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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
Members
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]

Contents

History

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, guardian.co.uk 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]

Style

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

References

  1. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmq9T0MZ_RQ
  2. ^ Stefan Golangco (October 10, 2008). "Boy Crisis Interview". The Wesleyan Argus. http://wesleyanargus.com/2008/10/10/boy-crisis-interview/. Retrieved 2009-10-14.  
  3. ^ a b Jon Caramanica (July 23, 2009). "Wryly Rapping on Race (and Fast Food, Too)". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/24/arts/music/24das.html. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  4. ^ Jenn Pelly (September 2, 2009). "DOWNLOAD: Hot Rap Duo Das Racist". Spin. http://m.spin.com/articles/download-hot-rap-duo-das-racist. Retrieved 2009-09-08.  
  5. ^ Kevin English (October 2009). "Interview with Das Racist". Stay Thirsty Media. http://www.staythirstymedia.com/200910-038/html/200910-das-racist-interview.html. Retrieved 2009-10-01.  
  6. ^ Sara'o Bery (Spring, 2009). "From G's to Gents: The Formation of Das Racist". Wesleyan MUSC108 Midterm Magazine. http://www.coursehero.com/file/5095786/Spring09MidtermMagazine/. 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. http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-06-17/music/a-chat-with-das-racist-the-geniuses-behind-combination-pizza-hut-and-taco-bell/. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  
  8. ^ Paul Lester (November 21, 2008). "You can't be too smart to make pop". guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/nov/21/boy-crisis. Retrieved 20009-10-14.  
  9. ^ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2009/02/dan-deacon-ring-leader
  10. ^ http://www.deathandtaxesmagazine.com/2009/04/song-of-day-das-racist.php
  11. ^ Jon Caramanica (October 23, 2009). "The CMJ Music Marathon Showcases Hip-Hop Talent". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/arts/music/24hip-hop.html?_r=1&8ur&emc=ur. Retrieved 2009-11-17.  
  12. ^ Farley Katz (August 7, 2009). "Combination Food". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/cartoonlounge/2009/08/combination-food.html. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  13. ^ Farley Katz (August 27, 2009). "Das Racist Throws Down the Gauntlet". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/cartoonlounge/2009/08/das-racist-throws-down-the-gauntlet.html. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  14. ^ Farley Katz (September 3, 2009). "Cartoon-off: Das Racist". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/cartoonlounge/2009/09/cartoon-off-das-racist.html. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  15. ^ Rob Harvilla (September 3, 2009). "Das Racist Destroys New Yorker In Epic Cartoon-Off". The Village Voice. http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/archives/2009/09/das_racist_dest.php. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  16. ^ Caroline Stanley (October 23, 2009). "Das Racist to Sasha Frere-Jones: “Stop trying to kill rap.”". Flavorpill. http://flavorwire.com/45316/das-racist-to-sasha-frere-jones-stop-trying-to-kill-rap. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  17. ^ Chandler Levak (October 05, 2009). "Pop Montreal: Days 3 & 4". Eye Weekly. http://www.eyeweekly.com/music/liveeye/article/73676. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  
  18. ^ Josh Eels (August 2, 2009). "Meet Das Racist, the smartest stupid guys in the room". New York (magazine). http://nymag.com/arts/popmusic/features/58183/. Retrieved 2009-09-08.  
  19. ^ Dayo Olopade (May 19, 2009). "The Rise of the Black Hipster". The Root. http://www.theroot.com/views/rise-black-hipster. Retrieved 2009-10-14.  
  20. ^ http://www.playboy.com/articles/music-das-racist/index.html
  21. ^ Philly Grrl (September 21, 2009). "Q&A with Himanshu Suri of Das Racist: Part II". Sepia Mutiny. http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/005957.html. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  







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