In continuation with last week’s interview with Dapwell from “Das Racist”, we’re going to learn more about the hype man with a few more Q&A’s.
Sherryn: As “HypeMan,” how do you feel your contributions propelled Das Racist to where it is today?
Dapwell: When we first started out at the studio, I was generally there for the creative process. We all lived together, made conversations, and jokes on a couch. Our gab fests organically propelled the creative process ten-fold. I also talk alot and that could’ve helped too.
Sherryn: Are you ethnically Indian? If so what part and how did your cultural heritage play a role in the music you play?
Dapwell: I am South Indian. I’m Telagu and my ethnic roots stem from Andrapradesh. As far as music goes, I had an atypical childhood in New York City. My parents were less dogmatic towards the institution so we were never pressured to get into any cultural events. New York City is heavily mixed, and there weren’t a lot of Telagus in the area. Because of that, I wasn’t stuck into the cultural stuff and it gave me room to explore different cultures.
What’s great about not being stuck into the cultural stuff was that I was able to think independently from them. I wasn’t the typical Indian wasting so much money, time and effort on materialist stuff. I really didn’t understand that and felt there was more to life than defining yourself within the Indian community with your material wealth or net worth.
We’re political and want to make progressive social change with our music. I make my own path in life. I like being weird.
There’s this strong idea out there that in order to be Indian there needs to be an authenticity behind it. Meaning, that there were these tacit rules in being that particular ethnic background. Quite frankly, it’s confusing and I am happy with what I know and being who I am.
Sherryn: How supportive were your parents when you became a musician?
Dapwell:At first they were confused and a bit dismayed since it’s not the typical career route. Later on, they grew to embrace me as a musician. They finally figured out I was a weirdo and accepted me for who I am.
They listen to all of our music, even though they can’t comprehend it. They put so much extra effort into getting to know the music even though they have no basic knowledge behind it. I’m glad that they support me fully and didn’t kick me out of the house.
Sherryn: What are your thoughts performing in the South, Midwest, West Coast and even in the East Coast?
Dapwell: Each area has its own pros and cons. Because we tour everywhere and try to get to know our fans, we have a very interesting fan base. Young, old, progressives, academics, rap fans and even people who just come out to see our humor. The U.S is a giant country and i’m a city guy who loves looking at buildings.
When it comes to traveling all over, I never had many jarring cultural experiences. I mean, I had small incidents in the South since some of the people liked to stare at me alot. But then again, I am a strange Indian guy who wears jumpsuits in public. Why shouldn’t they stare? I’m weird looking and unique.
People in small towns are not used to seeing strange people so I can understand their bewilderment.
Sherryn: Anymore thoughts on traveling?
Dapwell: Traveling can be fun but I’m more inclined to areas that remind me of New York City. I grew up in New York so I love city life. When it comes to touring, I don’t mind it but I often get home sick. One of my favorite cities is Seattle Washington since my brother used to love there, and I would visit him from time to time.
Sherryn: How do you feel about Biz Markie? Please pour your heart out, he is an amazing man!
Dapwell: I love Biz Markie. He’s a funny guy. Biz Markie is so awesome I would love to collaborate with him in the future.
Did you now that in the 90’s there used to be a Biz Markie puppet? He has a puppet named ego-trip and I’m sure everyone wanted to have it.
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
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.
If you live in the DMV area, remember that Das Racist will be at Virgin Festival this year!! Best New Rap Group-EVER!!
***CORRECTION: Das Racist broke up the day of V-fest that year. Never forget the greatest lackadaisical rap group that ever formed.