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das racist

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Listen: Das Racist – “The Recipe (Remix)”

Possibly influenced by his recent interview with Kendrick Lamar for Noisey, Heems teamed up with his Das Racist counterpart Kool A.D. to give us their unique take on Kendrick’s huge Dre-tinged single, “The Recipe”. Below, you can grab the MP3, which features the two Greedhead rappers lending their mellow rhymes to the equally mellow Scoop DeVille instrumental. Weed references everywhere, but I guess that’s a given.

MP3: Das Racist – “The Recipe (Remix)”

Mixtape: Kool A.D. – The Palm Wine Drinkard

Last year, New York rap trio Das Racist promised solo mixtapes from each of its members in early 2012. Today, we get the first of three, The Palm Wine Drinkard from Victor Vazquez, better known as Kool A.D., with DR emcee HeemsNehru Jackets following soon after. Surprisingly, there isn’t a whole lot of rapping on the tape and most of it just Vazquez singing non-sequiturs over some really great production. Below, you can check out a few songs and also grab the entire mixtape.

Download: Kool A.D. – The Palm Wine Drinkard

MP3: Kool A.D. – “The Palm Wine Drinkard”

MP3: Kool A.D. – “Girls And Women”

MiaoMix Monday #5 [Halloween]

Today is Halloween and today’s the perfect day to celebrate. I put together a mix of songs that in my opinion would be great to listen to during Halloween. None of them are actually directly related to Halloween in any way, but I think they have a very suitable vibe. The playlist this week isn’t really focused on any specific genre, but the first half of the playlist is rap and the 2nd half is a mix of dubstep, folk, and R&B music. The last song is “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” by Sufjan Stevens and if you’re at all familiar with the song, you’d think it wouldn’t fit in this playlist, but I think that it’s a perfect ending to this week’s mix.

Kid CuDi – “Maniac (feat. Cage & St. Vincent)”
Das Racist – “Sit Down, Man (feat. El-P) (Produced by Scoop Deville)”
Tyler, The Creator – “Tron Cat”
GZA/Genius – “Shadowboxin'”
The Weeknd – “Wicked Games”
Massive Attack – “Paradise Circus (Zeds Dead Remix)”
Burial – “Archangel”
Sufjan Stevens – “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”

Review: Das Racist – Relax

Das Racist – Relax

Released: September 13, 2011
Label: Greedhead
Purchase: iTunes | Insound | Amazon

“I’m f*cking great at rapping,” Das Racist frontman Himanshu Suri boasts with quite a bit of gusto on lead single “Michael Jackson”. If these words were uttered on past mixtapes/albums Shut Up, Dude or Sit Down, Man, there would be little to object to. But since they entered our ear canals by way of Das Racist’s studio debut Relax, more must be said.

For some reason, the rap duo seem to have lost quite a bit of the wittiness and charm that made their first two efforts stand out so much. For the most part, Heems unfortunately sounds quite sluggish with his rhymes, failing to deliver quotable after quotable like on Sit Down, Man’s “amazing”, “hahahaha jk?”, and “rapping 2 u”. Instead he chooses to rattle off seemingly incoherent thoughts in a raspy, grungy-sounding voice, leaving us wondering what exactly happened to the sharpness he previously displayed. His partner and long-time friend, Kool AD (aka Victor Vazquez), on the other hand, sounds much the same and provides ample reminders of what made us fall in love with Das Racist in the first place.

The social commentary is still there, the glitchy beats are still there, and the genius is still there. The magic, however, is gone. Everything is still seemingly intact though, so what makes Relax sound so detached and uninspired compared to the rest of their catalogue?  Who knows? Heems, Kool AD, and Dapwell probably don’t even know.

Perhaps it’s a change of focus. As Heems says on what is perhaps his best verse on the album (on opening track “Relax”), “Juvenile shit / I ain’t really tryna rap about / I don’t remember from b-b-ba b-blackin’ out / These days, I’m mostly focused on my bank account / I ain’t backin’ out until I own a bank to brag about.” Making music that sells is certainly different from making music that shines.

Or maybe it’s the fact that Das Racist have already, well, ‘made it.’ The hook for album standout “Power” tackles this issue head on: “It’s too easy. Even if I told you about it, you probably wouldn’t even believe me.” Bursting onto the scene from literally nowhere with the ridiculously infectious and utterly confusing “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” and then securing collaborations with the likes of DiploBoi-1daRoc Marciano, and El-P on their second release. And everything was released to critical acclaim. It kind of reads like a script, one where we got to watch the trio hone their art while enjoying huge amounts of success along the way. Perhaps things were way too easy.

Fortunately for us, however, Das Racist don’t stray too far away from their fundamental skeleton. Play the record for anyone familiar with the group and it’ll be clear that it is indeed a Das Racist record. The repetitiveness and non-sequiturs on “Michael Jackson”, the danciness of “Booty In The Air”, the posse-cut “Power”, the unabashed self-referencing on “Selena” – everything is still distinctly Das Racist. The only difference is that altogether the whole record feels less densely packed with references and much less technically satisfying. Even production by Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij fail to make a big impact – without looking at the credits, it’s hard to even tell what songs they worked on (“Middle of the Cake” and “The Trick” respectively).

There’s no need to take these reviews seriously, though. A group like Das Racist obviously isn’t out searching for approval from critics; all they need to do is take everything in stride and just relax. Then, finally, they can come back when they’re ready to put together a more inspired effort.

We’ll be ready.


Standout Tracks: “Michael Jackson” and “Power (feat. Danny Brown & Despot)”

Video: Das Racist – “Michael Jackson”

“Michael Jackson, one million dollars. You feel me? Holla.”

How’s that for a hook? Those lyrics are from Brooklyn rap trio Das Racist‘s “Michael Jackson”, the first single from their soon-to-be-released debut album Relax. The music video has now been released by MTV, featuring a Michael Jackson impersonator, some old white people, and a tribute to MJ’s 1991 video for “Black or White”. For a song that is so incredibly random, it makes sense that the video is equally as (or perhaps even more!) random. Bizarre as always, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from Das Racist.

Relax is out now on iTunes via Greedhead. You can purchase it here.

Listen: TV On The Radio – “Caffeinated Consciousness (Das Racist Remix)”


Who saw this one coming? Heems and Victor of the rap group Das Racist were invited by Interscope to remix TV On The Radio‘s “Caffeinated Consciousness”, collaborating with producer patrickWhat. The remix features a slowed-down version of “Caffeinated Consciousness” and a few rap verses from Das Racist. “Pitchfork dot com… I don’t even read that,” rhymes Victor. Stream the remix below.

Das Racist’s first proper release, Relax, will be released September 13, 2011 via Greedhead (Himanshu’s own record label). You can preorder from Insound here. The album features production from DiploEl-PVampire Weekend‘s Rostam Batmanglij, and Yeasayer‘s Anand Wilder.

Das Racist Detained and Deported

Das Racist were denied entry, detained for 8+ hours at the airport, and finally deported back to Switzerland. The group was scheduled to perform their first-ever show in the UK.

“We were removed due to paperwork and visa issues that are being enforced more strictly than they had been in the past.”