“My Liberal University Cemented My Loyalty to Show Ponies” – Zine title
It has been 5 years since Das Racist broke up. And it has been almost 2 months since Heems added Wesleying on LinkedIn (see screenshot), and only 22 days since he started working for AGW Group, a Brooklyn-based marketing company. But this post isn’t about him.
Kool A.D. (or Victor Vasquez ’06) came back to campus this past Saturday to perform in Malcolm X House for the 2017 Disorientation Guide release party. His wife, Saba Moeel (aka CULT DAYS) opened for him, and they also brought their kid. This post is a retelling of what happened. I am really not fooling you. That’s all that it is.
Oh and also: there are 9 startlingly radical zines (which I received at the concert) that are embedded in this post as html flipbooks.
Shot in a cramped bedroom in black and white, the video at first appears as an amateur home video. But soon, it is made clear through the bands’ lyrics, especially those scrawled out on their T-shirts, that they are shooting on location at a girl’s house. This discovery is affirmed when the boys rush out of the room with all their equipment and the subject of the song walks in. Several times she approaches the camera as if she spotted it, yet she only grabs a few miscellaneous items from the surrounding area. The video certainly has the fun and candid feel conveyed by the song, which I’ve been listening to and singing since first hearing it.
And I’m not the only one’s excited about it. The video currently has 3,000+ views, 2,500 of which were obtained over the span of two days! What could be the cause of this? Oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact that Heems of Das Racist tweeted about it?!
I bet you guys called each other up and coordinated it. Don’t lie. I know you did.
Himanshu Suri ’07 (Heems) andVictor 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.
So, the two decided back in December to call it quits, go their own ways, and pursue their already-blooming solo careers: Heems making music as Heems, and Kool A.D. as KoolA.D.
“We did our thing, we had a good time, and I think it was time for it to end.”
Still mourning the blow of Das Racist’s weekend demise? It wasn’t supposed to come like this. Though Heems (Himanshu Suri ’07) broke the news rather suddenly at a show in Munich, bandmate Kool A.D. (Victor Vazquez ’06) later tweeted that he had actually left the band in September and was asked by his manager to keep quiet. This week Vazquez spoke about the details of his decision with Rolling Stone, explaining that he planned to quit the group officially after wrapping up their current tour—but before completing a second album:
“I was like, ‘I’ll do the rest of the tour—anything that’s on the schedule right now, I’ll do. And then I’m done. I’m not recording the album,'” he said in a phone call, referring to the single-record deal inked with Sony in July. “When I made that decision two months ago, I was certain in that decision. And I think maybe the whole team around us thought I was going to change my mind.”
Despite the tension surrounding their breakup, Vazquez adds that he and Heems—whom he met in 200 Church in 2003—are “more or less still friends.” As both artists pursuesolo careers, they just “don’t want to be in a professional capacity” anymore. Or have to hang out all the time, sadly enough:
We interrupt this broadcast (and my, err, thesis) to bring you sad news. Das Racist, the unlikely slacker-rap pairing of Heems (Himanshu Suri ’07) and Kool A.D. (Victor Vazquez ’06) that seems to have defined an era of irreverent, gruff-voiced irony at Wesleyan, is over and done. I received the news in downstairs Usdan, halfway through Pastabilities’ penne special, in the form of a three-word text from Wesleying’s old friend Carlo ’11. It’s probably what Heems would have wanted.
But the break-up isn’t as recent as you think. According to Pitchfork, Heems took the stage last night at Munich’s On3 Festival and told the crowd, “You guys wanna know the secret? Alright, so I’m going to do some Das Racist songs, but Das Racist is breaking up and we’re not a band anymore.”
This was followed by a series of tweets confirming the break-up and hinting at some internal drama for the duo:
“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 AlumHimanshu 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.
If you told me four years ago that in 2012 the president of the United States would take part in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, I would have said that you’re full of shit. If you have told me four years that in 2012 a member of Das Racist would take part in an AMA on Reddit, I would have said that that seems exactly like something that would probably happen.
Wild Water Kingdom out today. About 2-3 PM. Doing a REDDIT AMA today at 4 PM. Ask me anything!
Heems (Himanshu Suri ’07) is bored.Or so he mutters a bunch of times in his new track“Killing Time,”spinning rhymes aboutBobby Brown, Bobby Jindal,and “my four years of college” (go Wes!) over a loopedEcho & the Bunnymen sample. The track is set to appear on Heems’ upcoming mixtape Wild Water Kingdom, which apparently features fellow alum Le1f and closely follows January’s excellent Nehru Jackets. I have no idea how Heems finds time for it all, what with spreading awareness of political districting in Queens and attending his five-year Wesleyan reunion, but I’m not complaining.
Q: What’s more Wesleyan than a Commencement Eve Tent Party featuring cameos by Das Racist’s Himanshu “Heems” Suri ’07, playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, and a wedding-style funk cover of “Kids”? A: Probably nothing. We’re late on posting this, but hey, it’s summer, we straight-chillin’.
We don’t have video of Heems dropping a brief verse before flailing around the back of the stage, but we do have a clip of a funkified “Kids,” as performed by Kinky Spigot and the Welders (Lillian Ruiz ’08, Nicole Tirado Strayer ’07, Amanda Facelle ’09, Marlon Bishop ’07, Vlad Gutkovich ’07, Yoni Rabino ’07, Jon Hutchinson ’07, and Tess Amodeo-Vickery ’07). Scroll through the gallery below for a key shot of Heems bonding with Wesleying’s own viral starKill-F Feinstein ’13.
In semi-related news, Miranda ’02 gave a talk to the Wesleyan Alumni Association. Watch it here.
Edit: An anonymous commenter writes in, “You forgot about the Party on Fountain girl, who I’m pretty sure stagedived during this song.” Yes! I didn’t spot her, but both A-Batte (via text message) and Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 (via Twitter) mentioned sightings of Molly ’06, the star of “Party on Fountain.” Can someone do a retrospective WesCeleb interview?
Das Racist member and Wesleyan alum Victor Vasquez ’06 has been grinding hard out in the Bay. His latest project, a solo album (or mixtape—both descriptors have been used interchangeably) entitled 51, came out yesterday on the Mishka/Greedhead/Veehead conglomerate.
Composed entirely in Oakland, 51 combines Vasquez’s distinctive penchant for esoteric, associative wordplay and racial commentary with the Bay area flavor of producers and rappers such as Amaze 88 and Main Attraktionz. 51 feels like a fulfillment of the experimental (if spare and slightly inaccessible) vision of Kool A.D.’s January mixtape, The Palm Wine Drinkard—it doesn’t upset the Greedhead model that we’ve come to expect over the last few months, but it’s certainly a welcome addition to that rapidly expanding catalogue of fresh hip-hop, which also includes LE1F’s (Khalif Diouf ’11) masterful debut mixtape Dark York. You’d do well to cop both releases while they’re hot n’ free. ‘Tis riiiiight.