Das Racist at Highline Ballroom 2/3
After our epic fail at CMJ of missing all four of the Das Racist shows, we were determined to catch them live one way or another. The opportunity came last week when they played for a very affordable $10 at Highline Ballroom.
We arrived just in time to catch Das Racist and not wait around, but not in time to get a great spot. Life’s little trade-offs. We could hear just fine, though. The three members, Heems, Kool A.D., and Dap, were joined on stage by a fourth goofy, unnamed dude, and various other friends. DJ Jasmine, who opened, joined them for a few songs as well. They had a ton of energy, and bounced around haphazardly for every song. The bouncing, however, made it difficult to hear them in the beginning. It sounded more like disorganized, chaotic shouting; the essence of a DIY hip hop show, without the DIY.
The Das Racist boys seemed like they were having fun for the most part, barring the occasionally telling the audience to go home. No one on stage could stand still, and Aeon Flux was playing on a screen in the background for added effect. They played a bunch of songs from their first mixtape Shut Up, Dude including “Who’s that Brown,” “You Oughta Know,” “Hugo Chavez,” and of course, “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” I’m sure that they are tired of that one; they mixed it up a bit with some new lyrics. My favorite improv was “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the combination Best of Times and Worst of Times.”
In between songs, Das Racist mocked themselves and the crowd (but mostly the crowd and how white we were and how we were all NYU students). The momentum was slowing, and then they played a few from the newer mixtape Sit Down, Man like “Hahahaha JK,” and brought out El-P (much to my extreme excitement) for “Sit Down, Man,” and then Despot for “Rooftop.” The previous chaos calmed and everything came together.