Das Racist in the Times

das-racist-foto1The NY Times music review published an article about Wesleyan’s Das Racist which includes Obama and fighting racial prejudice. What more can you want from an article, Wes?*

Check it out:

During a news conference on Wednesday night, President Obama stood up for the prominent African-American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who had recently been arrested by a white police officer in Cambridge, Mass., in an incident rife with racial tension.

In a less publicized defense later that night at Union Pool in Brooklyn, the local art-rap group Das Racist offered a song to Mr. Gates, who famously testified on behalf of 2 Live Crew in a 1990 obscenity trial, locating that bawdy group’s performances in a long lineage of black oral traditions.

Mr. Gates, though, couldn’t have anticipated Das Racist, a pair of stoner jokesters: Himanshu Suri, whose parents emigrated from India, and Victor Vazquez, of Cuban and Italian heritage. But their sloppiness is a mask for detailed, affectionate hip-hop parody, name-dropping KRS-One and Asher Roth as easily as W. E. B. Du Bois and the literary critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Their act is a blend that inspires questions like this one in a recent interview in The Village Voice: “Is this a joke that everyone thinks is a graduate thesis, or vice versa?”

And this one, which Mr. Suri asked the tightly packed, largely white, artfully dressed and coifed crowd on Wednesday: “You guys like rap music at all?”

Both were fair questions. Das Racist formed at Wesleyan: if the Hoover administration promised a chicken in every pot, perhaps what the Obama era has to offer is a joke-rap ensemble at every liberal arts college. But 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.

See the full article here.

[Thanks to JohnWesley for the tip.]

* Seriously Wes, we’re curious. Tell us.

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5 thoughts on “Das Racist in the Times

  1. Anonymous

    I’d like to see what joke-rap ensemble Bard has to offer. or Vassar, or Oberlin, or Williams etc.

  2. Anonymous

    I’d like to see what joke-rap ensemble Bard has to offer. or Vassar, or Oberlin, or Williams etc.

    1. Dr. Corn

      Beastie Boys, Ballatician$, Shity Boyz, Soul Khan, Goblin Party, and others. and Goblin Party beat the living daylight out of Das Racist when they performed together

  3. Jason

    I’m so glad Wesleyan was mentioned.

    Was there something else I can help you with?

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