First appeared on IGGY: October 26, 2009
Sometime late 2008, rap duo Das Racist released “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” onto Youtube. The song consisted of two guys repeating “I’m at the Pizza Hut/I’m at the Taco Bell/I’m at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” until you either wanted to shoot your monitor or fell off your chair, laughing.
Unlike other Youtube sensations, Das Racist attracted media interest almost immediately, and the general consensus was that they’re either geniuses or stoner jokesters. Music journalists struggled to make one label or the other fit, and assured readers that, basically, you’d either love them or loathe them.
Sounds controversial, right? But the group’s called DAS RACIST — what else did they expect?
Himanshu Suri (born in Queens, NY) and Victor Vazquez (born in San Francisco, California) met at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Suri’s parents are Indian, and Vazquez is of Afro-Cuban and white Italian parentage, and the infamous meeting of like minds took place in a “Students of Color for Social Justice” themed dormitory.
The pair soon began rapping together, instantly creating a style that mashes pop culture trivia, low-brow pleasures, and high-brow intellectual theory…all with a cheeky middle finger to anyone who tries to over-analyze or pigeonhole them.
From the beginning we knew analysis was futile, but, after their 2009 blitz on CMJ, we couldn’t stop ourselves from trying — especially once they came out with “Rainbow in the Dark.” In 2010 we even asked them to help the puzzled music press out with a few do’s and don’ts for young journalists. This being Das Racist,we only got the don’ts from them.
Get it, love it, hate it, whatever…Das Racist doesn’t give a sh*t. Wearing Cosby sweaters and leis, Suri and Vazquez (who goes by Kool AD when he feels like it) delight in downstaging their new status as rap stars, upending expectations, and generally demonstrating that they’re smarter than you. Which kind of makes them a$$holes. But when they prove it, time and time again, we may have to accept that they’re right. Especially ’cause we’re laughing too hard to argue.