Call them wacky, punk hipsters all you want, but there’s no denying that the rhyming two-thirds of Das Racist (Himanshu Suri and Victor Vazquez) are two of the smartest, funniest MCs working today. The following video for “Ek Shaneesh” is an example of more of their bugged-out ramblings. The duo stroll through the multiethnic streets of Queens with their dancing cohorts, hypeman Dap and a chubby black dude in briefs and covered in talcum powder, popping up beside them and in front of flags from various nations flashing in the background. An odd feast for the eyes and ears, by any estimate. Few could have guessed that Queens rap—known for its hard knock tales from rappers like Kool G Rap, 50 Cent, Nas, Mobb Deep,—would have produced something so decidedly um, not gangsta.

Sample lyrics:

“Catch me in my borough smoking Ls, reading Rumi.”

Then: “I am a pick-up truck, I am America/ I am America, I am a pick-up truck, I am America, I am America.” (via)


  • Listen to this audio clip (via “Village Voice“) of “Free Jazzmatazz” here. 

They show some South East Asian solidarity collaborating with renowned pianist Vijay Iyer on a sort-of tongue-in-cheek ode to the ’90s-era rap-jazz movement.

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