Yo Das Racist

My friend T.H. sent me an article today from The Root (a spin-off of Slate.com) that describes the advent of the “blipster.” The blipster for all you non-hipsters is the new official term used to describe an “alternative” African-American male or female:

…a “blipster”–a black hipster or “alt-black”? Like many recent cultural trends, this one straddles race, politics, fashion and art. For the purposes of discussion, we’ll stick with men–though I have seen some Flock of Seagulls-looking female blipsters out and about as of late. As Lauren Cooper, a Howard University graduate who admits to an indie lifestyle, puts it, “It’s probably easier to pick out a black male ‘blipster’ than a female.” [Link]

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p>The blipster is a new thing? Ummm…hasn’t like Mos Def been around for ever? Anyways, what really got my attention in the article was a quote by one Himanshu Kumar:

Part of the blipster look is born of utility. “You can’t really wear sagging jeans without being embarrassed on your skateboard,” says Himanshu Kumar of the band Das Racist. So pin-thin pants have joined the “Spitfire shirts and SB Dunks” named by Fiasco in his now-classic skateboarding rap as markers of the new style. [Link]

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p>The band Das Racist is a Brooklyn duo featuring Himanshu Kumar and Victor Vazquez. I’m diggin’ their video for Chicken And Meat. They just have a sound I haven’t heard before. Me likes:

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And if you think that was ill wait till you get a load of their track “Pizzahut Tacobell (Guy Michael-Barletta Remix).” I am, right here on Sepia Mutiny, going to make a prediction as bold as fire sauce. This track is going to become a favorite of desis of all ages. Our parents are going to rock out to the Pizza Hut half and every stoned desi college kid is going to rock out to the Taco Bell half on their next run for the border:

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They are sort of like a hip-hop version of Flight of the Conchords.

38 thoughts on “Yo Das Racist

  1. Lets hope the parents and the stoned desi college kid don’t run into each other at “the combination pizza hut and taco bell” :) I can totally see the desi dad rocking to “I’ve got the pizza gut, I’ve got the pizza butt, I’m at the pizza hut”. Great stuff !

  2. I’ve seen too many grungy college kids in my time, haha. Okay so if you’re black and you’re a hipster = blipster. But brown + hipster = ? I say go with desi + hipster = dipster. Anyone? Dipster diving? Yes/no?

  3. Is this guy Tamil? “Kumar” is a typical surname for Tamils, Punjabis, and other North Indians. If this guy were Tamil, then the SM has featured many Tamils all of a sudden (i.e. M.I.A., Aziz Ansari, A.R. Rahman, etc.).

  4. Is this guy Tamil? “Kumar” is a typical surname for Tamils, Punjabis, and other North Indians.

    God you sound like my dad. Why are all Indians (at least as represented by those that visit this site) so obsessed with what state an Indian surname is from?? Nevermind. Rhetorical question. Please nobody answer that question and derail this thread like happens on all the other ones where there are 50 comments discussing surname and ignoring the point of the post. :)

  5. It’s not quite Flight of the Conchords, it’s more stream of conscious and dadaist then that.

  6. Ok, I’m totally digging this sound. It has Silverlake blipster written all over it. Isn’t “blipster” the equivalent to “Alterna-Desi” that we coined way back when?? I kinda dated an “Alterna-Desi-Blipster” that I can see broadcasting these songs at a Los Feliz backyard party. But we’ll save that story for another time…

  7. I am, right here on Sepia Mutiny, going to make a prediction as bold as fire sauce. This track is going to become a favorite of desis of all ages.

    Less convinced here. The younger generation might like it. But if it really becomes popular will it still be considered ‘alternative’?

  8. Quality thread. Kudos to the thread maker. SM needs more threads geared toward the young urban desi american male like myself.

    Himanshu Kumar and Victor Vazquez

    Do a certain segment of desi youth in NYC hang out with bordiquas?…err…bit of the “blipster” crowd? ;p

  9. How lame. Their music sucks and is not “alternative”. Sounds like the same ol’ boring low budget b.s. everyone else is coming out with.

    Singin’ about Taco Bell and Pizza Hut? Everyone across the nation is eatin’ bacon?

    Yeah, real alternative………

  10. The blipster for all you non-hipsters is the new official term used to describe an alternative African-American male or female:

    First define “alternative”. Alternative to what exactly?

