Heems and Riz MC Are Swetshop Boys on ‘Benny Lava’
Ex-Das Racist iconoclast and London actor/rapper introduce new duo with victorious video
Whaaaat? Yes, Himanshu Suri — a.k.a. Heems, best known from the sadly defunct New York rap upsetters (and former SPIN cover stars) Das Racist — has returned, and our introduction to his new duo Swetshop Boys arrives like a veritable rainbow in the dark. Since 2012’s Wild Water Kingdom and Essential Nehru Jacket mixtapes, Suri has been busy putting out music by the likes of DR pal Le1f (“Wut”!) via his Greedhead label, plus doing his part as a social activist. But he’s as gruffly provocative as ever on “Benny Lava” (who else could rhyme “Taliban” with “Ain’t that what they said about the Italians / Come, mister tally man / Come, mister tally man”?). After Heems laconically rages against stop-and-frisk and celebrates his South Asian roots, fellow Swetshop Boys half Riz MC — a.k.a. London actor/rapper Riz Ahmed — actually raises the pace, coolly punching at the National Security Agency’s data collection program and invoking Michael Jackson’s always-welcome-to-be-invoked “Man in the Mirror.” Watch the aptly sweeping video, directed by Prashant Bhargava and Tanuj Chopra, above. That’s, erm, what.