamsburg audience if his attire was hipster enough before launching into tracks from Champagne Nightmares, his latest Paranoid Castle album alongside Canadian beat god Factor. “Feeling Inside” roused just-arriving fans with its upbeat, this-too-shall-pass mantra before the intoxicating soundscape of “Orca” inspired a buzzed sing-along.

    Guelph, Ontario-based Gregory Pepper And His Problems were responsible for the indie rock/pop portion of the evening. From his torn white tee over tatted arms to his two-minute energy-filled lamentations, Pepper exudes punk. Escape From Crystal Skull Mountain, the just-released album drawing high praise and at least one comparison to Harry Nilsson, dominated his short but sweet set list. Backed by David Ramos on drums, Pepper’s witty pity party paraded on via “Born To Die” and “At Least I’m Not A Musician”.

    Cars & Trains further demonstrated the versatility of Fake Four behind the glowing white apple of a MacBook and his restrained acoustic strumming. Falling somewhere between folk and electronic, the artist lesser known as Tom Filepp slowed down the night’s pace with pensive selections such as “Nations” from his latest and greatest album We Are All Fire. “The meter / of the song / that I sing / loses time / with the air / that I breathe / through my lungs / as the dust settles,” Filepp sang on the lovely, down-tempo “Intimidated By Silence”.

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    Folk rap OG Ceschi took the stage last, with support from brother David Ramos on drums as well as Max Heath of Child Actor on keys. Together, the three form Anonymous Inc., a progressive and intriguing outfit. David is the textbook definition of a good dude. Chatting with him after the show, he mentioned that following every date of the current northeast run, he has driven home to Connecticut in order to be able to assist his grandfather with his morning routine, doing the best he can to get by on three hours of sleep. A beastly Anonymous Inc. instrumental breakdown later in the set which accompanied a Grizzly Bearish track, with Ceschi on guitar and Heath providing lead vocals, defied any traditional categorization and gave fans a thrilling glimpse of what the trio has been working on. (Here’s a clip of said track from 2011′s Fake Four Fest.)

    Ceschi showed love to large sections of his catalogue, with standouts from They Hate Francisco False and The One Man Band Broke Up putting smiles on the faces of increasingly drunk Brooklynites. The lonesome, accordion-infused “Frank Propose” was a welcome addition. “You should have married her / when you had the chance / on that Saturday / proposed with that pink plastic ring that came / inside of a box of Safeway cornflakes,” he solemnly crooned. Keeping with his M.O., Ceschi performed chunks of his set in the audience, inviting staggering levels of crowd participation on tracks such as the morose, anthemic “Bad Jokes”.

    At one point Gregory Pepper reemerged and briefly sat on David’s shoulders, before losing balance and seemingly face-planting on the cold, hard floor. Undeterred, Pepper quickly rose to his feet and resumed wilding out to the hilarious Ramos brothers skewering of Bono on “No Bono,” in which the duo implies U2’s false prophet killed rock and roll. Pepper then joined Ceschi on stage for a gorgeously off-kilter rendition of Common Grackle’s “The Great Depression,” which mutated drastically into an impromptu heavy metal scream-fest at its climax, a somehow-fitting close to a brilliant night of music.

  5. Fake Four Inc. Releases A Record Label Sampler Vol. 4

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    With a string of highly anticipated releases in the works, Fake Four has dropped the latest installment of their record label sampler. The 18-track indie rap showcase features seven previously unheard songs and music from the likes of CeschiSage FrancisAstronautalisDark Time SunshineBusdriverOpen Mike EagleGregory PepperBleubird, and more. Download the sampler free courtesy of Circle Into Square and be on the lookout for Ceschi and Bleubird on this summer’s Warped Tour.

  6. URB Premiere: David Ramos – “First Photo” f/ Ceschi (Greencarpetedstairs Remix)

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    Greencarpetedstairs’ remix washes over David Ramos’ “First Photo” with thick, gooey electronic textures. The original track, featuring David’s bro Ceschi on the hook, is taken from the recently-released Sento La Tua Mancanza. David plans to tour the east coast in support of the record later this summer with a labelmate or two in tow. Denver-based Greencarpetedstairs also has some newness on the way, as his self-titled Fake Four debut is set to drop on June 12.


    Original (from Sento La Tua Mancanza)

  7. David Ramos - Digital Memory (URB Premiere)

    sento la tua mancanza

    “Digital Memory” is the second song to be leaked from David Ramos’ forthcoming Sento La Tua Mancanza, due out May 29 via Fake Four. A skittering, propulsive beat lifts the Connecticut-based artist’s storytelling to new heights as he dissects his own mourning through the frame of the digital age. David’s third album, a heartfelt 14 track tribute to his grandmother, features production from German beatsmith Oskar Ohlson and backing vocals courtesy of Ceschi.

    Download “Digital Memory”

  8. David Ramos - Together

    The brothers Ramos have a true knack for capturing the essence of transcendent love in all its myriad forms and, conversely, the pains of being separated from it. David Ramos’ beautiful arrangement for “Together,” though certainly existing within its own trajectory of mourning, calls to mind lyrics from his brother Ceschi’s classic “All Of Us.” The track is taken from David’s recently-released and extremely-limited la tua mancanza cassette, available now from Circle Into Square.

    (premiered today on URB.com)

  9. David Ramos - No Bono (f/ Ceschi)

    For the next time you get drunk and find yourself inarticulately defending your thesis on what a piece of shit Bono is to U2 apologists, here is your ammunition.