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Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri Brings His Solo Project To India

One third of Brooklyn’s rap act puts rumors of the band splitting up to rest

Megha Mahindru Oct 29, 2012
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Das Racist. (From L to R) Victor Vazquez, Ashok Kondabol, Himanshu Suri

Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri aka Heems brings his brand of social commentary, rap and what has been described as “ethnic electronica” to the Bacardi NH7 Weekender festival in Pune this weekend. The festival initially announced that Heems’ Brooklyn-based trio, which also comprises Victor Vazquez (aka Kool AD) and Ashok Kondabolu (aka Dapwell), would perform at the fest but later listed only a solo set by Heems setting off rumors that the group had split. “We ended up canceling our Asia tour with dates planned in Korea and China as well as India,” says Heems adding, “I really wanted to perform in India so I decided to propose a solo set and Weekender agreed.”

Early this year, Heems released his debut solo mixtape, Nehru Jackets. Few months later, bandmember Kool AD released two solo efforts, The Palm Wine Drinkard and 51, and moved to San Francisco to work with his other punk band, Party Animal, which also led fans to question whether Das Racist have decided to go their own way.

Dismissing rumors of the split, Heems says, “No. We’re playing in Berlin on Dec 1st and we have another record planned. We’re also both continuing to work on our solo material.”

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This weekend, Heems plans to bring his agitprop music and razor-sharp lyrics to the stage in Pune. “I will play a couple of Das Racist verses but mostly amazing new material from my Wild Water Kingdom mixtape,” he says. This will be the fifth time Heems visits India. Last year, the MC was a panelist at the Goa Literature and Art Festival held in Dona Paula, near Panaji. After a chance jam in 2011 with Vishal Dadlani and Randolph Correia, Heems hopes to carry forward the collaborations this time in India. “Last year, I made a song with Vishal from Pentagram and Vishal-Shekar that I’m sure no one will hear. I also got drunk and rapped one of my worst verses ever on what I remember to be a pretty dope beat that Randolph from Pentagram and Shaa’ir and Func made. It would be fun to work with those dudes again,” he says.

 Heems performs at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune on November 4th, 2012. For details, click here 


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