Das Racist are a Brooklyn based indie hip-hop act , made up of Himanshu Suri (via Queens) and Victor Vazquez (via San Francisco), who first got some shine from their addictive innanet hit, “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”. The songs repetitive nature caught the ears of various hipster critics, making way for their Shut Up, Dude mixtape, which dropped in March of this year. Receiving even more critical acclaim with the release of the mixtape, they quickly follow up with Sit Down, Man; an even more focused body of work that further defines their style beyond what some may consider to be a novelty act.
Championed (and endorsed) by Diplo, Sit Down, Man finds the duo in their element, making the kind of original, basement-bred underground hip-hop that would have fit perfectly on slabs of Fondle ‘Em vinyl some years ago. The opening entry, “All Tan Everything” works as the perfect introduction, as chopped Jay-Z vocals and a creeping baseline help flesh out their humorous brand of sociopolitical rap sarcasm.
Utilizing the mixtape format, they goof on popular culture and race in America through a series of uncleared samples and interpolations to help animate their stream-of-consciousness rhyme style. “Puerto Rican Cousins” references both The Beatnuts and Sister Sledge in one breath, while the Boi 1-nda produced “HaHaHaHa Jk?” uses the hypnotic backdrop of the Days Of Our Lives theme on the track. “Town Business” uses an unlikely Lil Wayne “A Milli” sample over a backpacker friendly jazz loop, while “People Are Strange” is a beautiful, bouncy exercise in sample blasphemy.
But this formula doesn’t always work, at times coming off with pure silliness. Where else could you find a group ballsy enough to sample Enigma’s “Return To Innocence”, or rhyme over unfiltered world music (“Julia”). Regardless, this is all part of Das Racist’s schtick – you either get it or you don’t.
While the album is long (20 tracks), that is it’s only downfall, as the fat could have been trimmed a bit. Coupled with novel production, what Das Racist has offered here is a truly original, consistent piece of work that’s laced with sensory-overloaded, rewind-ready rhymes, referencing pop and political culture of the last thirty years. There’s a certain simplicity to their lyrics, but also a subtle brilliance that comes through with multiple listens, eventually coaxing the listener to singing along. Much like MF Doom before them, Sit Down Man shows that Das Racist has a highbrow rhyme style that many will get right off the bat, and many others will eventually catch up with later down the line
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