Thursday, April 25, 2013

Artist of the Day: Das Racist

Back in early 2011, I really, truly believed that Das Racist was going to change rap forever. I had just begun following the rap scene a few months before in an effort to be more popular at school, so I was still green. I had heard "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" a few times, but before actually sitting down and bumping their mixtapes Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man I didn't really understand the group dynamic. I knew they were goofy, but I also didn't think they had talent. To my uneducated ears, it sounded like dorm-room rap by a couple of really high liberal arts students.

Now, I'm not sure my initial assessment was wrong per se, but I didn't understand their full capabilities. With a little more time, I began to wonder if Kool A.D.'s audacious brag on "Rainbow in the Dark" that "Das Racist is the new Kool G Rap" wasn't too far off base. Their lyrics were socially conscious (I'm smokin ganja weed/but dawg what about the Janjaweed) but delivered in such a laidback way that they sound free-associative. The duo's saturation in pop culture and rap's history is obvious, "Who's That? Brooown!" samples A Tribe Called Quest classic "Scenario" and video game references are sprinkled throughout its video, but it's the cooperation between MCs Heems and Kool A.D. that really sells the Das Racist experience. The way they interact- trading and finishing lines, telling jokes- is second-to-none. 

Unfortunately, the two had a falling-out at the end of 2012 after releasing their disappointing debut album Relax, which caused the two to strike out on their own. The likelihood of the two coming back to reestablish the most unique hip-hop group around is low, but they are survived by two incredibly entertaining mixtapes bursting at the seems with clever rhymes and good times.

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