Heems raps about me (him)

26 Jan

You probably hate Das Racist. It’s a popular viewpoint, and not one that I fault anyone for.

As a group they make it hard to just jump into their catalogue. They rap about obscure topics (New York fast food, Bollywood film stars, immigration issues, etc.) and they deliver their rhymes in a deadpan that doesn’t necessarily make their ironic bent known. And then there is the ultimate love it or hate it song, Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

They don’t make it easy on anyone, but for those that find something to hang onto, it soon becomes clear that the group is absolutely visionary.

One of the group’s two emcee’s, Heems, is just as much a rapper as a scholar. His twitter reads like a combination of Drake and…  I don’t know, someone who knows a lot about Indian politics and race relations in America. He recently got back to the states after speaking about hip-hop at the goa Literary Festival. He’s too smart to rap, and too clever not to.

He is my favourite rapper in the world.

His new mixtape is splendid, but like everything else from Heems and his Das Racist bandmate Kool AD, it might take a while for a first time listener to get into it. It features some notable guest vocals. Childish Gambino (Community‘s Donald Glover) does a necessarily insistant verse on Womyn 2. NY producer/rapper Lakutis, producer Mike Finito and of course Kool AD are also featured.

Heems’ real strength as an emcee is his ability to balance his deep knowledge of pop culture with his intelligence and sense of humour. He is one of the few people in the rap community that is able to write a political rap track that doesn’t make me want to turn my stereo off. He’s also one of the most understated humourists in the world. Womyn deserves to win the Mark Twain Prize.

Unfortunately finding the album has become a nightmare in the wake of the US Feds shutting down megaupload, but his fans stepped up and provided a couple of alternate sites download links. Here and Here. It’s free, and it will make you a better human being.


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