The Das Racist Interview
Interview By Patrick McGuire, Illustration by Alex Sheriff


as Racist are a two-piece + hypeman rap group from New York with funny, clever and quasi-threatening lyrics that also pack in literary references and Seinfeld jokes. Their beats come from dudes like Torontonian and Eminem-cosigned Boi-1da as well as up and comer weirdos like Teengirl Fantasy. The Wa & Wrongbar are bringing Das Racist to Toronto in January 2011. See photos from the show here.

When did you first get into rap?

Himanshu: I saw a Nas sticker in the park for It Was Written.
KOOL A.D.: I heard Salt N Pepa’s “Push It” on the radio in the car when I was a little kid and got a boner.

What do you guys read?

Himanshu: I just finished reading Netherland by Joseph O’Neill. It was awesome.
KOOL A.D.: I’ve been reading The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn for a long time now (I read hella slow and only while shitting or on the train) but I’ve also been skimming A Primer for Visual Literacy by Donis A. Donis, Richard Yates by Tao Lin and The Underdog’s Manifesto by Creature. Also this book on serial killers that’s in the bathroom right now. Basically, I can’t read. I think the people that used to live in this apartment left it here.

There’s that line about interviewers “cut[ting] out radical shit for space”, but Das Racist isn’t a very radical project, politically. What kind of beliefs are you adamant about talking about?

KOOL A.D.: I meant radical in the colloquial sense. They cut all the rad shit out for space. But also I mean you know the drill: We live in an imperialist military-industrial-prison-entertainment complex. Rent is slavery. Property is theft. Poverty is violence. Capital is an inaccurate language/means of perceiving resources and labour etc. Violence and sabotage should not be off the table in terms of available revolutionary tactics. We should all be doing push-ups and learning how to shoot automatic rifles. Our bodies are weapons.

Originally published in Winter 2010, Issue 5.1.