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.
Heems ’07 just came out with a music video for his politically poignant drone song that is also about picking up hot girls. Spoiler alert: There are two Himanshu Suris, one maybe more blazed than the other, kind of dancing in front of a montage of NYC and South Asia scenery and news clips about drones. Obama is in there somewhere; so are some drone pilots who are quiet suburbanites by day, but stealthy killers by night. There is probably an important metaphor in this song about the word “drone” replacing “girl/lady.” Keep in mind that the whole video was filmed in front of a green screen, which makes Heems’s dancing goofier than it already is. Here is a bonus track.
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:
Also, click past the jump for my five favorite Le1f-related gifs.
Lest you worry that we haven’t posted enough recently about rising hip hop sensation Le1f/Khalif Diouf ’11 (note: wehave), here’s something to tide you over. The giftastic rapper behind “Wut” and “Soda” recently popped up on Pitchfork.tv, chatting about some of his influences (Wesleyan Pride Alert: “Heems is someone that inspires me a lot in terms of performance, and Das Racist”) and the vision he has for his wildly theatrical live performances:
“If someone was coming to see me, I would tell them to expect a really visceral, cathartic performance that is rap music. It’s a rap show that—I don’t want to say spiritual, but I’m trying to be very intense and honest and guttural. When I’m onstage and I realize people aren’t moving, it does force me to go really crazy. I have to find some rage.”
Filmed during CMJ, the interview also finds Le1f talking about his lyrics. “A lot of people say you can’t understand the words, and often I kind of don’t care,” he admits. “But one of the drawbacks of that is maybe people don’t understand the message. So it’s nice to have my dancers basically blessing the audience with holy water.” That theme also seems prevalent in the “Soda” video. Because it’s about, like, liquid and stuff.
“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?
What do a Queens gourmet fire-flame chef, a comedy writer-turned-Communitystar, a 30-year-old Detroit MC with a penchant for Adderall, a Mishka-wearing, wing-eating Crown Heights wild boy, andVictor Vazquez ’06 have in common? They’re all booked for Zonker Harris D—
Well, no. That’s just a smattering of the guests you’ll find on Nerhu Jackets, the brand new Mike Finito-produced mixtape by Heems, aka Himanshu Suri ’07, of Bard Art College-based rap outfit Das Racist. (He’s the one with slightly less hair, sort of.) (Edit: just kidding, Victor shaved his head.) As Pitchfork reports, Heems recently released the tape in partnership with SEVA NY, a Queens community organization, in an effort to publicize the remapping of local political districts in the borough. Whoah. There’s also music involved.
Fans of Danny Brown’s delirious, cartoon-voice flow could do worse than stream “You Have To Ride The Wave,” which also features Wesleyan-bound Brooklyn weirdo Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire and the ingenious rhyme “Up late at night on Twitter/ I talk to Salmon Rushdie/ Like, it’s just me and him/ I got dirt on you doggie like She & Him.” My faves, though, are “Womyn” and “Womyn 2,” Heems’ bizarrely catchy (or possibly just bizarre) two-part feminist anthem, boasting highlights like “Womyn, I respect you/ Womyn, I wish more people respected you/ Men are scum/ Usually men are dumb”and “Yo, I know, like, seven womyn/ They like to go swimming/ They like to drink tea/ They like to think in the cool breeze from the east on the beach.” Eventually Childish Gambino shows up, because, like, why not?