We’ve all had that experience: some street person comes up to you just to babble to you about anything and everything. No, I’m not talking about our financially destitute denizens – the people who come up to you asking for money – I’m talking about those crazy diamonds trying to shine on you, trying to pass onto you their light though they’re not sure why they even have that light to begin with. You may be too put off by their surface level presentation, may be even fearful that they’re so all-over-the-place that you won’t be able to keep up with them. But if you actually carry out a discussion with one of these people, you find that they’re much more intelligent than prejudice would allow. This is Das Racist.
Das Racist (DR) has been around since 2008, releasing two mixtapes in 2010 (“Shut Up”, “Dude” and “Sit Down, Man”) and just this month they released their first album, “Relax”. A lot of people describe Das Racist as “joke rap” with light hearted and heavy handed lyrics full of contradictions. But to label them as anything at all would be a contradiction in of itself.
“I’m not too sure if I should clue in the little kids. Or if I’m too clueless to move with the bigger fish.” The beauty behind Das Racist is that they know they’re idiots, but they have fun from their idiocracy by embracing as much as they can – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But they recognize that all of life is merely perception, living by and preaching the mantra of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) which was first introduced by author Napoleon Hill in 1937 and (as far as I know) first touched upon in music by the punk rock band Bad Brains in the early 80′s.
If you don’t have PMA you might not enjoy Das Racist, but if you allow yourself to get really stupid, then you’ll love them.
All the songs on “Relax” are physically energizing though mentally relaxing. However, this gets flipped if you focus your attention on their lyrics and not on their music. All the songs are of typical DR flare (if that can be said to exist). If there’s any song that seemingly doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album it would be “Shut Up, Man” produced by Brooklyn legend El-P who of course spits a verse on it as well. El-P, to the uninitiated, is a rapper/producer truly unlike any other. As far as I’m concerned he’s a true Martian, his style and flow near impossible to describe or compare to any other. El-P and DR have collaborated before with amazing results so it’s good to see that they’re still experimenting with the meshing of their styles.
If you’re the type of person that’d be perfectly fine with carrying on a conversation with a proverbial professor of the streets, then you’re the type of person that would really enjoy Das Racist. On the other hand, if you think a little too highly of yourself to put your ego on the line, then you’ll probably dismiss DR as juvenile. But that’s okay because, “PMA got me now, picking it up!”
(Casey O’Brien / firstname.lastname@example.org)