Das Racist Downtown

Posted on: November 16th, 2010 at 11:01 am by

From the goofy to the poignant, Das Racist – comprised of Himanshu Suri, Victor Vazquez, and Ashok Kondabolu – covers a lot of ground in their music. We’ve been fans of this band from the get-go – from “Combination Pizza Hut/Taco Bell” to the crazy new “Fashion Party” jam featuring Chairlift. So we were no doubt stoked to meet up and talk with the doods at this year’s CMJ music festival.

This image has been archived or removed.

We first ran into the trio during load-in for their scheduled 11:30 show at SOB’s on October 20. But, apparently this gig was altogether abandoned.

About halfway through another band’s set, we realized that Das Racist had actually fled the premises for a late show at Pianos. There and then, we raced across town and arrived just in time to catch the band enjoying the couches, drinks, and umm…. well, perks of the venue. After the show, we reached out to the fellas to gauge their thoughts on the Lower East Side, non-sychronized jumps, and outer-borough roti:

Bowery Boogie: The scope of your production has widened since “Shut Up, Dude.” Do you think it’s finally keeping pace with the scope of your lyrics? Or did the added personnel just happen organically?

Dap: I don’t think any of the production on the first album had trouble “keeping up” with the lyrics. Actually, some of those beats were completely bonkers and I still have no idea how these motherfuckers rapped to them and still made a good listenable song. “Chicken and Meat” by our dude J-La is beastly. There’s an unreleased track (Berzerker) that’s still the HEADBANGER. We reached out to some new producers this time around because we wanted to make new types of songs.

KOOL A.D.: YUP!

Himanshu: NO!

BB: Which area do you think covers more ground for you folks, Queens or Brooklyn? (Which area has better roti?)

Dap: Queens is bigger. I’m not a huge fan of wheat (RICE!) but there’s supposed to be some pretty great Guyanese jams in Richmond Hill. I’m sure there’s equivalent spots in Brooklyn.

KOOL A.D.: I’m from the bay so I can’t really speak on that but when I stayed in Crown Heights I lived around the corner from a spot that had some good ass goat curry and roti.

HIMA: Queens get the money.

BB: What did you guys think of Pianos? Was there enough room there to maneuver?

Dap: I like Pianos a lot, they’re always pretty nice to me. The bouncer didn’t let me in one time, but I didn’t have my ID so I’ll let it slide. The elevated seats across from the bar are pretty nice, also. That being said, I’m only ever there to do shows. The stage is fine, there’s enough room to do a few kick moves and synchronized jumps, sure.

KOOL A.D.: There is also room for non-sychronized jumps.

HIMA: i like the swimming pool on the roof.

BB: Do you hang on the Lower East Side at all? Any fave spots?

Dap: Not very much. I like a couple bars down there and I definitely like walking down Ave C at dusk on weekdays. I love the Lower East Side because it’s a great place to walk around and that’s more important to me than specific buildings.

KOOL A.D.: I like my friend Lee’s parent’s apartment. His mom makes the bomb vegetarian chili. “Fave.”

HIMA: Dap and i used to frequent shitty local bar Vasmay Lounge, which was Meow Mix back in the day, a lot as wild-eyed youths. Then they shut it down, and with it my appreciation of Lower East Side bars. [Ed. Note: Currently known as Local 269]

Download their new mixtape free and check out their official video game, which includes a cameo from none other than Sarah Palin.

This image has been archived or removed.

This image has been archived or removed.
This image has been archived or removed.

Written by Mike Levine

Recent Stories

Missed Paradise: Street Art Gets Buffed as Billboard Rises on Prince Street

Those anti-looting plywood barriers are coming down as stores are finally reopening. For street artists, though, it’s a mad scramble to reclaim the work they created to beautify the blight. Many artists continue to petition management of buildings, store owners, or simply salvaging them from the trash. Others are still producing work on the storefronts that […]

Velvette Brew Espresso Bar Opens on Stanton Street

Over at 85 Stanton Street, two years of vacancy just concluded. A new espresso bar is now on the grounds. As previously reported, this spot is the maiden Manhattan location for the Brooklyn-based Velvette Brew. (We’re told that the Prospect Park coffee shop closed in favor of the Lower East Side.) The former boutique is […]

Knife-Wielding Bike Thief Apprehended by Customers at Cluck’s Chicken on Essex Street

A would-be bike thief was apprehended at Cluck’s Chicken on Essex Street, then pulled a knife, police said. Last Monday (July 27), the victim parked his electric bike near the entrance and walked to the rear. Soon after, at roughly 2:45pm, there was a commotion as the suspect attempted to make away with the $1,500 […]

Rosario’s Pizza will Look for a New LES Location

Losing Rosario’s Pizza, much like its old neighbor Bereket, is the elimination of yet another connection to the old Lower East Side. The pizza joint held down the northwest corner of Orchard and Stanton Streets for more than twenty years, and spent the preceding decades just around the corner. However, the retirement of manager/owner Sal […]

Captain and Owners Arrested for Liberty Belle Booze Cruise off Pier 36

The captain and owners of a popular Manhattan party boat were arrested for defying coronavirus social distancing mandates and embarking on a crowded cruise, authorities said Sunday. Shortly after 8:00pm Saturday night, the Liberty Belle, a four-story river boat with a capacity of 600 people, left Pier 36 (Basketball City) for a booze cruise. More […]