A. Care about this.
B. Don't care about this.
C. Aggressively, vocally don't care about this.
They were that kind of band.
It went down on Friday, in Germany. During a solo set at Munich’s On3 Festival, a gig that was originally supposed to be a full Das Racist show, a grinning Heems delivered an announcement: "You guys wanna know a secret? I'm gonna do some Das Racist songs, but Das Racist is breaking up and we're not a band anymore. Here we go." Victor Vasquez, a.k.a. Kool A.D., followed that up by tweeting "for the record i quit das racist 2 months ago and was asked by our manager not to announce it yet. apparently @himanshu wanted to do it tho," to which Heems replied "hah dag, my bad dont even remember saying that shit."
Traditionally, we here at Hollywood Prospectus don’t do much coverage of multimillion-dollar Silicon Valley venture capital investments. But when the recipient of a multimillion-dollar Silicon Valley venture capital investment is controversial hip-hop-lyrics-explainer website Rap Genius — controversial, I say! — then we have to get into it.
To complete the implicit analogy between this new track from Ross's God Forgives, I Don't and David O. Russell's early classic Three Kings: Jay-Z is obviously George Clooney, Dr. Dre is probably Ice Cube, and so Ross is Mark Wahlberg? And Gunplay can be Spike Jonze?
Has this been the greatest week of charity-inclined hip-hop in the history of Carnegie Hall? Last week Jay-Z played the famed venue to raise funds for United Way. Last night, Das Racist showed up for the annual Philip Glass-curated Tibet House Benefit concert.
Our “Postracial All Stars” are politicians, personalities, artists, athletes, etc. who are best at helping us deal with where we are on race relations today. They keep it real, when others can’t. A Barack, a Jon Stewart/Daily Show, a Chris Rock, a South Park, a Lorne Michaels, a Modern Family, a Louis CK (mentioned below), as past and current examples, don’t ignore the “race” elephant in the room. Nor are they cornered by it. They show us old racial profiles in new contexts (i.e. rappers using the n-word, who are young white females). Or a new wrinkle in the current conversation (NBA millionaires premised as "plantation workers"). They are actively engaging, often embracing the nuanced scenarios of today. And making it fun for us to keep tabs along with them.
See, now you get it! This week in order to kick off 2012 proper we’re honoring some of the new blood: herewith, a lineup of Postracial All Stars from 2011.
Das Racist didn’t really need to do anything out of the ordinary on Conan last night to get attention: the fact that the Internet’s favorite haha(?)-rap group was making a late-night TV appearance was notable enough on its own. But Das Racist did not become the internet’s favorite haha(?)-rap group by not doing anything out of the ordinary! The above performance of their single “Michael Jackson” starts off, promisingly, with hypeman Dapwell hanging out behind a lectern and gesturing, like a horror-movie preacher, with what could have been a percussion instrument but also looked like kitchen tongs. Then Heems and Victor take turns rapping, in the most uninterested manner possible. There are lackadaisical wig reveals and keyboard head butts; also, Heems turns his boast “I’m fucking great at raaaaapppppppping” into a less emphatic, but more comical, “Yo, I’m good at [Cookie Monster voice] rapping.” Then, a Michael Jackson impersonator comes out and kills it. Whoever writes the blurbs for Conan videos sounds like he or she was in on the joke: “The unique hip-hop duo rocks out stage 15 with hot ladies, cymbals, and their newest hit!” Nonetheless, Conan did not seem overly enthused during the goodbye handshakes.