The former Das Racist rapper Heems has recorded a few mixtapes since his old group broke up. (The latest was a 2014 EP with Swet Shop Boys, his duo with the British rapper and actor Riz Ahmed.) But he’s announced the impending release of Eat, Pray, Thug, which is both his first commercially released solo album and maybe the last thing he’ll ever do in music. On Twitter, Heems has lately made noises about leaving music for his day job once the album is out. Heems is a great rapper, so that would be a loss, but it’s also a reminder that we should enjoy the shit out of his music while we have the chance. Heems recorded Eat, Pray, Thug in both Bombay and Brooklyn, and it’s set to feature production from people like Dev Hynes and Harry Fraud. “Sometimes,” its first single, is a tremendous, propulsive scattershot rant on racial identity, and it’s got a furious beat from Gordon Voidwell. Below, listen to it and read a statement about the track from Heems.
“Sometimes” is about dualities, identity and the space between spaces. Like so many other people, as a first generation South Asian in the U.S. I often felt like I lived two lives, an Indian one and an American one. I lived, at once, in and between two spaces and outside them as well. On another level, I also often felt like in America I lived in the space between black and white. Dualities are normal though. As fun as rap is, I can’t always feel happy. Sometimes I feel sad too. It also pays homage to hip-hop before me with cadences referencing both Nice and Smooth and Busta Rhymes.
Eat, Pray, Thug is out 3/10 on Megaforce.