The Rocks Off 200: Optimo Ram, Online Radio Jefe

Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.

Photos courtesy of Optimo Ram
Who? "If it ain't local, it ain't live!" That is the mantra of Ramsey Allred, better known in the community as Ram -- Optimo Radio's chief, founder and CEO. His father was a record store owner from Port Arthur and his mother is a fourth-generation Houstonian.

"I grew up in my dad's record store, All Records, and got an appreciation for music at an early age," says Ram.

He fell in love with Houston rap after discovering the Geto Boys, then a friend opened up a freestyle studio in King's Flea Market when he was 15, which led him into rapping. "I was a rapper for a while, like everyone else in Houston, and once the idea of the radio was presented, I decided to quit rapping and play a position," he explains.

Home Base: "My home base will always be Screwed Up Records & Tapes," Ram says confidently. "Big Bubb and Big A, along with DJ Red and the rest of the crew, they really showed me a lot of love and have provided us a home to keep things poppin' when faced with a tough situation. I will always be loyal to them."

Why Do You Stay In Houston? "Because I am Houston... Houston is me!" proclaims Ram. "The ideals represented by phrases like 'Clutch City' and 'Soldiers United 4 Cash' are embedded in my DNA. I represent the underdawgs, and despite all this new fly shit, Houston is a city of underdawgs. From our sports teams to our best MCs, it is who we are."

With that being said, Ram has let us know that he will be moving away from Houston next month in favor of Denver, Colorado. He vows to represent Houston and our underground scene properly in the new Wild West, and says Optimo Radio will still be going strong and actually adding several new shows soon. Stay tuned.

Good War Story: A late-night altercation fueled by pizza:

One time after a radio show, my buddy and I were leaving out of Late Night Pie and these four yuppie douchebags were attempting to beat up an old homeless dude for no reason. So me and my friend stopped them, and ended up fighting all four dudes and won.

They left walkin' down the street while we were standin' in the front tellin' them they were some hoes. I like to help people who most people don't give a shit about. Three days later the manager of Late Night Pie burnt that bitch down.

Story continues on the next page.

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