People have a complicated relationship with hip-hop jokesters Das Racist and I’m no exception. I have always loved them, but not always loved their music. Their first 2mixtapesÂ have 37 tracks between them and exactly 3 ever got regular play in my iTunes. That’s not the best track record. But somehow previous projects, solo stuff, and a brilliant blogÂ kept my respect meter high for the guys. So needless to say I was a little nervous about diving into their first proper LP, Relax. First single “Michael Jackson” (below) was loud, spastic, and abrasive and I couldn’t wrap my brain around how it fit into the canon of the Das Racist I knew.
However, once I Relaxed (sorry) andÂ listenedÂ to the album I was more that happy. Das Racist really pulled their shiz together here, leaving behind the under-produced beats and fleshing out all the jams. Plus we already know the lyrics are always hilarious and on point. Relax packs a lot of treats into one LP, never relying on one tempo or style for too long. “Girl” (above) brings the beat with a big glossy banger style, “Happy Rappy” packs twisted verses over minimal production that adds just enough rhythm, and “Punjabi Song” goes straight Bollywood on our asses. There are plenty other standouts (“Booty In The Air,” old favorite “Rainbow In The Dark,” “even “Michael Jackson” is getting me pumped lately) but the whole album holds its own. Some fans are turned off by the increased production and poppier shift from their mixtapes but for me that’s only a plus. Guys this sharp would be relevant even if their music wasn’t accesible but having it heard by millions is even better.
Read a great Spin cover article hereÂ and then track doen the album if you haven’t.