At a festival in Munich this weekend, Das Racist‘s Heems delivered some bittersweet news from the stage. “You guys wanna know the secret?” he said. “Alright, so I’m going to do some Das Racist songs, but Das Racist is breaking up and we’re not a band anymore.” The next day, DR partner Kool AD responded on Twitter, writing, “for the record i quit das racist 2 months ago and was asked by our manager not to announce it yet. apparently @himanshu wanted to do it tho.”
The news is disappointing, if not unexpected. Das Racist released two great mixtapes and one underrated album over their two-year career, establishing themselves as two of the most idiosyncratic voices in rap and giving insanely energetic live performances right up until the end. However, Heems and Kool AD released two solo mixtapes each in 2012, and increasingly appeared as separate presences in public.
On the bright side: Heems’s excellent Nehru Jackets and not-quite-as-excellent-but-still-pretty-damned-good Wild Water Kingdom were two of my favorite records released this year. Each was as good as anything in the Das Racist catalog, and both bode very well for the artist’s newfound solo career.