“Hip-hop is ever changing but you’ll always have the pack. And you’ll always have those people who are separated from the pack.” Eminem said this. If it is true, then Lo DoubleT is an artist separated from the pack of what is currently popular in hip hop. A distinction he gladly accepts and embraces. In this world where trend hopping is the norm. Where club ready trap beats, skinny jeans and snapbacks take precedent over artistic expression, Lo DoubleT has stayed the course and always remained true to himself.
Born Ryan Lottmann and hailing from the Wisconsin city of Appleton, Lottmann fell in love with music at an early age. At age seven Lottmann started recording his own mixtapes and radio shows. By age eleven he had already started playing guitar and was heavily influenced by hair, thrash and death metal. At fourteen he started his own punk/thrash band “Toxic Shock”, recording anything he could on his Tascam 4 track cassette studio, from joke songs, noise and demos of other bands. Shortly thereafter in 1998 another band was formed, The DPNS. They went on to garner some local fame, culminating in headlining shows at what was then the best punk rock venue in the state, Concert Cafe. A stage that they got to see so many incredible acts and influences including Mustardplug, Braid, Anal Cunt, Modest Mouse, L7, Less Than Jake, Descendants, etc. After many personal challenges, hardships and drug charges The DPNS disbanded in 2002. Shortly thereafter Lottmann sold his guitar and half stack to a local pawn shop, replacing those with a drum machine and Lo DoubleT was born.
Early on in his “rap” career Lottmann worked tirelessly at making beats, making up funny rhymes to go over them and battling. No, we are not talking 8 Mile here. Lottmann was known to stand around the keg at parties, ready to battle and inviting competition, which mostly came in the from of drunk frat guys and wannabe suburban thugs. Nevertheless, it was these early years that helped establish himself as an artist within the scene.
The world of music is flooded by sub genre after sub genre, this is not normally the case in hip hop. He does not adhere to the standard formula. His music could only be categorized as “punk hop” or “noise hop” or, in his own words, “I make the kind of music I would wanna rock the fuck out to.” His point could not be better proved than to watch his live performance. On that stage he is a hip hop enigma wrapped up in a punk rock kid. He is the Beastie Boys meets GG Alin. He is high energy, running around the stage, swinging the mic, engaging the audience. When he is on stage with his wife and partner (a point in which we will come back to) they put on something never before seen in hip hop. They want to surprise and shock the audience. Often leaving them saying things such as, “what the fuck did I just see at a rap show?” or “I’m not sure if I liked it or not, but I know I’m totally turned on”. This may be too much for some, but this is who he is.
After working on his beats and rhymes Lottmann released his first ep, “The Pumpkin Island” in 2007. The beats are reminiscent of GIRL TALK and the rhymes similar to that of the Beastie Boys meet Fat Mike. Lottmann wasted no time and released another ep in 2008, entitled “Hoedown At The Robot Farm”. This was once again entirely produced by him with DJ cuts from Muddy Puddles. Followed by 2010’s “ROBOTS, ALIENS, SHEEP, AND SWINE”, with cuts by JB Ill.
Then there came 2012. The year that showed him on his first tour and helped form what he is today and has always wanted to be. This was the year he teamed up with his eventual wife, Mandie Savage (Amanda Lottmann). Mandie Savage had been a well known go go dancer in the Wisconsin metal scene, forming a troupe, Savage A Go-Go in 2007. The year 2010 had Savage A Go-Go helping develop the stage show for the Dark Songs festival and 2012 had them producing the now annual spring burlesque/drag show with UW Green Bay’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance. With a background in fire, dancing, object manipulation and other “freak show” acts, she was the perfect compliment not only to Lottmann’s life, but to his music, they formed The Gospel. The two started touring, the “No Fee ATM” tour, as it was dubbed, made stops in Minnesota, New York, New Jersey and more. All the while the concept for a new album was being brewed, 2013’s “Pretty Dead.”
By far the widest release of his career, “Pretty Dead” featured an eclectic group of musicians featured on it. Everyone from Mac Lethal, Duece Ellis, Coolzey to Dandelion Rainbows and WI noise legends Cock ESP. Shortly after the release in the spring of 2014, The Gospel hit the road again. The “Passion Week Party Tour” ( a tour in which I, myself may have booked a show or two) took off to the east, hitting up Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, New York and more. This toured also helped grow their legacy, having been the first hip hop act ever booked at the famous Buzzbin Art & Music shop. Their most successful tour took place just this past year. The “Too Hot, Too Fat” tour featured fellow Wisconsin emcee Derill Pounds, it also saw them selling lots of merch throughout Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
Lottmann has had a long musical history and a colorful one at that. During his time he has been blessed with sharing the stage with a number of musicians, including DasEFX, Kosha Dillz, Mac Lethal, Pigeon John, Raashan Ahmad, Spose, VIson the Kid, Carnage the Executioner, Prof, Sadistik, Louis Logic, Maulskull, SoulCrate Music, DJ SKU, Cam Groves, Deuce Ellis, Rusty P’s, Ecid, Radix, Coolzey, DJ Rare Groove, The Crest, Black Pegasus, Akream, The Pluto Moons, Lipstick Homicide, Tenement, and many other talented musicians.
So what comes next? What does the future hold for Ryan Lottmann? Your guess is as good as mine. One thing about him is he has always been true to himself. He makes the music he wants to make, he performs the way he wants to perform and he does exactly whatever it is that he wants to do. If you were to ask him what drives him the answer would be simple, his wife, his daughter and his life long love of music. It’s not about fame. It’s not about money. It’s about staying true to yourself and rocking the fuck out!