ALBUM REVIEW: Das Racist – Sit Down, Man

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ALBUM REVIEW: Das Racist   <i>Sit Down, Man</i>
STREET DATE: 09.14.10 | DOWNLOAD MIXTAPE (FREE)

RATE SIT DOWN, MAN
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When “Combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell” came out in 2008, I hardly saw the appeal in Das Racist. The song was joke-rap, and when you’re classifying yourself in the joke-rap genre, you’re really limiting your potential, credibility, and overall existence in the rap game. Than, they release Shut Up, Dude for free via their website and I was taken aback. I discovered that the Brooklyn duo of Kool AD and Heems have some serious skills; this isn’t pointless joke-rap, this is satire and social commentary that hasn’t existed since The Marshall Mathers LP. With their newest mixtape Sit Down, Man, their uncanny style of rap has matured, sounding more confident than ever. Das Racist has more hipster appearances than Chiddy Bang here instilling a motley crew of producers and appearances (Chairlift, Diplo, Boi-1da, Teengirl Fantasy, Keepaway, El-P.) They’re obviously fond of the extraneous; rapping on beats that sample The Doors, (“People Are Strange”) Enigma, (“Return To Innocence”) and Days of Our Lives (“hahahahaha jk?”).

Don’t be quick to label Das Racist as weed rappers, though they do mention their love of cannabis on ample occasions. On “Rappin 2 U,” Kool AD explains; “They call us jokes rap/we kind of weed rap/we just like rap/we don’t even need rap.” Though it’s clear they are not out to prove anything just yet, the duo’s dedication to culture and equal rights awareness is apparent throughout their lyrical content. They often mention how their races aren’t really accepted in the white world, let alone the rap world. It wouldn’t be surprising to discover the two have an ulterior agenda, I mean, they met at an event for “Students of Colour for Social Justice.”

Das Racist reference music, TV shows and current events as randomly as Family Guy on this mixtape, something most rappers would deem unorthodox, including shout outs to Dwight Shrute, Hanging With Mr. Cooper, Doogie Howser, Grizzly Bear, Tanlines, and Lil Wayne’s irrelevancy in hip hop. However inconsequential it might be, they are never aimlessly rapping; on “Rooftop” Heems states “I feel high as a rooftop/contradict myself in rap like 2pac,” on Diplo’s “You Can Sell Anything” he mentions “What good is all your money if your style is still tasteless/ I celebrate the fact I moved into my momma’s basement.” They rap on dreamy electronic scores like Teengirl Fantasy produced “Commercial” than spit on dirty rap anthems “Luv It Mayne” and “All Tan Everything,” which samples Jay-Z. On Chairlift’s “Fashion Party,” the duo sing, and Caroline Polachek actually spits a few verses.

Most of the production on Sit Down, Man doesn’t sound like it’s intended for rap, making Das Racist idiosyncratic in today’s music scene. They never present the illusion that they’re gangsters: “Never killed a cop though, more the type to burn a spliff and eat a bag of nachos.” It seems they’re appealing more to fans of progressive indie than urban enthusiasts, establishing themselves as pioneers of a new class of hip hop. It’s hard to decipher how serious Heems and Kool AD actually are about the varying issues they discuss here. It can very well be that they’re not joking, just joking, they are joking, just joking, they’re not joking.

82 — [Rating Scale]

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