- Posted on Feb 28th 2011 6:50PM by Anne T Donahue
What was it like growing up in New York?
HS: Growing up in Queens, the only music I ever listened to was Nas. And now I'd say say my style of rap [is] New York-inspired. I grew up around Indian kids, and that had a weird a weird effect on me too. [Victor] grew up in the same neighborhood.
Did it shape your approach to music?
AK: Yeah, Queens is good. I don't know. I figured out everything on my own -- me and my three dork friends. New York didn't really do anything for me, but obviously we lived in New York and went to high school there, [so] maybe that subconsciously made me want to listen to certain types of music. But it was just me and a couple of people trying to figure out what was dope -- maybe some genetic factor. I don't know.
Victor, how was growing up in California different?
VV: A couple years back, I heard this song called 'Freak-A-Holic,' [by L.A. producer Egyptian Lover], and I liked it a lot. And I was like, "Why do I like this song so much?" I liked it unnaturally -- a lot. And then I realized when I looked at the rest of Egyptian Lover's catalog, he did this other song called 'I Need a Freak,' which I would hear almost every day on my way back from school. I realized 'I Need a Freak' had burned into my brain, so anything similar to 'I Need a Freak,' I liked, without even [thinking].
When did you know music was a part of your life?
HS: I don't get people that don't like music. You know, when somebody's like, "I'm not really into music."
AK: I used to be able to not understand that, but now I can completely understand it. Music you could say is part of my life, and I'm in a band, and it makes me money, but ...
VV: You could say that hip-hop is the love of his life.
AK: I like music a lot, and it would literally be impossible to remove music from my life. If I only had the ability to pick four songs a year that I get to listen to, I would be very, very upset. But I wouldn't [be like], "F--- my life!'" or anything. I don't even listen to music every day.
HS: No, I don't think music [is everything], but I still need to listen to it once a week or something.
VV: I feel like I said this in another interview, but one of my earliest memories of having a b---- is listening to 'Push It' by Salt-N-Peppa. I have a couple of vague memories of early b----s, but I was listening to 'Push It,' I got a b----, I looked down and was like, "Oh, this happens every time I feel these feelings."
What Das Racist song do you consider to be your "signature?"
AK: I'd say 'Free Jazzmatazz' is our signature song.
HS: 'Rainbow in the Dark?' Actually, no. I don't think we have a signature song.
Who are your heroes?
AK: All types of freedom fighters. Revolutionaries. Cesar Chavez. A lot of dudes in the Black Panthers were sick. A lot of women are dope. My parents aren't really my heroes, but I think they're ill.
HS: I'd say you're my hero, Dep.
AK: [Laughs] And Michael Richards -- but not when [he was] playing Kramer. Everything he did after Kramer has inspired me greatly [laughs].
VV: Janis Joplin and Spiderman, obviously.
Any words to live by?
HS: Don't eat meat. Don't eat cheese. Don't fly in airplanes if you can help it.
AK: Die within 30 miles of where you were born. Don't be a j-----f and think you're too good and have to go somewhere else.
Catch Das Racist's SXSW Sets on Friday, March 18 at The Phoenix (409 Colorado St.) 11PM, and Friday, March 18 at Emo's Main Room (603 Red River St.) 1:10AM.
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