Grades for graduation candidates are due Monday at noon, so hopefully at least those folks graduating are no longer procrastinating on school work. Whether or not you’re still working, this short and sweet procrastination destination is for you, with some nice dancing, reassurance that you’ll figure things out whether or not you graduate, and a reminder that “It’s Alright 2 Cry.”
“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.
It’s about Kool A.D., a different third of Das Racist. He’s coming off an exceptionally prolific 2016. He released 10 mixtapes in 2016, one of which had 100 tracks, as I previously mentioned on this website. He also published a book of 100 vignettes.
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.
When in Rome and abandoned by your boyfriend, do as Sinatra would do— write music. TEss, otherwise known as Tess Amodeo-Vickery ’07, has the advantage of being distantly related to Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, which maybe explains her gorgeous and charming voice.
TEss is no mere amateur, obviously. The New York native is the frontwoman/lead vocalist for Tess and the Yellow Cabbies, a jazz combo in Rome, and her love of jazz is obvious in her solo work. Playing guitar, though, is a little bit of a new development in her career:
One night, I was in my room in Rome and I got this feeling like I thought I might throw up or implode. For whatever reason, I grabbed my guitar and somehow a song came out. Like, I knew how to play guitar and compose music out of nowhere, having not touched my guitar since Freshmen year at Wes. I guess that’s what inspiration is.
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.
“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.”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) December 3, 2012
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:
@veeveeveeveevee hah dag, my bad dont even remember saying that shit.
— Himanshu K. Suri (@HIMANSHU) December 3, 2012
Kool A.D. assures us, however, that they’re still friends:
In honor of Black History Month, Eclectic presents Soul Train on Friday, February 17th. Come celebrate the longest running television program in history. Bust out your bell bottoms, tube tops, and dancing shoes, and get down on the Soul Train Line. Special guest performances will be provided by Victor Vazquez ’06 (Kool A.D.) of Das Racist with Lakutis and Kassa Overall. Check out Kool A.D.’s recent mixtape, Palm Wine Drinkard, here.
There will be a photo booth. There will be a love lounge. There will be dancing with disco balls on deck. Hosted by Don “Cornelius” Jones.
Tickets available online here. Due to occupancy restrictions, tickets WILL sell out.
Date: Friday, February 17
Time: 10:00 PM – 3:00 AM
What do a Queens gourmet fire-flame chef, a comedy writer-turned-Community star, a 30-year-old Detroit MC with a penchant for Adderall, a Mishka-wearing, wing-eating Crown Heights wild boy, and Victor 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?