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From Brooklyn to Busan: Das Racist

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BUSAN, South Korea – Riding on the heels of their second mix-tape, "Sit Down Man," the DJ’ing duo, Das Racist, has quickly gained notoriety as an Internet sensation.  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out their debut YouTube hit, “Combination Pizza hut and Taco Bell” which brought them much acclaim from such venerable critics as The Village Voice, Pitchfork Media, The New Yorker, and MTV.


Although best known for having a penchant for parody and pop cultural references, this hip-hop trio also delves into identity politics and social commentary.  These prognosticators of polemical prose are just as steeped in the philosophy of Jacques Derrida as they are in vintage Atari games. They are truly post-modern and fit right in to a world of fake news and truthiness.  Are they serious or is this a joke?  Either way they will leave you thinking after the beats have stopped.

Himanshu Suri, Victor Vazquez, and their ‘hype man’ Ashok Kondabolu aren’t exactly household names, but a Das Racist show is sure to be memorable.  In less than a year their online success and high profile performances have propelled them into the spotlight and, through the work of production team Super Color Super,  here to Busan.

Boasting and name dropping are staples in Rap and Hip-Hop, but Das Racist’s approach is more self-reflexive than self-aggrandizing.   They tend to illicit a strong response to their lackadaisical style and provocative lyrics that are targeted to a culturally literate audience that appreciates irony.

According to the New Yorker Magazine:

“This kind of dumb fun is an appropriate supplement to what Das Racist describes as its ‘deconstructionalist’ approach. If the band members want you to think about the ways that skin color can affect consciousness, they also don’t mind if you go ahead and party. They rap over a variety of tracks, mostly made by producers outside the group, and the music is rarely difficult or abrasive.

The group acknowledges, in their own words, that their style is at once silly and high brow.   The references are often obscure and topics range from “Dinesh D’Souza being a punk” and “Gayatri Spivak being dope” to flat out non-sequiturs.

It’s pretty amazing to have the chance to catch an act that is so fresh considering their first EP, Shut Up Dude, was only released in March.  This bodes well for music lovers in Korea in terms of attracting the attention of international concert promoters who might have missed Busan on the map while planning Asian tours.  Likewise, it proves that homegrown promoters like Busan-based Allive and Seoul-based Super Color Super have the potential to bring in larger shows.  Let’s hope this one is a success.

The show is Friday night in Kyungsung at Foxy. Check out the event page for more details. Advance tix are 15,000 and 18,000 at the door with a free drink.

 

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