Himanshu Suri a.k.a. Heems let it slip over the weekend that Das Racist, his irreverent rap crew, is calling it quits — and that should free up the former Wall Street worker to focus on his budding label. But how will the rappers' hypeman make easy money now?
On Saturday night Heems showed up solo to a German festival where Das Racist was scheduled to perform. He told the crowd offhand, "You guys wanna know the secret? Alright, so I'm going to do some Das Racist songs, but Das Racist is breaking up and we're not a band anymore." This wasn't how the group planned to break up. Das Racist and their manager were planning an official break-up announcement in May, perhaps after putting out that final album and getting a TV show in the works. The group's other MC, Victor Vazquez a.k.a. Kool A.D., tweeted yesterday:
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.— KOOL A.D. (@veeveeveeveevee) December 3, 2012
In the fallout, Spin's Jordan Sargent got a hold of Das Racist's touring hypeman Ashok Kondabolu a.k.a. Dapwell, who admitted that the band only stuck around this long for the paycheck. He says the group's early days were fun, "But we kinda checked out and it was just about money, which some people can do, but apparently, we're not good at doing things we don't want to do anymore." He's not optimistic about his job prospects, saying, "I probably won't be able to make money that easily ever again."
Heems seems confident that he can keep raking in money, though. The entrepreneurial MC worked on Wall Street before going into rap, and always saw Das Racist as just one business venture among many. In September he told Forbes' Chris Barth, "Just being in the group or being an artist wasn’t enough for me. The way I work, I still want to chase deals." He'll now have more time to chase those deals through Greedhead Music, the record label and artist management company Heems founded in 2009. It now boasts a stable of forward-focussed rappers like the bloggable Lakutis and banjee-repping Le1f. In case Heems hadn't made his aims as a hip hop capitalist entirely clear, Greedhead's logo replaces a stick figure's head with a dollar sign.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.