The Rocks Off 200

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.

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.

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When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Houston Press contributor Marco both writes and points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond.