Das Racist occupies a unique place in hip hop. Its free-associative rap goes a mile a minute, riddled with the sort of postmodern deconstructionist lyrics that make publications like the New York Times rave. Much has been written about the group and its perceived seriousness, which, in turn, is turned into more fodder for Das Racist’s rhymes (as evidenced in the track “hahahaha jk,” posted below).
Whatever your opinion of its music, there’s no question that Das Racist wears its cultural and political awareness on its proverbial sleeve. With that in mind, we asked Ashok Kondabolu of the Brooklyn-based trio to name his favorite political rap songs.
Das Racist: “hahahaha jk” (Sit Down, Man, Mishka / Mad Decent / Greedhead)
1. Public Enemy: “Shut ‘Em Down” (Pete Rock Remix)
My favorite remix of all time. Pete’s short verse is ill (and sort of hilarious), and the beat’s insistence over and under Chuck D‘s screaming-ass voice is incredible. The clipped rapping on here serves really well as some “movement music.”
My mama cried
Black people died
When the other man lied”
I mean, that’s an awesome way to start a song about corporate redistribution of wealth!