  11. The other songs on their myspace are way better and less gimmicky

    “Do a certain segment of desi youth in NYC hang out with bordiquas?…err…bit of the “blipster” crowd?: Boricua, you mean? what does this have to do with “blipsters”?

  12. Do a certain segment of desi youth in NYC hang out with bordiquas?…err…bit of the “blipster” crowd? ;p

    these dudes went to wesleyan

  13. saying the lyrics are stream of conscious and dadaist is pretty generous.

    Saying they suck might be more accurate.

    they just repeat the same non-sense over and over again.

  14. The dumbing down of America: when songs about Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are considered “alternative”.

    I live for the day when torturous empires like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell will actually become alternative and rare to the mainstream of a compassionate and healthy diet.

    Happy Cow’s Vegan Drive Thru

  15. “I live for the day when torturous empires like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell will actually become alternative and rare to the mainstream of a compassionate and healthy diet. Happy Cow’s Vegan Drive Thru”

    BECAUSE MENTIONING SOMETHING MEANS YOU ADVOCATE THAT PEOPLE GO THERE AND SPEND MONEY!

    if anything, screaming about not finding someone at the taco bell/”pizza gut/pizza butt” kind of shed a negative light on the place but hey, have fun listening to richie havens in 2009

    also the “torturous empire” is ‘Yum Brands!’ not the names of the franchises

  16. das critic, have u even listened to their songs? referencing general dyer and dinesh dsouza in the same rap (hugo chavez on their myspace) sounds like mainstream nonsense to me!

  17. Das does have a proto-kudumi. very forward looking.

    proto-kudumi-profundis: a lament for the kudumi Nayagan, how’s your kudumi swinging? Are you listening to this music, mang?

  18. have u even listened to their songs? referencing general dyer and dinesh dsouza in the same rap (hugo chavez on their myspace) sounds like mainstream nonsense to me!

    Yep. Me too.

    Dyer – General or Wayne?

    Its superficial corny-ass b.s. Nevermind the fact that they music itself sux.

    Just my opinion. You don’t have to try and change it to your’s. I’m allowed an opinion, you know. I’m adult now.

  19. Why are all Indians (at least as represented by those that visit this site) so obsessed with what state an Indian surname is from??

    Don’t you mean why are all South Asians are obsessed with what region someone is from?

    I’m going to guess that the desi one is the one with the beard.

  20. Its superficial corny-ass b.s. Nevermind the fact that they music itself sux.

    Yo das criticist!

  21. I went to school with Victor. He is one of the most awesome and talented people I know (he writes, paints, sings for Boy Crisis, and makes fabulous omlets and fried eggs). Among his other sterling qualities is a deep love of all things and people desi, which inevitably results in much love from Indian retaurant workers in Berkeley.

  22. “Those are real lyrics. They say something.”

    What do they say? What lyrics don’t “say something”?

  23. these dudes went to wesleyan

    Is Wesleyan the Pomona of New England? There are just too many ways for my hypothetical zygotes to disappoint me

  24. Is Wesleyan the Pomona of New England?

    Yeah, louiecypher. Think of my parents’ pain. This past Sunday their son graduated from Pomona, while I graduated from Wesleyan :) Nonetheless, maybe we’re headed in the right direction after sowing our wild oats. Next fall, one of us will begin law school, while the other will head to med school. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be the next Dar Williams.

  25. headed in the right direction . . . Next fall, one of us will begin law school

    OK for a few (and, probably fewer than think they are the few), not for the many–be careful–see, e.g., abovethelaw.com

  26. “Is Wesleyan the Pomona of New England?”

    Yes. This is funny on ten different levels.

  27. “OK for a few (and, probably fewer than think they are the few), not for the many–be careful–see, e.g., abovethelaw.com”

    Rob, thanks for the concern. I probably will not be working for the private sector, so I am not expecting a very high salary or SOL anyway. Nonetheless, eve if I do end up in the private sector, I’d like to set up an outsourcing operation. Certain developments (see http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/02/13/finally-for-foreign-law-firms-a-passage-to-india/) in the Indian legal sector have led me to think in this direction. I’m not sure if this was even reported on ATL :)

  28. Not to date the concept, but “blipster” has been in common slang usage for a couple years, now (definitely was in use when I was a ugrad). :)

    Ohhh alterna-desis. Sigh.