Heems Drops ‘Wild Water Kingdom’ Mixtape

“I’ve become in touch with my astrological signs. I’m a Cancer, and I’m a Pisces Rising for my moon [sign], so I’m pretty fucking watery.”

If you haven’t heard of the talented Wes Alum Himanshu Kumar Suri ’07, AKA Heems, you might still know that this powerful Wes grad has been posted about a lot here at Wesleying. Like, a lot a lot. No, really, we’ve posted on him a lot. Personally, I’m just jealous that he has that many cool pictures of himself that we can continue to write articles about him without repeating them .I wish I was famous…

The point is: fresh off his Reddit AMA, Heems has just dropped a new mixtape entitled Wild Water Kingdom, in which he raps not too much about hydrogen dioxide or monarchical governing systems but more about an eclectic mix of subjects that seems to be on his mind. (Check out the track “Soup Boys (Pretty Drones).”) Heems was supposed to release it a while ago, but his plans were delayed by Hurricane Sandy [insert witty water kingdom/hurricane joke here]. Keep reading for more, including the download link, after the jump.

The album meets all expectations. Full of the usual Heems swag, but unlike Nehru Jackets, which only had Mike Finito on the beats, this production crew is a whole cast of characters, including Harry Fraud, Lushlife, Crookers, and of course, Wes Alum Khalif Diouf ’11 AKA Le1f. In addition to a sweet production team, Heems had a little help on the vocals from Childish Gambino and a few others.

Heems’ rhyme on the album keeps going to the next level, throwing out references like Jamiroquai, Heathers, author Junot Diaz, and way more, all while twisting it all up in clever, complex rhythms. The album also sets a point of definition where Heems could grow as a rapper independently from Das Racist and work on his own identity on a personal level:

Being in a group, there’s a lot of where you’re trying to please everybody and come out with a project that everyone can put their stamp on. A lot of it was worked out of the similarities amongst us. Being around people who fuck with rap and are often around white people, it was a project where I came out of this super white college [Wesleyan University] and was just thinking about race [differently]. I think about my identity, I think about me being Indian, I think about the Indian diaspora and I think about violence and discrimination against Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, but it’s more close to me and who I am as a person and what motivates me. What I’m passionate about is the Indian diaspora – not how I feel around white people or how I feel around this race or that race, but how I feel as a brown person, maybe not in the context of American racial discourse, but just in the context of the Indian diaspora.

Catch that Wes shout out? Choice!

The best thing about mixtapes is that they’re free. If you’ve read this far and are interested in download a free copy for yourself to swim around in, click the album art on the LiveMixtapes widget:

Curious about what other people said about the album? Read this stuff: Spin, Rolling Stone, Fader, Fake Walls.

More coverage of Heems here.