“Y’all got tickets to see the Stone Roses? What? Manchester doesn’t like the Stone Roses? Aren’t they from here? Ladies and gentlemen… our special guests, THE STONE ROSES! They’re all out back cryin’ now…”
Das Racist aren’t your average hip hop outfit. Instead of bring the usual posturing that is seemingly obligatory in the world of rap, they pretty much stumbled into view almost as unprepared as we were when we first set sight on them.
Coming to Manchester, on the back of an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show, they stared out at the throng and looked as pleasantly bewildered as those staring back at them. Mercifully, from the neck down, everybody was dancing.
Laughing at the chorus of boos that met the Stone Roses chat, Das Racist’s between-song patter was as funny as their songs are. And humour is something that these reprobates trade in daily.
Of course, having a sense of humour in hip hop is a tricky thing. Years ago, De La Soul were happy to sing about shovelling chestnuts in their backpacks, while Ol’ Dirt McGirt would often fling out hilarious asides from whichever cultural reference his sharp, but addled mind, landed on. However, both acts have been prone to act tough for the sake of staying onside with the hip hop glitterati.
Not Das Racist. They clearly couldn’t care less. And it’s this wilful and enthusiastic embracing of amateurism which makes them such a fun, cool ride.
Whereas the likes of MC Paul Barman can go overboard on the LOOK AT ME, I’M A FUNNY RAPPER! thing, at times, nearing Weird Al levels of parody, Das Racist don’t even need to try. They look like they’ve never exerted themselves in their whole lives. They’re naturally funny and, mercifully, have the beats to back it up.
And so, without a care in the world, Heems, Kool A.D., Dapwell (and the Looking Like He’d Taken A Load Of Mushrooms Before Walking Onstage Lakutis) strolled onstage and promptly went about slaying everyone in sight with some super heavy basslines and slanted, skewed observations on… well… everything, ever. When settling in with Das Racist, you have to cling on tight or you won’t keep up.
See, while the backdrop featured Beyonce looking like a melted waxwork and Osama Bin Laden grafted onto some hideous demon body, from the stage, Heems indulged in some call-and-response, notably asking the crowd to shout “GET A REAL JOB!” and “THIS IS NOT WHAT I PAID TO SEE!” at him.
He then gave someone in the audience a banana.
While this all sounds far too zany, fact is, amongst it all is one of the tightest backcats on the planet. They launched into their impressive setlist setting feet to pound and brains to stun. The morning after, its hard to beat what the New York Times wrote about the group:
“Das Racist?s lack of piety has become an aesthetic of its own, with songs that are as much commentary on hip-hop as rigorous practice of it.”
Basically, Das Racist aren’t you’re average crew. Smarter than they look and wilfully dumb, they’re just about the most perfectly amalgamation of all that rap that’s gone before it. Of course, people don’t have much room to praise anyone but Tyler The Creator and Azealia Banks at the moment and, sure, while the latter is an exciting popstar, it feels like everyone backed the wrong pony with Odd Future.
For super fresh beats and smart-ass, bug-eyed rhymes, Das Racist kill all the opposition. Don’t tell ’em though. They haven’t got a fuckin’ clue.
Let’s keep it that way.