Das Racist’s Heems Teases New Album, Defends ‘Relax’ in Reddit AMA

Das Racist Heems Reddit AMA

Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri hosted a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) today in honor of his new Wild Water Kingdom mixtape. Fans of the SPIN cover stars will be happy to know DR have got a new album planned for 2013 (no details yet), and that the rapper best known as Heems had some new thoughts to share about last year’s Relax, a key installment in the “Hey, These Guys Are Actually Really Good phase of their inexplicable career.” Heems’ new full-length, which features guest appearances by Childish Gambino and Lakutis, plus production from Harry Fraud and Le1f, continues that thread, and his responses to the Internet’s questions mostly did as well. (Sincerely wondering about his breakfast food preference? “SAUSAGE EGG AND CHEESE. FORMERLY BACON EGG AND CHEESE.”) Here are the top 10 moments from the AMA.

1) On his hopes for the “divisive” Relax: “I was hoping people would like it and then I could make money for food and rent. We’re funny dudes but we’re also insular somewhat sad dudes. Yall just assumed we were rather one-dimensional I think.”

2) On Relax‘s overlooked influences: “I think one thing lost on people was the quality of sound on that record. I wanted to make somewhat pop music but heavily influenced by prog-rock and psychadelic [sic] rock and Indian music.”

3) His five dream dinner guests: “[Actor/director] Guru Dutt, President Obama, [Punjabi Poet] Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Malcolm X, [Neutral Milk Hotel’s] Jeff Mangum.”

4) The “five elements of hip-hop” revisited: “Indie Rock Blogs, Computers, White People, Black People, and Suburbs.”

5) On dealing with anxiety: “My anxiety definitely impacts my music and performances. There’s this general paranoia and confusion running through my music as well. Initially I was so anxious about performing I would drink too much and then some white critic would call it ‘punk’ so I figured out I could pretty much do whatever I want. That was a helpful thing.”

6) On “air guitaring” live: “I started air guitaring a while ago because I felt like rockists felt weird about our rap music and it began as kind of like a ‘fuck you. rap music is great.’ thing. Then on stage I realized it was a lot of fun and you can get lost in the music and not feel so anxious about rapping to a couple of hundred or thousand people which was relieving.”

7) What does Nardwuar smell like? “Like a white dude. What’s a white dude smell like? Wet dog, clearly, and old bandaids.”

8) On technique and motivation: “I try not to overthink it when I’m writing. I sit down and try to ‘get over with it’ so I could go hang out. Then later I think about what it is I did and why I might have. Ultimately I think it has to do with being confused about my identity as a South Asian in America but if I say that to people in India they’re all like ‘oh typical confused american indian kid’ so ima try to stop now.”

9) On this accusation that Das Racist’s camp sexually assaulted a fan: “If she would like to reach me on my tumblr and is interested in a conversation, i’ll gladly talk to her. im glad she spoke out about feeling wronged i know thats tough to do.”

10) Indica or sativa? “Weed.”


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