Yesterday, local role models and our friends Das Racist snagged the coveted 8.7/Best New Music designation from Pitchfork for Sit Down, Man, the second of two dense, drug-addled, deceptively smart mixtapes the trio has produced this year. It was a national vindication of what we’ve known in New York for some time now (not for nothing did we employ them as writers for this paper back in January) and more to the point, probably a sign that the group has finally transcended questions about whether they really mean it or not. (They do, even, you know, when they don’t, really. There’s a song about it on the record and everything.) We reached out to Himanshu Suri and Victor Vazquez to congratulate them; this is what they told us:
Yesterday you guys snagged the holy grail of record reviews, Pitchfork’s Best New Music. Can we get an acceptance speech?
H: In lieu of thanking the academy I’d like to thank that shitty band The Academy Is… for making music so bad rather ‘decent’ music like ours can be pushed to the forefront of what’s critically praised. I’d also like to thank Pitchfork for placing our CD cover and images of us right next to MIA’s pretty face.
V: Still 8% shy of being tied with the Save Ferris album It Means Everything.
How do you feel about being compared to Girl Talk (“In that sense, Das Racist’s music feels closer to Girl Talk’s than any other current rapper”) in that review?
H: I feel better about being compared to Girl Talk than any guy with a plain white-man name like “Greg Gillis.” I agree with the comparison although his pastiche is about pop culture via music via the creation of music and ours is of history and all pop culture including music via the creation of music.
V: Girl Talk is aight. We’re OK.
Last week, we picked our “Top 19 Most Ridiculous Lines” from your mixtape. Care to do the same for this Pitchfork review?
H: This game is so much easier to play when it’s not your band and is a review you disagree with in most part. If this was some shit praising a band I never heard that a lot of people like (lookin’ at you Woodsist dudes), I could probably find a ton of lines to poke fun of. I will say this: he falsely attributes some shit I wrote about fans handing you weed and playing basketball before substance abuse to Kool A.D. when it was obviously your boy Heems. WHAT AN IDIOT, RIGHT? Also, we knew how to make hooks and make music more people would enjoy before, we just didn’t really care. I guess now we care, although I’m sure we still don’t really care. Now we can get back to making stranger music.
V: The part where he said we were deeply and madly in love with rap was a little mo.
You must be mad though that it’s Pavement week in New York City right now. They’re kind of upstaging your triumph.
H: I literally heard my first Pavement song two days ago. It was on Pitchfork’s list of the top songs of the ’90s or something? Not really my cup of tea. They earned it though, I guess?
V: Prefer the Jicks.
“Hahahaha Jk? has a beat from Boi-1da, a real life famous producer. Did you guys have to drug him or extort him to get that beat, or was it stolen?
H: Just had to pay dude really. Here’s a headline: Local Hip-Hop Super-producer ‘Bout His Paper.
V: Don’t watch us, watch Ian Cohen.
Speaking of that song, it features a “Days of Our Lives” sample. How worried are you right now about getting sued by them and Enigma and the Doors and all the other people you may or may not have sampled on Sit Down, Man?
H: This is where that whole “be broke because you don’t actually sell your music for money” thing comes into play. Also, to quote Jimmy “got a jewish lawyer so you know I’ll beat the charges” or to paraphrase Ross “I just negotiate, send the paper work to Theo”.
V: To paraphrase Pun, “I just lost a hundred pounds, I’m trying to live.”
At least two of you live with your parents right now. Best New Music means you’re moving back out, right?
H: I celebrated once again moving out of my mom’s basement a month or so before the mixtape came out and no longer live there although after tour I can see myself moving back in for a couple months. I like living at home. My parents had my back before Das Racist, you feel me?
V: I just lost a hundred pounds, I’m trying to live.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 24, 2010