Ralf Lar’n: Phat Rap-Metal Beats

By Andrew Lentz Originally published in the October 2008 issue of DRUM! Magazine

Ralf Lar’n
EQUIPMENT Po Boy and Risen drums, Po Boy cymbals, Drumnetics pedals
CONTACT myspace.com/sammyclarkdrummer

Taking cues from 311, Korn, and the like, Ralf Lar’n (whose birth name hapens to be Sammy Clark) picks up the torch where rap-metal left off. This hitter is boom-bap writ large, with the kind of focus on pocket that this style of music demands, but not letting that be an excuse to keep it all hella simplistic. On the band’s EP, Sho-Nuf, there are no distracting cymbal crashes and other flourishes, helping to foreground the sloshy-loose pulse on the hats, the phat toms, chunky kick, and gun-shot snare whether he’s kicking a funky 6/8, a metallic 4/4, or splitting the rhythm into sixteenths on the hats like he does on “What We Do.” Overall though, Lar’n does what any good hip-hop-influenced drummer does: lays down a grid for the MC to flow over. Even if Lar’n did the most straight-ahead beats he could — which he almost never does — we’d have to big-up homeboy for keeping this endangered sub-genre alive.