Das Racist is an up- and -coming alternative hip hop group hailing from Queens, New York City. What makes this group–composed of Himansu “Heems” Suri (MC), Victor “Kool A.D” Vasquez (MC), and Ashok “Dapwell” Kondabolu (Hype Man)–so singular is that they often rap about social issues, unconventional pop culture references, and day-to-day life with a dash of dazzling beats.
Before their third album “Relax” became a commercial success, “Shut up, Man” and “Sit Down, Man” triumphed online with viral hits like “Hahahahah, jk”, “Amazing” and even “All Tan Everything”. Equally important, Das Racist ventured into multiple outlets to get their voice across. It takes a mad genius to craft a simple song like “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” and have it not only proliferate Youtube but also, instantaneously, disseminate a massive message that mass consumerism is consuming our desires at times.
Subsequently, Das Racist also created a humorous yet deeply enriching music video titled “Who’s that brooown”, and in this video, our favorite rappers duke out gentrified yuppies; and ward off all kinds of social upheavals in order to reach Dapwell before their concert commenced.
Ironically, enough, this video got me hooked on Das Racist and created an enigma out of Dapwell for me too. He dances, sings and wears one-of-a-kind trousers and we get that he’s Das Racist’s Hype Man: But who is the man behind the hype?
I started off with basic questions, but as the interview progressed, I learned more about what makes Dapwell a kindred spirit.
Question and Answer
Sherryn: When and Why was Das Racist formed?
Dapwell: Das Racist was formed in 2008 to fight communism.
Sherryn: Why did you want to be a part of the group?
Dapwell: So I could travel to Lawrence, Kansas as much as possible.
Sherryn: What are your fave songs from the group?
Dapwell: The secret, unreleased material. Very tasty.
Sherryn: What are your fave songs of all time?
Dapwell: Lord Sear “Alcoholic Vibes”
Sherryn: What songs did you inspire? And how did you do that?
Dapwell: I don’t know.
Sherryn: How do you add hype? You are the “Hype Man”, tell us more about what you do?
Dapwell: My sexy dancing makes people go apeshit. I also plug in some stuff before we yell.
Sherryn: In previous interviews, I heard that you’re the go-to person for spiritual and nutritional advice? Do you have any advice about controlling anxiety? Advice on self-control or time management?
Dapwell: Keep a frequently consulted to-do list if you feel you have a lot of stuff you have to do and can’t remember it all. Don’t know much about anxiety, it helps to understand that everybody is a terrible, spoiled, and rotten baby.
Sherryn: What are the pros and cons of being a vegetarian and do you recommend that lifestyle
Dapwell: It’s very fun and sexy but hard to find food to eat in the American South.
Sherryn: If there was ever one musician you could possible meet, who would it be and why?
Dapwell: Any dead one because then I would be magic?
Sherryn: What are your most and least favorite places you guys performed at and why?
Dapwell: I like playing in New York so I can go home after soundcheck.
Sherryn: How do you combat racism in your day-to-day life?
Dapwell: With a baseball bat.
Sherryn: How was your performance at Bonnaroo this year? I heard you guys released a new track, would you like to tell us more about it?
Dapwell: Our BEST. ONE. EVER. It’s with A Tribe Called Red and I am doing rapping on it.
Sherryn: Das Racist’s music is like a perfect blend of hip-hop and quirky pop songs? Where did the inspiration come from?
Dapwell: We’re extremely talented ubermensch-types.
Sherryn: Would you guys ever want to team up with Biz Markie on a song?
Dapwell: Hell yeah.
Sherryn: Has your life changed, for better or worse, since the band formed?
Dapwell: More money, better.
Sherryn: If there is anything else you want to add, promote or talk about. Go for it.
Dapwell: My album Winky Taterz is coming out soon, a documentary about our 2011 tour with Danny Brown, Despot, and Lakutis is coming out soon. Listen to our radio program Chillin Island. Don’t do drugs.
Das Racist Tour Dates
1.)Afro-Punk Festival 2012, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday August 26, 2012
2.) Boomslang 2012, Lexington, Kentucky, September 20-23, 2012
3.) Das Racist with Danny Brown, Raleigh, North Carolina, Friday October 4 2012
4.)Virgin Festival 2012, Columbia, Maryland, Saturday October 6, 2012
5.) Das Racist in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Thursday November 15, 2012
Tune into Sherryn Daniel’s Website for part 2 of my exclusive interview with Dapwell. In the mean time, please support this awesome band! Visit their website here, Like them on Facebook here, and Follow them on Twitter here. If you want to be an over-achiever, follow Dap on Twitter here.