Das Racist - Relax

To anyone on the Internet with even the slightest music nerd inclination, abstract Brooklyn rap group Das Racist has long been a giant, glowing orb to our mosquitolike existence; it was against our nature to avoid it. And, it’s largely been a great experience — they’ve released a pair of wicked mixtapes, yukked it up like seasoned professionals and created some awesome videos. They even got into a duel with The New Yorker Cartoon Department, which is like, what? In his spare time, Himanshu Suri, who is genuinely one of the nicest, funniest, smartest dudes I’ve known since I’ve been in New York, supplied one of Stroked’s most memorable cuts. (Disclosure: he’s a friend of the site, and has contributed eloquently). You know what the frightening thing is? I feel like I’m leaving a ton out, and I just ran down something like a dozen extremely notable things. The Internet itself, in its ghastly enormity, is at the mercy of Das Racist.

Das Racist’s formal debut album Relax hit those with premium Spotify accounts yesterday, and now that opinions have started flowing, here we are.

Relax certainly still maintains the group’s hyper-referential, wisecracking appeal while in pursuit of more mature, fully-formed songs, as opposed to verse-verse-verse mixtape fodder (some of those songs definitely hold their own there). And, in that quest, Das Racist has a ton of success on songs like “Michael Jackson,” “Relax” and “Booty In The Air.” Some stuff is less successful (“Punjabi Song,” “Girl”), but even those have redeemable portions. The production is a little erratic. The batshit, liberal arts-educated lyricism is there, like always, and the songs all ooze that signature Das Racist charm that makes them so lovable, in a landscape where similar artists like Ninjasonik are so maligned.

As I’ve rooted, as a fan, for Das Racist to get huge, I’ve always worried about if their humor was just too hyper-local and insider-y to the point where people outside the boroughs would just get sick of tracking the allusions and might just close their browsers at some point. I think Relax frees Das Racist from this concern, but I’m not sure I like it more than I like the mixtapes (I, like, love the mixtapes). But, as for my desire for them to blow up, I can put that to rest as well. They already have.

Relax is out on 9/13 via Greedhead.

Comments (40)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. I think it’s pretty fantastic. A lot of people might be turned off because of it’s heightened pop/synth sounds as opposed to the raw samplefests that were their mixtapes, but this is easily their best album. Every track has more and more rewards every time you listen. It’s pretty much the logical culmniation of everything they’ve done so far. Still hilarious, but still just fucking great hip hop. Heems said on twitter that his verse on the title track is the best thing he’s ever done, and he’s right.

    Best tracks:
    Brand New Dance
    Punjabi Song
    The Trick

  3. Sure is better than tha fucking farter IV.

  4. Why are we talking about this when there’s new f-cking Nickelback??

  5. Can’t wait to hear it.

    btw, I’ll never get sick of arguing with white dudes on the internet.

  6. ddogdunit  |   Posted on Sep 9th, 2011 -23

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  7. Of course these guys are gonna be friends with artists; remember the ‘Gum Bowl? And, at any rate, I’m sure most readers will remember Heems’s post-9/11 op-Ed piece. I think an “unprofessional” route would have been to decline to mention their friendship, then use this piece as a “buy this album now!” launchpad. He does paint it very positively, but he also admits it’s not perfect.

    Besides, music, as all art forms are, is subjective. Consequently, so will its coverage. And I love to see some genuine passion and enthusiasm in music reporting. I rarely, if ever checked out anything from Haunting the Chapel, but I liked reading it because Brandon’s passion was very endearing.

    • Actually, I completely disagree. You can easily not mention the friendship and still remain neutral and critical. That’s the job he’s getting paid for, be a fucking journalist. Not be Perez Hilton. ‘OMG I totally partied with this dude. Buy his music.’

      I also don’t understand how mentioning friendship with the artist has anything to do with showing your passion. I am passionate about The National yet I don’t know any of them personally.


      “In his spare time, Himanshu Suri, who is genuinely one of the nicest, funniest, smartest dudes I’ve known since I’ve been in New York.”

      Has NOTHING to do with

      “supplied one of Stroked‘s most memorable cuts.” Those two have no connections whatsoever. Plus why does that need to be even mentioned? Is this the review about the tribute album?He spent half the review babbling things that weren’t about the album. Why?

      there was absolutely no need to mention it and frankly, he sounds dumb for doing so.


  9. Which combination of restaurants will they be rapping about on this disc?

  10. what song is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IAgukzaPXU
    Heem is very good on it

  11. A little disappointed that they didn’t call the album “Relax, bro”

  12. Some of the songs are decent on this album, but I don’t see why these guys are blowing up. The only people who should really love them are New Yorkers, whom I don’t typically enjoy either.

  13. I’m personally not digging it AT ALL. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have a low tolerance level for rap/hip-hop no matter how ‘creative’ or ‘clever’ these rappers are (which is a lot more than most). Not my thing but cheers to all of you who enjoy it

  14. I just got it on itunes and I’m lovin it
    they stepped their game up A LOT

  15. I love Das Racist.
    I’m super excited for this.

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