Thanks to a couple of excellent hype-generating mixtapes, Das Racist’s debut Relax instantly became one of the most greatly anticipated releases of 2011. And, awesomely enough, the release delivered on its promise, pursuing a more pop-minded attitude without sacrificing the group’s charm or satiric bent. We spoke with Dap and Victor about the influences that made Relax such a refreshing and exciting success.
Ashok “Dap” Kondabolu:
Here are songs I remember listening to during the cold winter early part of the recording process. I was at home most of the time though. Too damn cold out there to make albums, ya feel me?
1. Outkast – “Red Velvet”
Incredible song that people rarely played off Stankonia during the period of time in which people played the album Stankonia. Incredible production, Andre’s pitched-up voice is great.
2. Action Bronson – “Imported Goods”
Good video of Flushing Chinatown scenes and Action driving, walking, and exercising around town. I also liked seeing a rap video shot where I used to wait for the Q17 bus as a likkle yoot.
3. Masta Ace Inc. – “Sittin On Chrome”
4. Mad Lion – “Take It Easy”
NAH MAN, YOU TAKE IT EASY. Also, from his Wikipedia: “He frequently collaborates with fellow hip hop artist KRS-One — most recently on a DVD promoting the Temple of Hiphop.” HAHA!
5. Blondes – “Moondance”
The Touched EP is a wintertime classic for me. After tour I’m going to dust it off (metaphorically), put it “on,” and blow my brains out (literally)!
When we were recording Relax I was listening to E-40, Too Short and Juvenile. Also the Pretty Boy Millionaires mixtape and the Vicki Leekx mixtape. I was cleaning up various public parks in Bushwick during the day and recording at night. Over the course of those ten days of cleaning the parks I found a dead cat, two dead squirrels, a dead frog, a dead guinea pig and a dead ten-foot albino boa constrictor.
1. E-40 – “The Ambassador”
2. Too Short – “Life Is … Too Short”
3. Soulja Boy and Lil B – “Gucci Wings”
4. M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”
5. Juvenile – “U Understand”
Relax is out now on Greedhead.