Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Das Racist Plays HIGHTIDE Fest Saturday

By Kathleen Richards
Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Bi-coastal rap group Das Racist will be among the performers at an all-day music festival at Soundwave Studios (2200 Wood St., Oakland) on Saturday, June 26. The rap trio — Victor Vazquez, Himanshu Suri, and Ashok Kondabolu (aka Dap) — produced the Internet hit “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” in which they basically repeated the phrase I’m at the Pizza Hut/I’m at the Taco Bell/I’m at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Some called it brilliant; others said it was inane — of course, it was a bit of both. Meanwhile, the group also organized a "Minority Fest" last year that explored issues of race. We recently caught up with the trio. Read the interview after the jump.


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1) Why did you choose the name Das Racist?

KOOL A.D. (Vazquez): Creedence Clearwater Revival was taken.
Hima: Das EFX was taken.
Dap: The name chose us though a Korean "band broker," it was very zeitgesty and I believe I was left with an erection that required a brace.

2) How did you come up with the song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell"?

KOOL A.D.: Process of elimination.
Himanshu: We're mad ill is how.
Dap: YUM! brands secretly pitched the song to us and we pretend that we came up with it ourselves. BET YR SORRY NOW KFC! (Kidding: KFC is also owned by YUM! Brands)

3) Did Pizza Hut/Taco Bell ever contact you regarding the song? Any sponsorship in the works?

KOOL A.D.: We got 75 Taco Bell Bucks.
Himanshu: I gave them to my vegetarian parents who like Taco Bell's bean game.
Dap: Only that first meeting where we played a deadly game involving knives, sticks and ninja stars. It was called...BEAN GAME.

4) Do your songs really include references to dadaism?

KOOL A.D.: No.
Himanshu: Nah.
Dap: "Nah"

5) Why did you decide to host the Minority Fest? Is that an ongoing thing? Can you give any more details about it?

KOOL A.D.: Every day is Minority Fest.
Himanshu: Minority Fest will occur at the end of this year in both New York and San Francisco we can now announce.
Dap: Cause come on man. Also, really though. Minority Fest will be held at the end of this year in I believe New York, San Francisco and Sao Paulo we can now announce.

6) Who/what inspires your music?

KOOL A.D.: DICE RAW
Himanshu: Noreaga the rapper.
Dap: The color of fresh fruit.

7) Regarding issues of race and songs like "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" — is there a connection there?

KOOL A.D.: Think it's pretty obvious.
Himanshu: Coincidence.
Dap: A love connection I think, minorities love "race-ing" over to fast food restaurants to ratchet up their blood pressure.

8) How did the Soundwave gig come about? What should people expect at the show?

KOOL A.D.: I used to play drums in New Earth Creeps who set up the show. People should expect unthinkable joy.

9) What are you working on currently? Plans for the future?

KOOL A.D.: Second mixtape, private military corporation, clothing line, conversion to Islam.
Himanshu: i plan on "losing it" and moving to india
Dap: I just finished sewing a pink/gold lame hat I stole from a vintage store in Brooklyn. I plan on buying new frames for for my eyeglasses in San Francisco, not sure where to do that yet.

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HIGHTIDE will also feature performances by Dublin Death Patrol, Forrest Day, High on Fire, Lil’ B, New Earth Creeps, Nocando, Stone Vengeance, One in the Chamber, Nabahe & E.K., and others. 4:20 p.m., $20. Tickets at SoundwaveStudios.com.

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