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Das Racist
Origin Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Hip-Hop
Years active 2008 (2008)
Labels none
Associated acts Boy Crisis
Website Official page
Victor Vazquez
Himanshu Suri
Ashok Kondabolu

Das Racist is a rap duo based in Brooklyn, composed of Queens-born Himanshu Suri and San Francisco-born Victor Vazquez. They are often joined on-stage by Dap, also known as rapper Winky Taterz (born Ashok Kondabolu) for live performances and in music videos.[1] Vazquez is also a member of Boy Crisis, which also consists entirely of Wesleyan grads.[2]



Suri and Vazquez met at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut[3] where Victor was Himanshu's resident advisor in a "Students of Color for Social Justice" themed dormitory. Das Racist's first album, tentatively titled Shut Up, Dude, is scheduled to be released this fall,[4] although Das Racist has not yet signed with a label.[5]

Das Racist first began attracting attention with their song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell."[6][7] In November 2008, called Das Racist a "funny and funky duo," placing them on a list of eight bands worth checking out.[8] In March 2009, Dan Deacon facetiously referred to "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" as "a track that will last the ages" in XLR8R magazine.[9] Death & Taxes magazine described the song as "an existential meditation on consumer identity in corporate America" and "both feverishly juvenile and somehow profound." [10] After playing at the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon, the New York Times described Das Racist's set as "characteristically shambolic, and characteristically entertaining, holding together a half-hour set of half-performed songs with hyperliterate reference points and self-aware charm."[11]

When cartoonist Farley Katz of The New Yorker poked fun at Das Racist for "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,"[12] Vazquez (also a cartoonist) challenged Katz to a cartoon-off.[13] Katz accepted,[14] and The Village Voice declared Vazquez the unambiguous winner, saying he "destroyed" Katz.[15] After Sasha Frere-Jones wrote a piece in The New Yorker on the demise of hip hop, Flavorpill turned to Das Racist to provide a response; Vazquez and Suri took Frere-Jones to task for presumptuously claiming authority on the matter, questioning Frere-Jones's conclusions, assumptions, and positionality.[16]


Das Racist's unique style has a strong polarizing tendency, with most people either loving it or hating it;[7] their set at the Pop Montreal festival was described as "the most divisive show seen at the festival."[17] They describe their approach to music as "'deconstructionalist': sawing the legs out from under hip-hop as they celebrate it."[18] The New York Times wrote "Das Racist’s lack of piety has become an aesthetic of its own, with songs that are as much commentary on hip-hop as rigorous practice of it."[3] The Root said Das Racist could speak for both "the ‘hood or the nearest gated community."[19] Playboy called the duo "equal parts hip-hop and Cheech & Chong."[20] In an interview with Sepia Mutiny, Suri described Das Racist's music:

we’re not making music that’s instantly appealing. We dabble with nonsequitors, dadaism, repetition, repetition. We make dance music while talking about not-dancey things. We say things that on the surface can seem pretty dumb but it’s a mask on some Paul Laurence Dunbar shit for actual discontent with a lot of shit in the world. Further, not a lot of people want to hear rappers talk about Dinesh D'Souza being a punk, Eddie Said, Gayatri Spivak being dope or even know who they are. A lot of people hear Pizza Hut Taco Bell and then have preconceived notions about our entire body of work that fall pretty flat. [21]

External links


  1. ^
  2. ^ Stefan Golangco (October 10, 2008). "Boy Crisis Interview". The Wesleyan Argus. Retrieved 2009-10-14.  
  3. ^ a b Jon Caramanica (July 23, 2009). "Wryly Rapping on Race (and Fast Food, Too)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  4. ^ Jenn Pelly (September 2, 2009). "DOWNLOAD: Hot Rap Duo Das Racist". Spin. Retrieved 2009-09-08.  
  5. ^ Kevin English (October 2009). "Interview with Das Racist". Stay Thirsty Media. Retrieved 2009-10-01.  
  6. ^ Sara'o Bery (Spring, 2009). "From G's to Gents: The Formation of Das Racist". Wesleyan MUSC108 Midterm Magazine. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  7. ^ a b Rob Harvilla (June 15, 2009). "A Chat with Das Racist, the Geniuses Behind "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell"". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  
  8. ^ Paul Lester (November 21, 2008). "You can't be too smart to make pop". Retrieved 20009-10-14.  
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Jon Caramanica (October 23, 2009). "The CMJ Music Marathon Showcases Hip-Hop Talent". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-17.  
  12. ^ Farley Katz (August 7, 2009). "Combination Food". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  13. ^ Farley Katz (August 27, 2009). "Das Racist Throws Down the Gauntlet". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  14. ^ Farley Katz (September 3, 2009). "Cartoon-off: Das Racist". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  15. ^ Rob Harvilla (September 3, 2009). "Das Racist Destroys New Yorker In Epic Cartoon-Off". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  16. ^ Caroline Stanley (October 23, 2009). "Das Racist to Sasha Frere-Jones: “Stop trying to kill rap.”". Flavorpill. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  17. ^ Chandler Levak (October 05, 2009). "Pop Montreal: Days 3 & 4". Eye Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  
  18. ^ Josh Eels (August 2, 2009). "Meet Das Racist, the smartest stupid guys in the room". New York (magazine). Retrieved 2009-09-08.  
  19. ^ Dayo Olopade (May 19, 2009). "The Rise of the Black Hipster". The Root. Retrieved 2009-10-14.  
  20. ^
  21. ^ Philly Grrl (September 21, 2009). "Q&A with Himanshu Suri of Das Racist: Part II". Sepia Mutiny. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  

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