I bet you guys called each other up and coordinated it. Don’t lie. I know you did.
Himanshu Suri ’07 (Heems) and Victor Vazquez ’06 (Kool A.D.) were Das Racist, Wesleyan (and critic)’s favorite slack-rap duo. And then suddenly they weren’t. That’s about all the history about those two I’m gonna give you, because let’s be honest, you know all of this. It’s not like we don’t post about them every other day or something.
And then yesterday, probably maybe definitely unintentionally, each released a new music video. What a crazy random happenstance. Then again, they’re still friends, so maybe it was coordinated, or a conspiracy, or both. Cabaret-rocker Amanda Palmer ’98 also released a music video about a week ago, but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t in on Kool A.D. and Heems’ plan.
Read on about the three, very very different, music videos after the jump.
From Kool A.D., we get the bizarre, hilarious, and well-costumed “Moneyball,” which you can watch above. We find ourselves in his colorful abode, patrolled by a lady in military garb who’s toting an AK-47. Kool A.D. is living in luxury, bathing in flowers – very effective, I’m told – surrounded by fruit, extraordinarily well-tiled floors, and his own beard. From the length of his robes, he’s probably a priest, or something. I’m not going to pretend I get this symbolism. Maybe it’s beyond me. Maybe he’s just having fun. But the rhymes are slick and Kool A.D. is clever as anything, rapping with ease over the gurgling background synths:
I’m dumb, I don’t read enough
Some don’t eat enough
Food should be free, what up?
It used to be, when it was growing on the trees and stuff
Heems gives us a little something different. Instead of Kool A.D.’s bright and colorful, semi-trippy approach, Heems takes the opening scene from 1998 vampire thriller Blade and uses that as the backdrop to Nehru Jackets song “Desi Shoegaze Taiko,” which itself takes its background guitar noise from the band Yuck. Following me so far? Blade, if you’re wondering, has this description: “A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires.” Sounds promising.
As blood rains down from the ceiling of some vampire nightclub, and some poor, unfortunate, mortal soul finds himself mixing in with the wrongest crowd, Heems raps about scheming to get rich but never getting there (I think). “I be in bodegas, I don’t go to Whole Foods.”
Now for something completely different.
Amanda Palmer, unfortunately, was probably not in on the not-Das-Racist coordination, having put out her gorgeous, depressing, and cinematic short film for the Theater Is Evil waltz “The Bed Song” last Thursday. If you thought that Heems and Kool A.D. did not have enough plot in theirs, you’ll be happy (sorta) to know that “The Bed Song” is a fully-formed breakup story, chronicled in 5 scenes.
Despite having a whole Grand Theft Orchestra behind her, the song is stripped down to what Palmer does best: piano. The emotions in it are only amplified by Palmer’s pained and melodic playing. Dressed in a white evening gown – a departure from other music videos, where she pretty much wears nothing – Palmer acts as the narrator for the relationship, as the couple becomes less connected and their positions in bed stretch further and further away.
And I still don’t ask you what is the matter
Is this a matter of worse or of better
You take the heart failure, I’ll take the cancer
I’ve long since stopped wondering why you don’t answer
Between scenes, the set changes, scenery is moved, light fade, actors change, and the story resumes—it’s a very self-aware music video, but no less heartbreaking because of it. Watch it, and try not to cry, below.
Idea for a possible future Amanda Palmer/Heems/Kool A.D. collab: “Coin-Operated Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.”